Tourism Travel Definition Essay

The tourism industry Essay

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Tourism is a major economic and social significant that has been recognized in both developed and developing countries. Tourism is the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence. The activities undertaken during their stay in these destinations by facilities are meant to cater the needs of the consumer. The act of traveling for pleasure is a luxury. Until recently only a restricted few had the time and money to travel. Increasing leisure, higher incomes and greatly enhanced mobility have combined to enable more people to partake in travel.
The concept of wide-scale travel away from home is a relatively new phenomenon. In the past few people enjoyed free time, and any was usually…show more content…

It is necessary to know what people consider a need so that we can discover how these can be fulfilled. These can include: physiological needs (ex. hunger, thirst, sleep...), safety needs (ex. freedom from threat of danger), love/social needs (ex. feeling of belonging, affection, friendship...), esteem needs (ex. self-respect, achievement, self confidence, reputation...), and self -actualization needs (ex. self-fulfillment and realizing one’s potential). People are motivated to travel t leave behind the personal or interpersonal problems of their environment and to obtain personal or interpersonal rewards. The personal rewards are mainly sense of competence, challenge, learning, exploration and relaxation. The interpersonal rewards surface from social interaction.
     There has probably never been a more exciting time for the study of tourism geography than the present. Both as an industry and as a social phenomenon, tourism is renowned for the speed and scale of change. But at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the challenges of change seem more daunting than ever. These are especially evident in terms of globalization, the new consumer, and the democratic challenge. Globalization represents the intensification of the linkages between places, which increasingly shape the global as well as being shaped by it. Above all it signifies the deepening of competition in the tourism industry, as both the reach of transnational

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1, INTRODUCTION
1.1. Travel & Tourism growth – an indicator for further development
1.2. Problems arising from Travel & Tourism growth and their urgency – definition of the research area

CHAPTER 2, METHODOLOGY

CHAPTER 3, MOBILITY, ITS DIMENSIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS (LITERATURE REVIEW).…
3.1. Perceptions of the relationship tourism - mobility
3.2. The environment as a cross-point of phenomena tourism - mobility
3.3. Congestion in the configuration tourism - mobility
3.4. The relationship tourism - mobility in the literature – a summary

CHAPTER 4, SIGNALS FROM THE REAL WORLD
4.1. Perceptions of the relationship tourism - mobility
4.2. The environment as a cross-point of phenomena tourism - mobility
4.3. Congestion in the configuration tourism - mobility
4.4. The relationship tourism - mobility in the real world – a summary

CHAPTER 5, DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX 1, TWO CLASSIFICATIONS OF TRAVELLERS

APPENDIX 2, TOP TWENTY TOURISM SPENDERS IN EUROPE

APPENDIX 3, CHANGES IN TOURISM (AFTER POON)

APPENDIX 4, THE WORLD’S BUSIEST AIRPORTS

APPENDIX 5, ROAD TRAFFIC MAP OF EUROPE

APPENDIX 6, AN EXAMPLE OF CAR-SHARING TARIFFS

APPENDIX 7, COMPARISON BETWEEN THE MOBILITY INTERPRETATIONS IN THE LITERATURE AND IN THE REAL WORLD

TABLES

Table 1.1, Chapter structure of the dissertation

Table 4.1, Lufthansa mobility concepts

Table 4.2, Rolls-Royce civil aero engine deliveries.

Table 4.3, Boeing commercial airplane deliveries

Table 5.1, International tourism between Eastern and Western Europe

FIGURES

Graph 1.1, Arrivals of tourists from abroad, 1950 – 1998

Graph 1.2, International tourist arrivals, 1989 – 1998.

Graph 1.3, Per cent change in global tourist arrivals over previous year, 1989 – 1998

Graph 1.4, International tourist arrivals on a regional basis, 1993 – 1997

Graph 1.5, Consumer spending on travel and tourism, WTTC’s forecasts 2006.

Graph 1.6, Capital Investment in travel and tourism, WTTC’s forecasts 2006

Graph 3.1, Current choice of transport mode in Europe by journey distance

Graph 4.1, Development of Car Sharing in Switzerland

Graph 5.1, Mobility in the context of tourism – areas of discussion (as presented in this dissertation).

