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The Role of Transportation in the Development of Tourism Essay


Introduction

The growth and development of tourism depends on transportation to a great extent. Although transportation and tourism development are, nevertheless, this paper has tried to demonstrate that the relationship between these two issues is somewhat controversial owing to the many schools of thought that are available.

Nevertheless, new technologies in transportation has greatly improved tourism sector. The development of these newer technologies has come about because there is a growing demand for newer, faster and more efficient modes of travel.

Development in transportation impacts on the mobility of individuals, not to mention that it influences their demand and motivation (Duval 2007).

On the other hand, transportation may also impact negatively on tourism development owing to the issues of pollution, destruction of the environment and wildlife, and congestion. The paper attempts to examine the role of transportation in tourism development.

Role of Transport in Tourism Development

The role played by transportation in tourism development remains controversial mainly because there are various schools of thoughts regarding its role in comparison with development.

Some schools of thought have for example sought to categorize the role of transportation in tourism into negative, positive, and neutral. With regard to the positive perspective, transportation is seen as a key driver of the tourism industry.

On the other hand, the neutral perspective holds that transportation facilities may not yield productive tourism activities on their own.

In contrast, the negative point of view seeks to examine circumstances under which transportation might lead to an in the spread of disease, increased migration, or a reduction in per capita income levels (Musa & Ndawayo 2011).

Many scholars have expressed conflicting views on the issue of the role of transportation in tourism development, but most of them prescribe to the base structure described above.

Nevertheless, there is compelling evidence to support the claim that transportation plays a crucial role in the development of the tourism industry in any given economy.

At the same time, there are many common interests shared by both the transportation and tourism sectors. As such, the two sectors appear to be somewhat interdependent (Musa & Ndawayo 2011).

As the tourism industry expands, this interdependence begins to become more apparent, not least because the sector plays a key role in the economic development of a country.

A lot of scholars contend that the infrastructure base of any nation acts as a determining factor of how attractive tourist destinations in such a country are. With regard to specific transport infrastructure, charged with the responsibility of offering vital transportation services, we can rightly assume that transportation plays a key role in this respect.

In their work, Khadarooa and Seetanahb (2008) have identified the role played by transportation network in the growth of a country’s tourism sector. They see transportation network as a vital ingredient for the successful development of the tourism sector.

The authors have further noted that transport is a key component in our quest to create and develop successful new tourist attractions sites.

Transportation is also important in terms of promoting the growth and development of existing tourist destinations. It is important to note that by providing ideal transportation services to hitherto dead centers for tourist attraction, we are likely to transform them into active and successful; tourist destinations and in the process, we could end up witnessing multitudes of people paying visits to such sites every year.

Prideaux (2000) has also recognized the role played by transpiration infrastructure in tourism development. Even as many authors have recognized the importance of efficient transport as a prerequisite for the successful implementation of a tourism development program, there is not much work that has been carried out to explore the role played by transportation in tourism development.

Only a limited number of researchers have dedicated their research to studying the impact of transportation on tourism development.

Majority of the tourism studies appear to define the link between tourism and transport with regard to the issuer of accessibility. In this case, transport acts as a link between on the one hand, tourist destination centers and on the other hand, tourist generating centers.

A number of authors have explored the historical background of tourism within the context of how different modes of transportation have been developed over the years.

Others have deemed it necessary to view transportation from an interdisciplinary approach, in which case it acts as one among several elements which when combined forms the tourism system (Palhares 2003, p. 405).

A number of researchers have also developed and tested various models of tourism flows, although the role of transportation has been quite limited.

We also have other scholars who views transportation form the geographical context and examine the flow of tourists between rural and metropolitan destinations.

Tourism involves a lot of travelling and in this case, transportation links tourists with different tourist destinations, in addition to ferrying goods and services.

As such, transportation plays a crucial role in tourism development. In a bid to demonstrate that tourism and transportation are interconnected, we need to realize that once transportation in a given tourism region has been improved, we end up expanding tourism in such a region.

We have a number of scholars who view transportation as part of the larger tourism system which plays a key role in ensuring that tourists get to the desired destinations.

This means that transportation is seen as only a means to enable such tourists to get to the desired tourist destination and once they are finished with their expeditions, they are ferried back to their place of residence.

According to Page and Lumsdon (2004), the system of transport available at a given tourist destination affects the experience of tourists, and this may perhaps explain the manner in which people decide to travel, as well as their choice of holiday destinations, types of holiday, and mode of transport.

The development of tourist destination relies heavily on transport networks. This is the case especially with regard to the issues of connectivity and accessibility (Duval 2007).

As such, the scope and pattern of tourism is eventually determined by the degree of connectivity and accessibility within a given transport network.

For example, the United States is a key market of tourist destinations in New Zealand. The host country has benefited from the non-stop and long-haul air services that the US provides.

