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Air Transport – A Tourism Perspective

Air Transport – A Tourism Perspective

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Air Transport – A Tourism Perspective

823 Seiten
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Feb 11, 2019


Air Transport: A Tourism Perspective provides rigorous insights into the current complexities, synergies and conflicts within air transportation and tourism, presenting a balanced, comprehensive, contemporary, and global analysis that thoroughly examines the links between theory and practice. The book offers readers a multi-sector, global perspective on the practical implications of the link between air transport and tourism. By using a novel approach, it systematically explores the successive stages of a tourist's trip—investigating reasons for flying, the airport experience, airline industry structures, competition and regulation, and air transportation and destination interrelationships.

In addition, the book explores current and salient debates on such issues as the influence of traveling to visit friends and family, the role of charters versus low cost carriers, public subsidies to support airport development, and much more.

  • Presents insights from an international team of expert contributors with proven research and publication experience in their specialty area
  • Includes cutting-edge analyses based on original research that identifies emerging research directions and policy and managerial implications
  • Utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to fully explore theoretical and policy concepts and their effect on air transportation and tourism development
  • Provides case studies from around the globe in each chapter
Feb 11, 2019

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Air Transport – A Tourism Perspective - Elsevier Science


Chapter 1


Anne Graham*; Frédéric Dobruszkes†    * University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom

† Free University of Brussels (ULB), Brussels, Belgium

Chapter Outline


1.2Key Sources of Literature

1.3Establishing Common Definitions

1.4Structure of the Book

1.4.1Part I: The Rationale for Flying

1.4.2Part II: Before Travelling—Choosing Transport Modes, Airlines and Airports

1.4.3Part III: On the Go—Accessing Airports and the Airline and Airport Experience

1.4.4Part IV: Reaching the Destination and Attractions


1.1 Introduction

This book provides a comprehensive, contemporary, and global analysis of the role of air transport for today’s tourists. Long-haul tourists have very little choice but to travel by air (or go elsewhere), but air transport is an increasingly important mode for short-haul tourists as well, being encouraged by a more competitive airline industry and evolving airline business models. However, the relationship between air transport and tourism is complex and works both ways, with good air accessibility being a fundamental condition for the development of many tourist destinations, at the same time as the growth of tourism demand is essential for the well-being of many airlines and airports.

The book has a close fit within Elsevier’s Contemporary Issues in Air Transport series as it is multidisciplinary, with an international authorship and content, and it makes both a theoretical and empirical contribution to knowledge. It is aimed to appeal to academic and practitioner audiences of both the air transport and tourism sectors, and particularly to those who are seeking a more rigorous insight into the current day complexities, synergies, and potential conflicts present within the relationship between the two sectors. Moreover, the issues covered are generally not limited to certain geographic regions and so the book has a truly global approach which is enforced by having a range of contributors from many places in the world.

The book adopts a novel and original approach to addressing these issues by systematically exploring the successive stages of the tourist’s trip by investigating reasons for flying, then travelling decisions related to transport modes and airline/airport choice, then accessing airports and the airline/airport experience, and finally reaching the destination and attractions. This enables current and salient debates to be explored, for example, related to the underestimated influence of visiting friends and relatives (VFR) travel, the potential for self-connection, the influence of technology, the role of charters versus Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs), and public subsidies to support airport development, as well as many others. Cutting edge analysis is presented with future research directions, and policy and management implications, identified.

Therefore, the book has three key features to enable the acquisition of balanced and comprehensive knowledge of the role of air transport within tourism, and a thorough awareness of the links between theory and practice. These are as follows:

1.An analysis based on the successive stages of the tourist trip providing a full appreciation of all critical issues related to the air transport and tourism relationship.

2.A multidisciplinary (social sciences including geography and economics, planning, management, marketing) approach in order to fully appreciate the theoretical and policy concepts underpinning air transport and tourism development.

3.A multisector (airports, airlines, destination organisations, travel distributors) and global (developed countries, emerging markets) coverage to fully explore the practical implications of the linkages between air transport and tourism.

