What is the relationship between transport and tourism?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item that I link to then I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

(Last updated on: 07/04/2020)

One thing that many people in the travel industry may not realise is the important and vital relationship between transport and tourism. This is something that I teach to my tourism students each year as part of their tourism management degree and it is the relationship between transport and tourism which forms the basis of the tourism industry. 

Without transport, the tourism sector would not be able to exist. Therefore, transport is a fundamental part of the tourism industry.

The relationship between transport and tourism

relationship between transport and tourism

Image source: Unsplash

As seen in the dictionary, the definition of transport is to “take or carry (people or goods) from one place to another by means of a vehicle, aircraft, or ship.” Also found in the dictionary is the definition of tourism which is “the commercial organisation and operation of vacations and visits to places of interest.”

Transport is a hugely complex activity, impacting on every one of us in our daily lives. In a sense, we are all transport stakeholders-we all have an involvement with the transport industry in some way or another. Whether it means travelling to your job every day or flying to your holiday spot, transportation is essential to each of us in many different ways.

To help understand this relationship further there are a couple of core texts that I would recommend for any student studying travel and tourism or person who is interested in learning more about the relationship between transport and tourism. Transport and Tourism: Global Perspectives by Steven Page is my favourite book in this area as it is the leading, authoritative text providing a much-needed synthesis of the key, contemporary issues occurring at the intersection of transport and tourism. I also recommend Tourism, Transport and Travel Management by M.R Dileep, which analyses the structure, functions, activities, strategies and practices of each of the sectors in the travel industry, such as airlines, airports, tour operators, travel agencies and cruises. 

Transport within the tourism industry

The key task for the tourism sector is to comprehend and present the vital importance of adequate transport links to destinations – recognising the appropriate modes of travel for the different types of journeys – and to advocate a proper understanding of those links and the value that they have to local economies among the transport policy and planning community.

A better understanding of the tourism sector must be built with those public bodies (government, local authorities and relevant agencies) responsible for transport policy and planning, and for maintaining and developing transport infrastructure. This is imperative to ensure sustainable tourism management. 

Likewise, the tourism sector must understand how the transport sector operates and to what extent it is able to influence decisions and planning. This can become rather complex when you take into consideration different transport infrastructures , rules and regulations across different geographical contexts. Some countries, for example, will rely heavily on train infrastructure, others may be reachable only by boat and some may require private charter transport for tourists to get around. 

The impacts of transport on tourism

Compared to some of our European competitors such as Switzerland, England has a lack of transport integration and this is compounded by deregulated service provision in areas outside London. This can cause problems for local attractions, accommodations and such like… because if a tourist cannot reach a destination then it I likely to thrive from tourism! 

This is an issue that has been demonstrated time and time again with regards to air transport. Many budget airlines have started up new routes where they fly into destinations that had previously had little business from tourism. This encourages the growth of tourism in the area and it is common for new businesses to open up and to be successful. Should the airline feel that said route, however, is no longer profitable, they will simply remove the route from their operations. This has been known to decimate the tourism industry of an area, which can have devastating impacts on the local economy and livelihoods of local people. 

This is an area where destination organisations can take a lead by ensuring transport is integrated into destination management planning. More can also be done to ensure that individual attractions and organisations that operate a number of sites develop travel plans and provide options to reach them by public transport.

Tourism helps support transport services and infrastructure across the country. Without tourism many areas of England would be likely to lose many of the public transport services that are currently provided and benefit residents as well as visitors.

Benefits particularly apply to remote communities with low population thresholds and in rural areas throughout the country. However, even in popular destinations such as seaside resorts or in the densely populated South East, the transport infrastructure that serves visitors provides benefits to local residents as well.

All in all, it is important to understand the relationship between transport and tourism and the benefits that tourism brings to the economy. One cannot be successful without the other!