Graph 5.2, A positioning map of the mobility concepts

Graph 5.3, Car traffic volume in the EU

Graph 5.4, Average annual distance travelled by car in the EU

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

1.1. Travel & Tourism growth – an indicator for further development

Tourism forecasts predict a continuation of the past and current growth trends of the industry also in the future. From a mobility perspective this means increased traveller flows. In the configuration of the tourism industry on a global scale Europe has one of the leading positions. However, does the growth mean sustainable development and is Europe ready to meet this growing travel mobility its tourism generates?

Tourism became mass activity at the beginning of the 1950’s. As such, it is a relatively young industry in comparison to traditional manufacturing branches of the economy. Following on from then it has been quickly expanding and showing a continuous trend of increase.

“Since the 1950s, in most European countries, tourism has become a mass phenomenon and is no longer the preserve of the wealthy few. The result has been a well known and persistent process whereby the wealthier tourists, reluctant to visit democratised, congested resorts, have constantly introduced new forms of tourism in increasingly secluded and often more remote locations.” (Bieber and Potier, 1993:284-285)

Graph 1.1, Arrivals of tourists from abroad, Graph 1.2, International tourist

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1999: 2 from WTO, 1999a: 2

As the statistical data of the World Tourism Organization, WTO (WTO, 1999:2) show there are two major periods with a rapid increase of tourist arrivals from abroad. The first spread over the early 1950s until the late 1970s. World-wide, it characterised itself with a stable and almost absolutely linear trend of continuous increase of the numbers of tourist arrivals. After a couple of years showing a slowing down growth tempo a second intensive period with the most significant increase of tourist travel world-wide started. The years from the second half of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s revealed tremendous growth trends that had previously remained unachieved (see Graph 1.1). Tourism and travel established themselves as one of the largest industries on a global scale (Sisman, 1998; WTTC, 1996). The WTO comments on tourism development during this second period of a significant growth pointing out

“the 5 per cent annual increase in international tourist arrivals worldwide between 1989 and 1993 demonstrates that the industry is remarkably resistant to economic fluctuations and other problems.” (WTO, 1999a: 2)

With the exception of 1991, the years of the late 1980s and the early 1990s maintained a high per cent change in global tourist arrivals over the respective previous year. As a rule, it was above 7%. After the achieved level of 8.5% in 1992 over 1991 the following years in mid and late 1990’s showed decreasing percentages of growth. In the second part of the 1990’s the growth slowed down remarkably (see Graph 1.2). The years 1997 and 1998 stabilised the arrivals growth rate at 2.4% (see Graph 1.3). At the same time, the industry remains highly optimistic about its future.

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Graph 1.3, Per cent change in global tourist arrivals over previous year, 1989 - 1998

Source: WTO, 1999a: 2

“Tourism on a global level, has shown continued growth, which is set to be maintained in the foreseeable future” (Sisman 1998: 38).

Tourism is about mobility and movements of people (Cole 1998). According to the WTO 625 million tourists travelled abroad in 1998. Thus, tourism has been defined as

“the industry which moves people from their place of residence to some temporary destination of interest to them, before returning them home. It follows that transport systems are integral to every tourism experience and expectations of travel satisfaction therefore form part of the decision to purchase tourism.” (Laws 1991: 118)

As it is obvious from this definition the transportation, along with the tourist destination, represents one of the essential elements of tourism industry (Davidson, 1993). The importance of the transportation for the tourism is threefold: as the means of travel between the chosen destination and the usual place of living; as the means of travelling around and within the destination; and as a main feature of a tourist trip that is the case, for example, with the cruises (Davidson, 1993). This explains why the terms tourism, travel and transport are very often used as synonyms or as interrelated and interdependent components of one and the same social and economic trend – the trend to continuously increasing mobility on a global scale.