In the same way, the United States operates nonstop air flights from key urban areas such as New York and Washington, D.C to the Caribbean, another tourist destination.

This is a clear indication that as the efficiency and availability of transportation increases, so does the number of tourists to a given destination.

Some tourist destinations have largely remained unpopular in the past simply because they could not be accessed easily as the transport infrastructure was either unavailable or very poorly developed (Sorupia 2005).

However, with improvements in transportation, coupled with reduced transportation costs, accessibility to such areas has increased dramatically. In the process, such areas have continued to attract a large number of tourists all year round.

It is important however to remember that the level of accessibility to tourism sites will differ depending on the state of the existing transport infrastructure, nature of the site, as well as how efficient the public transport system in use is.

Transportation could also impact negatively on tourism development. For example, it could pose a threat to the environment and consequently, hinder tourism development.

With regard to land transportation, both road and rail transport affects the habitat and by extension, the wildlife. This is because the two mode of transport traverse natural areas, in effect dividing hitherto contiguous areas.

In addition, emissions from air and road transport remain by far the most widespread sources of greenhouse gasses (Peters 2000).

Noise and air pollution in the form of engine noises from motor vehicles, planes, overhead cable carts, and constructions can all have negative ramifications on wildlife, thereby impacting negatively on the tourism sector.

Moreover, pollution also affects the natural habitat and may end up driving tourists away as the tourist destination in question is no longer attractive.

On the issue of access and modes of transport, it is important to note that both tourism and accessibility could be connected with the degradation levels of a given tourist destination.

Some of the matters arising from such an association include the impacts per capita, carrying, as well as visitor management. The way in which we are able to manage these issues is an indication of the mode of tourism that the community, the government, and the operator advocate for (Page & Lumsdon 2004).

Therefore, accessibility can ensure the success or failure of a destination. One school of thought regarding this argument is that with a lot of people are likely to frequent a given tourist destination as accessibility increases.

Consequently, the level of degradation increases, thereby affecting the state of natural resources. Another argument considers the ratio of host population to that of visits and the type and level of the impact created.

It is important to ensure that such a ratio is maintained at a level that the local community is comfortable with in order to avoid any emerging conflict on the issue of resources allocation.

As the number of tourist visiting a given tourist destination increases, we are likely to witness increased rail and road congestion, not to mention the rise of air, road and noise pollution levels.

In case the existing infrastructure is not sufficient to accommodate this increase, conflicts could emerge. Besides, an increase in the number of tourists would affect the environment and wildlife as well.

Conclusion

Although a lot of scholars have recognized the importance of efficient transport as a prerequisite for the successful implementation of a tourism development program, only a handful of studies have been dedicated to researching on the role of transportation in tourism development.

There is a controversy surrounding the role of transportation in tourism development as there are divergent schools of thought regarding the issue in question.

The schools of thought have sought to explore the positive, negative, and neutral role played by transportation in as far as tourism development is concerned.

Nonetheless, both the transportation and tourisms sectors share some common interest and for this reason, they are interdependent. Transportation affects the mobility of tourists, in addition to influencing their demand and motivation to visit a certain tourist destinations.

The successful development of new tourist destinations depends heavily on the accessibility and connectivity of the existing transport network.

Transportation is also important in terms of promoting the growth and development of existing tourist destinations. On the other hand, transportation leads to pollution, and this can affect both the wildlife and the natural habitat, thereby driving tourism away.

Also, improved transportation can result in massive migration, with a resultant increase in population and congested transport system. This may bring about conflict between the hosts and the tourists.

Reference List

Duval, D, 2007,Tourism and transport: modes, networks and flows, Channel View Publications, Bristol Khadarooa, J & Seetanahb, B, ‘The role of transport infrastructure in international tourism development: A gravity model approach’, Tourism Management, vol. 29, pp. 831–840.

Musa, I & Ndawayo, B,’ The role of transportation in the development of tourism in Nigeria’, An international multidisciplinary journal of tourism, vol. 6, no.1, pp. 297-305 Page, S & Lumsdon L, 2004, Tourism and transport: Issues and agenda for the new millennium, Elsevier, Boston.

Palhares, GL 2003, ‘The Role of Transport in Tourism Development: Nodal Functions and Management Practices’, Journal of Tourism Research, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 403–407.

Peters, D, 2000, A sustainable transport convention for the new Europe. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London.

Sorupia, E 2005, Rethinking the role of transportation in tourism,

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IvyPanda. (2019, December 8). The Role of Transportation in the Development of Tourism. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-transportation-in-the-development-of-tourism/

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References

IvyPanda. 2019. "The Role of Transportation in the Development of Tourism." December 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-transportation-in-the-development-of-tourism/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Role of Transportation in the Development of Tourism'. 8 December.

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