1.2 Key Sources of Literature

The separate published literature related to the air transport and tourism sectors is extensive. However, most air transport publications do not explore in any detail the specific characteristics of tourists and the tourism industry, whilst tourism publications tend to treat air transport as one of a number of industry sectors that need consideration. Although a few texts do investigate the general relationship between transport and tourism, there is limited focus on air transport, and none of these offer a totally up-to-date and critical view of relevant contemporary issues. A review later briefly discusses the key sources of literature related to the air transport and tourism relationship and in doing so demonstrates that there is no current publication that deals exclusively and comprehensively with the integral and contemporary role that air transport plays for today’s tourists. Hence this book is uniquely placed to fill this major gap.

One of the first insightful books related to the air transport and tourism relationship was jointly published by Routledge and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and was entitled Aviation and Tourism Policies: Balancing the Benefits (Wheatcroft, 1994). As the name suggests this only focused on policy issues, such as regulation, liberalisation, and protectionism, using an interesting case study approach with a novel analytical framework to evaluate the policies. A more recent unique comprehensive publication in this area is Aviation and Tourism: Implications for Leisure Travel, which in addition to considering industry and policies implications, pays attention to the broader external impacts and includes a number of case studies from different parts of the world (Graham et al., 2008). Overall, there is a greater range of tourism and general transport books (e.g. Lumsdon and Page, 2004; Duval, 2007; Page, 2009; Gross and Klemmer, 2014) but as stated before these only give limited coverage of air transport issues. In existence there is also the grey literature typically produced by government departments, industry organisations, or consultants that again touch on some aspects of the air transport and tourism relation. A notable example is the UNWTO’s Global Report on Aviation (UNWTO, 2012). In addition, it is noticeable that recent books focused on air transport geography or economics (Bowen, 2010; Goetz and Budd, 2014; Doganis, 2010) do not comprehensively discuss the relationships with tourism, even though the issue appears in a scattered way throughout the pages.

There is greater coverage of the air transport and tourism relationship within academic journals. A few authors have chosen to look quite generally at some key and salient issues (Bieger and Wittmer, 2006; Duval, 2013) or to assess the general causality between direct air services and tourism demand (Koo et al., 2017). A more specific popular theme for analysis, considering case studies from all over the world, is the impact of air policy, especially regulation and liberalisation, on tourism flows (Papatheodorou, 2002; Forsyth, 2006; Warnock-Smith and Morrell, 2008; Warnock-Smith and O’Connell, 2011; Dobruszkes and Mondou, 2013; Zhang and Findlay, 2014; Dobruszkes et al., 2016). This links to other related research that has looked at the role played by airline strategy, competition, and alliance strategy in tourism development (Morley, 2003; Lian and Denstadli, 2010; Liasidou, 2012: O’Connell and Warnock-Smith, 2012). Another common research area is the influence of LCCs on tourism demand (Castillo-Manzano et al., 2011; Rey et al., 2011; Tsui, 2017; Young and Whang, 2011; Farmaki and Papatheodorou, 2015; Whyte and Prideaux, 2008). Airport and destination development has also been considered in relation to tourism growth (Almeida, 2011; Lohmann et al., 2009; Halpern, 2008; Costa et al. 2010). Whilst none of these articles cover the extensive range of issues considered in one place by this book, they are an invaluable complementary resource for developing more in-depth specific knowledge. (For a more extensive literature review on air transport and tourism please, refer to Spasojevic et al., 2018.)

1.3 Establishing Common Definitions

Most modes of transport serve other markets as well as the tourism market. For example, many railways handle a high proportion of commuter traffic, whilst the private car gets used predominately for local journeys for pleasure (e.g. recreation, visiting friends) and necessity (e.g. work, food shopping). However, air travel is somewhat unique as it deals almost exclusively with the tourism market, that is, if freight demand is excluded, and if established international definitions of tourism are accepted. This is partly because the nature of air travel means that passengers have to be travelling outside their normal environment which is a prerequisite for these formal international definitions of tourism. In 2017, 55% of all global tourist arrivals were by air (UNWTO, 2018).