The contribution of the different regions in the world to the increasing tourist travel mobility is highly unequal. The WTO’s data presented in Graph 1.4 below demonstrate that the region with the greatest number of international tourist arrivals is Europe (including three sub-regions with different tourist profiles – the European Union, EU; the rest of Western Europe, WE; and Central and Eastern Europe, C&EE). It outstrips by almost two thirds the level of international tourist arrivals achieved by the rest of the regions world-wide.

“By far, the region with the largest government funding for Travel & Tourism is the European Union … This is consistent with the European Union being the largest Travel & Tourism region in the world.” (WTTC, 1996: 24)

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Graph 1.4, International tourist arrivals on a regional basis, 1993 – 1997

Source: Produced using data from WTO, 1999: 4

The leading position of Europe is obvious also from an economic point of view. The WTTC stresses that taken on a regional basis

“the European Union is the largest producer of Travel & Tourism gross output in the world…” (WTTC, 1996: 17)

According to WTTC’s forecasts (see Graph 1.5) Europe is the only region in the world showing a real potential to achieve with estimated 13.29% a higher level of consumer spending on travel and tourism than the average estimates of 12.01% for the world as a whole. Europe is the only one that has been achieving significantly higher capital investment in travel and tourism in comparison to the other industry branches of the countries on the continent. It is expected that Europe will continue to have this leading position (see Graph 1.6).

Graph 1.5, Consumer spending on Graph 1.6, Capital Investment in

travel and tourism, WTTC’s travel and tourism, WTTC’s

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forecasts 2006 forecasts 2006

Source: Produced using data from WTTC, Source: Produced using data from

1996: 42 WTTC, 1996: 42

There are generally two processes from the last decade that bear out the leading role of Europe in the world tourism – the growing number of arrivals of tourists from other regions on the European tourism market (Bieber and Potier, 1993), and the rise of new forms of tourism (see Appendix 3). The bigger experience of the travellers gathered during the previous decades is now reflected in their increasing environmental and cultural awareness. They have become more discerning in the demand of tourist services and are nowadays looking for more flexible arrangements with a greater degree of independence while travelling – something that the mass tourism packages from the near past could not have offered (Kenward, 1999). In this meaning, tourism has become more individualised while keeping its mass characteristics. These processes are analysed as results from the need to address the problems created by mass tourism in the past and the accompanying rise of traveller numbers today whereby tourists are becoming increasingly sophisticated (Mowforth 1998).

“Tourists are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes and a fashion has developed for visiting European Cities, particularly those in Central and Eastern Europe” (Sisman, 1998: 49).

Beside the EU, in the last years a stronger attractiveness has also been achieving another European sub-region – C&EE. The Central and Eastern European economies in transition hold out a potential for becoming important new sources of tourists, as well as of destinations (Bieber and Potier, 1993).

These forecasts compared with the processes of deepening integration, as well as with the leading role of Europe as a generator of tremendous tourism travel come to show the trends of the mobility development of the region. Thus, the mode of transport preferred, chosen, and used by the travellers is not only a key component of the international travel and tourism demand on the European market but also an issue of mobility concepts. In this course, there is one major question that inevitably follows: what is the meaning of the increasing travel mobility for Europe?

Mobility in the context of the beginning of the third Millennium has become a symbol of the contemporary civilisation.

“To own a car has been a lifelong dream for most of us and an unmatched blessing. Its speed, reliability and ready availability, undreamed of in the past, give us a mobility and freedom now taken for granted.” (Lord Hanson, in Bamford, 1998: 24)

Mobility nowadays means personal freedom, and social development. Dr. Frank Walle, Environmental Issues Commissioner for Lufthansa Group, summarises:

“Movement is part of our very existence. It means development. … In today’s global market, the daily flood of information and pictures of unknown worlds make us curious and appeal to our desire to experience these worlds personally – and so to travel.” (Dr. Frank Walle, in Lufthansa’s Environmental Report Balance 1998/99: 40)

1.2. Problems arising from Travel & Tourism growth and their urgency – definition of the research area

Tourism growth and the increasing mobility resulting from it has not only its positive meaning as it was discussed above, e.g. in economic terms as a gross output producer, or in geographic terms converting Europe into a global crossroads. The forecasts for growing travel flows and tourist movements have been revealing the danger for becoming a source of urgent and crucial problems for the economy, the society, and the environment – in other words, for the sustainable development.