4 Comments
  1. Lucille J. Croft

    Compared to some of our European competitors such as Switzerland, England has a lack of transport integration. Thanks

    Reply
  2. Maki Oryoji

    It is a relationship like a wife & a husband.

    Reply
  3. Afton Jackson

    I like that you mentioned how important transportation and tourism must coexist. My wife and I plan to have a vacation in Florida. We would like a transportation expert to hand us tips on Port Canaveral transportation and their fees on tours.

    Reply
  4. Ketty James

    Interesting Information about the tourism and transport. In these hard times of covid we really need to focus on tourism.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Different levels of tourism policy and planning | Lifeasabutterfly - […] Transportation facilities and services […]
  2. The Beginner’s Guide to Train Travel in Europe - Sophie's Suitcase - […] READ MORE: What is the relationship between transport and tourism? […]
  3. What is 'begpacking' and why is it so bad? | Lifeasabutterfly - […] You might also be interested in my post ‘What is the relationship between transport and tourism?‘ […]
  4. How the EU four freedoms affect travel and tourism | Lifeasabutterfly - […] Ever wondered how the EU four freedoms affect travel and tourism? Whilst this is an area of ongoing debate…
  5. How transport impacts the environment | Lifeasabutterfly - […] is an essential part of the economy and the growth of the UK. There is also a strong relationship…
  6. What is the cost of the third runway at LHR to the taxpayer? | Lifeasabutterfly - […] arguments made in the name of political gain (or otherwise), environmental concerns, the relationship between transport and tourism and…
  7. Benefits And Limitations Of Privatisation In The Transport Industry | Lifeasabutterfly - […] UK. It is also a very important part of the tourism industry, as I explained in this post- ‘The…
  8. What Is The History Of Aviation? | Lifeasabutterfly - […] You might also be interested in my post ‘What is the relationship between transport and tourism?‘  […]
  9. Benefits And Limitations Of Privatisation In The Transport Industry - Tourism Teacher - […] UK. It is also a very important part of the tourism industry, as I explained in this post- ‘The…
  10. What is the cost of the third runway at LHR to the taxpayer? - Tourism Teacher - […] arguments made in the name of political gain (or otherwise), environmental concerns, the relationship between transport and tourism and…
  11. Stakeholders in tourism: Who are they and why do they matter? - Tourism Teacher - […] There is a strong relationship between transport and tourism. […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ABOUT

Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

Follow Me

LATEST POSTS

Ethical tourism: Everything you need to know

Ethical tourism is on everyone's mind these days. Over the past decade or two, people have become far more conscious of their actions. Whether it's by turning off the lights when we leave the room, recycling our empty cereal box, not riding elephants in Thailand or...

Lets climb Mount Toubkal: A complete guide

Are you wondering if you should climb Mount Toubkal? Climbing Mount Toubkal isn't on everyone's travel itinerary who visits Morocco. But if you are the adventurous type and you like to get off the beaten track, then this mountain climb is absolutely for you! Climbing...

Mount Kilimanjaro packing list FOR GIRLS

Finding a Mount Kilimanjaro packing list for girls can be tricky. There are sooo many packing lists out there, but all too many of these lists have unnecessary items. Seriously, do you really want to be lugging teddy bears and potties up the highest mountain in...

9 fascinating Running of the Bulls facts

The Running of the Bulls festival is a unique and somewhat controversial festival that takes place each year in Pamplona, Spain. With its long history and worldwide fame, learning about this festival is simply fascinating! In this article I share with you my 9...

What is a motel? | Understanding tourism

What is a motel? Well, if you are from the USA then you probably know the answer to this question, because the USA has lots of motels! However, if you reside elsewhere in the world, you may not be so familiar with the concept. So, in this article I will tell you all...

The history of the hotel industry | Understanding tourism

The history of the hotel industry is a long one. Dating back to ancient times, hotels have played a key role in the growth of the tourism industry. But hoe has the hotel industry changed over the years? In this article I will provide you with a brief history of the...