The UNWTO has recommendations on how ‘tourism’ should be defined for the purpose of the collection of statistics. From the demand side it has the following definitions (UNWTO, 2010, pp. 99–100):

•A traveller is someone who moves between different geographic locations, for any purpose and any duration.

•A visitor is a traveller taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure, or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited.

•A visitor is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise.

More specifically within the European Union (EU), Regulation (EU) 692/2011 established a common framework for the systematic development, production, and dissemination of European statistics on tourism with definitions in line with these internationally recommended guidelines with the exception of a few Europe specific situations. These definitions are thus used for Eurostat publications (Eurostat, 2014). Moreover, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also uses the same concepts in its reports (e.g. OECD, 2018).

In reality, within the ‘tourism’ sector, although such definitions have been well established for a number of years, they are not always universally applied and so this can produce inconsistencies and confusion when tourism data is analysed. Moreover, the air transport sector and the public at large tend to equate tourism with just personal travel, excluding business trips. In this book, the broader definition is generally accepted whenever possible (i.e. both personal and business demand = tourism demand) and the text aims to make it explicitly clear when just one type of tourism is being considered. However, given the very significant differences in the characteristics and needs of personal and business travellers, the overriding focus of this book is intentionally and undoubtedly personal tourism. Other texts, such as Beaverstock et al. (2010), deal with business tourism.

In addition, the difference in approach to data gathering within the two sectors, in spite of their close relationship, presents significant challenges when measuring and comparing demand. Air transport tends to use passengers or passenger-kilometres but often it is not possible to identify true origin and destination of travel or purpose. By contrast tourism demand is usually measured by looking at tourist numbers/arrivals, tourist-nights, or tourism expenditure but again this is not always split by purpose. So very often both the air transport and tourist data will not be at a sufficient level of disaggregation to consider personal air tourism specifically but in most cases it is this type of tourism that will dominate.

A further complication is in how the non-business or personal tourism is defined. UNWTO (2010) subdivides personal tourism into a number of different categories:

•Holidays, leisure, and recreation

•Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

•Education and training

•Health and medical care





Again, from a practical context, there tends to be inconsistencies in how such personal tourism is defined. Often two major categories will be used, namely, business and leisure, with leisure including all ‘personal’ categories listed before (Stock and Duhamel, 2005). Another popular alternative is when there are three main categories, namely, business, leisure, and VFR. Indeed, there are frequent debates as to whether VFR should come under the heading of leisure as, on the one hand, it usually involves an element of pleasure and may well be discretionary travel, whilst on the other hand, it may also be considered as some kind of obligatory travel, with this necessity element, arguably to some extent, making it more akin to business tourism. Globally using the UNWTO definitions in 2017, business and professional purposes accounted for 13% of trips; whereas leisure, recreation, and holidays accounted for 53%; VFR, health, religion, and other (27%); and not specified 7% (UNWTO, 2018). For each destination, however, these shares may vary considerably. Within this book since there is no consistent approach, a more flexible view has been adopted. In some cases, leisure tourism is assumed to be the same as personal tourism, whereas elsewhere a narrower definition has been used, particularly with VFR being considered separately. Again, whenever possible this is made explicit in the text.

All these divergences in understanding what is meant by ‘tourism’ of course complicates research and the dialogue between disciplines as well as between stakeholders. It is worth noting that the use of well-established, but broader (and thus vaguer), definitions, may be unintentional and only due to gaps in sources. But in other cases, it can be part of a strategy aimed at inflating the weight of tourism so politicians can capitalise on the alleged success of their policies (Dobruszkes et al., 2016).