“Around the world governments, industry and academia have undertaken research and implemented actions to ensure that travel does not impact adversely on the natural, human or built environment.” (http://www.wttc.org/sus_tourism.htm, 09.May 2000)

The situation is especially urgent in Europe, which is one of the geographically small tourist regions in the world and simultaneously the leading region in terms of tourism travel mobility. A major concern area that results from this peculiarity is the capacity crisis of the travel and transportation sector that many countries already face (Wandel and Ruijgrok, 1993). The capacity represents simultaneously a key competitive advantage for the providers of tourism and transportation services, as well as an initial limitation for their competitiveness on the market. Thus, congestion and environmental pollution are issues that outline the urgency of the problem for the sustainable development. Lewis points out:

“With Europe’s airspace and slots at hub airports becoming ever more restricted, the eventual winners in the competition between European airports are likely to be those hubs that can offer fast ground-level journey times as an alternative to connecting short-haul flights.” (Lewis 1996: 14)

Having in view the tourism growth and forecasts discussed in Part 1.1, the problem could be summarised in one key question:

Are the new mobility concepts from the academic and the real world able to impact the tourism growth in Europe?

This dissertation research is aimed at clarifying the different dimensions of this question that have been discussed on one hand in the literature, and on the other hand in the press, the organisations’ and the companies’ reports that are shortly called ‘the real world’. In this way it aims at introducing ‘mobility’ as a research area in the field of tourism and at contributing to its development in the context of tourism travel.

In order to achieve this aim several objectives will be pursued:

1. Collecting the most interesting recent mobility ideas in Europe. Finding out the similarities and the differences between the mobility perceptions and interpretations in the academic and in the real world;
2. Identifying the problems arisen, arising, or expected to arise as a consequence of increasing mobility;
3. Analysing the meaning of the mobility in the context of tourism travel;
4. Providing a discussion about the role of the new mobility processes for the future tourism travel growth in Europe. Outlining the key issues of the mobility in the context of tourism travel where a further research is essential.

Because of the nature of the problems that stretch in different academic fields, in different industries, and often in-between them, the next limitations of the scope of the present dissertation have to be done:

Scope:

1. The focus in this dissertation will be on the modes of transportation that have greatest importance for the travel from the point of view of tourism, i.e. for overcoming the spatial remoteness between travellers’ usual place of residence and living, and the places chosen by them for the purposes of their tourist experience. It will also be oriented to the problems of congestion and environmental pollution in transport sector, which can be referred to as quite strongly resulting from tourism growth. Because of the very restricted use of the water and rail transport for reaching and returning home from the respective tourist destination and the lesser sharpness of the outlined problematic in relation to them, the key attention will be oriented to both most significant and controversial modes of travelling – the air and the car transport.

2. This dissertation refers to travellers in general because regardless of whether the tourists undertake a journey for leisure, business, or private purposes, they need firstly to travel, i.e. to be mobile. Although there are different classifications for tourism, as well as for travellers and tourists, these are not of core importance for this dissertation research. However, for avoiding terminological complications and for achieving a higher clarity, two example classifications are presented in Appendix 1. Their purpose is to serve as orientation and supporting material for the reader rather than to be analysed in detail in the dissertation text.

