Investigating the travel behaviour of visitors to Scotland

K.J. Thompson, N.S. Ferguson

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Paper investigating the travel behaviour of visitors to Scotland. Studies of transport service quality and performance from the passenger perspective typically focus on the attitudes of local users regarding the adequacy of existing public transport provision and there has so far been limited attention to the attitudes and experiences of tourists with regard to transport provision. Tourism in Scotland is both an important and extensive land use and a major contributor to Gross Domestic Product ( GDP). The inseparability of tourism production and consumption means that tourism relies heavily on passenger transport both to access the destination, but also to travel around within it. The external accessibility of tourist destinations tend to receive significant attention by both tourism and transport planners and policy makers due to the desire to attract visitors into a particular destination, normally for economic development reasons. Indeed, in the case of Scotland, substantial funding has been provided to improve the external accessibility of the destination through subsidies for the creation of new air and ferry routes. The success of these funding measures has been or is currently being evaluated through impact studies and surveys of passenger behaviour. However, the internal accessibility of Scotland to the visitor has received less focused attention. Whilst attempts have been suggested and prioritised for facilitating tourists' travel around Scotland, such efforts are mainly undertaken by tourism organisations throughout Scotland, whose ultimate power to effect changes to transport systems is largely limited to lobbying. Moreover, without a clear picture of how accessible Scotland is internally as a destination, or of the transport demands of visitors in terms of internal accessibility, any measures taken to enhance visitor transportation remain largely uninformed. How tourists travel around Scotland, the extent to which they are reliant on public transport and the importance of existing transport provision in their travel behaviour and experience of the destination, including the areas they ultimately visit, merits further clarification.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Apr 2006
EventScottish Transport Applications and Research Conference - Glasgow, Scotland
Duration: 19 Apr 2006 → …


ConferenceScottish Transport Applications and Research Conference
CityGlasgow, Scotland
Period19/04/06 → …


  • tourism
  • transport
  • hospitality industry
  • Scotland
  • travel behaviour


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