Moving on to supply-side definitions, similarly there are some disparities in how the tourism industry is viewed. UNWTO (2010) states that it includes the following:

•Accommodation for visitors

•Food and beverage serving activities

•Railway passenger transport

•Road passenger transport

•Water passenger transport

•Air passenger transport

•Transport equipment rental

•Travel agencies and other reservation services activities

•Cultural activities

•Sports and recreational activities

•Retail trade of country-specific tourism

•Other country-specific tourism activities

Therefore, from a tourism viewpoint the tourist industry is said to include transport. By contrast the air transport sector, and to a certain extent the public at large, consider this somewhat differently with typically the tourism industry being associated with what goes on at the destination, and with transport being related to getting to and from the destination. This matches up with tourism expenditure data that usually only includes spending at the destination. Moreover, from a public sector viewpoint very often within government bodies and agencies there will be different departments or ministries associated with tourism and transport which subsequently leads to separate and independent strategies and initiatives being developed. As a consequence this can lead to poorly coordinated and sometimes even conflicting polices being established—this tends to be one of the fundamental problems facing these industries. The approach in this book is primarily to consider these two sectors as different industries, but at the same time acknowledging the close relationship between the two, which by necessity is a dominant theme that runs throughout all chapters.

1.4 Structure of the Book

As identified before, the book is divided into four themes representing the different stages of the tourist’s journey. The chapters have been written by an international team of expert contributors, all with a proven experience of research and publication in their specialist areas. The exact mix of contributors has been carefully chosen to create a good blend of representation from different backgrounds. The chapters offer cutting edge critical debates based on original research and/or literature reviews. A balance has been sought between issues related to theoretical concepts and practical implications. Some overlap between chapters has been inevitable and desirable to ensure that together they provide a coherent and linked assessment of key issues, but this has been kept to a minimum.

1.4.1 Part I: The Rationale for Flying (Chapters 2–4)

The first chapter (Chapter 2) in this part written by Claire Humphreys considers the realms of contemporary tourism, by discussing the characteristics of the market, as developed nations experience market maturity and emerging economies provide new destinations and markets in earlier phases of development. It looks at economic disruptions, technological innovations, and other pull and push factors that determine demand, such as shifting patterns of demographic and geographic change. It concludes with an examination of the contemporary issues that have shaped the operation of the tourism industry, driven in part by changing attitudes to environmental and social sustainability.

The next chapter (Chapter 3) jointly authored by Frédéric Dobruszkes, David Ramos-Pérez, and Jean-Michel Decroly looks at reasons for flying. The authors review flying purposes based on available evidence, mostly from national surveys that cover international trips. They put into perspective certain beliefs, including the alleged dominance of business air travel, and highlight how reasons for flying vary across places, according to attributes and over time (both long-term structural changes and seasonal patterns).

The final topic in this part (Chapter 4), written by Anne Graham and David Metz, discusses concepts related to limits to growth from a demand viewpoint. Using a UK case study, the influence of time and income constraints in relation to both frequent and infrequent flyers is considered and evidence of demand maturity is investigated for a few specific UK markets. It is concluded that standard models of demand for air travel or tourism do not adequately reflect factors contributing to market maturity and the nature of frequent and infrequent flyers, and more understanding of such concepts is needed.

1.4.2 Part II: Before Travelling—Choosing Transport Modes, Airlines and Airports (Chapters 5–11)

This part begins with Chapter 5, authored by David Timothy Duval, and considers the impact of government policy and regulation. It does this by bringing together two broad themes with respect to the intersection of tourism and air transport. It first revisits the key characteristics of the relationship, including the influence of specific variables and elements, and finds that the arrangement of, and connectivity generated by, the international (and national) air transport system, can have a profound influence on the structure and scope of tourism. The second is consideration of the wider policy environment in which both coexist, suggesting that such a coexistence ultimately reveals government-sanctioned ‘arranged mobility’.

The focus of the next chapter (Chapter 6), written by Daniel Albalate Del Sol and Xavier Fageda Sanjuan, then shifts to intermodal competition and tourism, by considering the important case of Spain. Empirical evidence shows the potentially detrimental effects that high-speed rail services may have on tourism demand, and in particular the negative net effect on domestic tourism because they lead to a substantial reduction of air transport in domestic flights that cannot be compensated for by rail services. Thus, the chapter concludes that diversifying the transport supply does not always imply better tourism outcomes, and intermodal competition must be considered when evaluating new transport

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