3. The dissertation will focus only on Europe. The reasons are two: firstly, because of the differences in the geographical size and in the travel patterns between the various tourism regions that makes impossible the generalisations on a global basis. Secondly, because of the fact that Europe is the region exposed to the limitations of two factors opposite in their influence – the small geographic surface resulting in infrastructure and physical capacity constraints from one side, and the leading position in the world in terms of tourism travel mobility from other side. Thus, the mobility issues are especially urgent in Europe. The dissertation will be concentrated on Europe and mainly on some of the leading tourist-generating countries of the EU that to greatest extent determine the travel in and from this region, and to highest extent face the problems of the increasing mobility. These will be mainly the U.K. and Germany as examples of two EU-countries that generate very high tourism and travel flows (illustrated in Appendix 2) and that have quite different travel patterns. At the end, the research will be referred also to C&EE whose potential for tourism and travel has always been neglected by the western researchers – a tendency due in most cases to the lack of understanding of the Eastern European reality. For this reason the name “Europe” in the present dissertation does not mean the EU, nor the EU + WE, as it has been very often used. “Europe” means the whole continent, including the EU, the CE&E, and the rest of WE. In contradistinction to the WTTC’s regional groupings (WTTC, 1996/7: 48), the latter does not include Turkey because of its geographical location in Asia Minor.

In order to meet its objectives, the dissertation will have the chapter structure presented in Table 1.1 below:

Table 1.1, Chapter structure of the dissertation

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Tourism establishments have predicted that tourism shows a real potential for undertaking its growth trends also in the future. This implies growing travel mobility world-wide, as well as deepening environmental and congestion crisis, which the tourist travel initiates and to which it significantly contributes. In the circumstances of slowing down growth trends of tourist arrivals globally, it becomes arguably whether today’s travel patterns are synonymous to sustainable development and whether Europe would manage to maintain its increasing tourist mobility in the future while keeping its contemporary travel structures unchanged. In Europe the timely finding of a solution to these problems is especially urgent, also because of the fact that the region has a relatively small geographical size and simultaneously holds the leading position in the world in terms of tourism-related travel. The creation and implementation of new mobility concepts that have the scope for introducing new and more sustainable travel patterns is of central importance for the future of the European travel and tourism industry.

CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY

Due to the growth trends described in the previous chapter tourism and travel represents nowadays an area of increasing interest not only for the business but also for the academic circles. However, Veal (1996) remarks that the academic research in this economy branch has mainly arisen not from practitioners’ demands but from researchers’ own interests.

There is a tendency when undertaking tourism studies that tourism has been treated merely as a form of or even worse, as an equivalent to leisure (Przeclawski 1993). This not only considerably simplifies the issues concerned and arising from the development processes of the travel industry, but could also cause disregarding of important aspects of this economy sector described as a ‘social fact’ (Lanfant 1993). Thus, there is an insufficient understanding about the relations between tourism and travel on one hand, and the attitude and interpretation on the space on the other. Tourism and travel are seldom observed and investigated from the side of the spatial mobility, of which they are an element (Przeclawski 1993).

The fundamental aim for undertaking a research is to discover something unknown and thus, to develop and extend human knowledge (Veal 1996). A determining decision that should be made prior to conducting the actual research process represents the precise analysis of the horizons offered by various research approaches and the clear selection of those among them that are most appropriate for achieving results that reflect to greatest extent the objectives pursued.

The social sciences research is an analysis of the human world. That means to create an image of people’s existence remaining aware of reality and keeping the wishful manner of idealism wide away. Thus, the research on the mobility aspects of travel and tourism can be viewed as a specific philosophy (Przeclawski 1993). This is important in order to go out of traditional perceptions and prejudices about this industry.

There are different terminologies and classifications of the approaches applied when conducting a social science research that comprehends in its field also tourism and travel industry. The most widely accepted research types include several dichotomies: inductive - deductive, descriptive - explanatory, empirical - non-empirical, interpretive - positivist, experimental - non-experimental, primary - secondary, and qualitative - quantitative research (Veal 1996). Each classification brings within itself a component of a superficial and artificial limitation of the phenomena studied through dividing the various research works about one and the same issue into different groups according to a chosen criterion. So, it could be suggested that a research should be observed as a combination of features corresponding to several or even all of the academic categories just mentioned. It could be concluded that this interpretation does not represent a contradiction to the theoretical principles but furthermore a clear expression of the complexity of the investigation process and issues studied. In this way, it could be proposed that each research should be treated as unique in its nature and findings because even if the subject is the same, the answers, conclusions, and recommendations proposed by researchers independent in their approach are different.

