Chapter 15: Tourist Transport on Land
Question 1: In what ways are the railways changing to offer greater appeal as a mode of transport for tourists?
Answer Guide: The expanded provision of online booking systems will make purchasing easier (for example, the Trainline is an international company, listing routes and selling tickets for train and coach travel in 45 countries). The expansion of high-speed networks means train travel can compete with airlines in terms of city-centre to city-centre journey times. Increased comfort and access to Wi-Fi and power sockets can add appeal to those wanting to use computers/tablets, etc., while on the move.
Frequent services exist, so the departure time can be more selective.
Question 2: What factors are influencing the demand for different forms of car hire today?
Answer Guide: As we see more travellers booking their own flights instead of booking holiday packages, so we see a level of independence that also means people are more likely to make their own transport arrangements once at a destination.
The major car rental companies (such as Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, etc.) are seeing competition from new entrants to the market, including those focused on proving ‘green energy’ vehicles. To compete, these larger companies have introduced budget brands (Interent, Keddy, etc.).
Demand for car hire is being affected by the sharing economy, as tourists can use the likes of Uber and Zip Car to access transport as and when needed. Platforms have also been developed to encourage ride sharing, with BlaBla car operating in this sphere.
Question 3: To what extent is the development of electric bicycles likely to change cycle tourism in the future?
Answer Guide: Electric bikes might encourage those less fit to consider cycling when on holiday and to encourage greater distances to be covered by those taking to their bikes. It has also become more common for electric bikes to be offered when considering guided cycle tours of towns and cities. However, it is unlikely to convert vast numbers that have little interest in the first place.