Each academic field of study has different aims, methods, and social organisation. On the example of hospitality as an essential part of tourism Brookes et al. (1999) argue that when undertaking analysis the perspective should be not the single discipline but the ‘grouping’ of interrelated disciplines having an appropriate focus for investigating the particular problem. Thus, it can be suggested that each academic discipline opens new dimensions of knowledge.

The very complex nature of the phenomenon tourism has been calling the attention of various disciplines (Lanfant 1993; Przeclawski 1993; Veal 1996; Brookes et al. 1999). Among those showing an underlying concentration on it can be mentioned: sociology, geography, economics, (social) psychology, history, political sciences, ecology, biology, medicine, pedagogics, anthropology, marketing, law, architecture, and physical planning (Przeclawski 1993; Veal 1996). Some of them, such as economics, have been dealing with tourism for long time (Przeclawski 1993). Hence, they are considered as traditional in their research approach and techniques applied, and as forming an area of increasing importance (Veal 1996). Others are relatively young in their attempts to investigate travel and tourism industry from their particular disciplinary perspective. An example is sociology, which in its relationship to tourism cultivates effects valuable not only for itself but also discovers new aspects of mobility that have not been analysed by tourism, travel and transportation researches (Lanfant 1993; Przeclawski 1993).

This relates to another development aspect of the academic thought – the issue of mono-, multi-, and interdisciplinary research tools employed. Travel and tourism are a social area. There are contexts in the social sciences and in particular in travel and tourism that cannot assume the employment of analytical tools typical for the environment of a single discipline. This would be rather the case that is possible and relevant for the natural sciences. For example, the mono-disciplinary studies seem to provide quite restricted interpretations in the area of tourism policy formulation and implementation. Thus, they clearly determine the need to use research tools of other academic disciplines that can complement and extend the knowledge and the understanding achieved by the particular single one (Baum 1999). Quite often several disciplines have been pulled together into one research. It then carries the features of a multi-disciplinary study. This offers the opportunities for reaching a higher level of insight into the concerned thematic and for making multidimensional solutions with a broader application. Multidisciplinarity is not without problems, either. It can produce findings that appear to be compartmentalised and remaining separate as they are interpreted individually and independently by each researcher participating in the work (Brookes et al., 1999). Thus, the results have a high level of imprecision and complexity related to the data analysis (Baum 1999). While multidisciplinary research represents quite often merely a sum of diametrical and different opinions coming from different disciplines that makes the comparison difficult or superficial, it is believed that interdisciplinary studies are able to generate better outcomes when conducted appropriately within the social sciences to which the travel and tourism industry belongs. The interdisciplinary studies simultaneously take into consideration different aspects of the subject investigated, reaching in this way a higher degree of research concentration and of unification of the results (Przeclawski 1993, Brookes et al., 1999).

Tourism and travel start to be recognised as a multidisciplinary environment (Baum 1999a) that is increasingly exposed to international and intersectoral influences. There are new situations and processes appearing that need to be studied, explained, and understood from both conceptual and practical perspectives (Hampton 1999). In this way, the opportunities offered by multi- and especially by interdisciplinary constructed studies have started to be perceived as highly appropriate, recommended, and challenging (Przeclawski 1993, Brookes et al. 1999, Hampton 1999).

This dissertation represents an interdisciplinary work within the framework of social sciences. As such, it presents opinions of authors specialised in different disciplines: e.g. in transport economics and physical planning – Bamford (1998), Cole (1998), Eekhoff (1998), Eichenauer et al. (1988), Eser (1985), Heinze (1998), Kutter (1988), Menke (1988), Opaschowski (1999), Romeiß-Stracke (1998), Zuckermann and Britton (1994); in psychology – Flade (1997), Flade (1999), Flade and Kalwitzki (1994), Flade and Heine (1997), Kaiser et al. (1994), Praschl and Risser (1994); in sociology – Franz (1984), Lanfant (1993), Lanfant (1995), Barth (1998); in logistics – Wandel and Ruijgrok (1993), Mühlbacher et al. (1999); in geography – Graham (1995); in marketing – Laws (1991), Mühlbacher et al. (1999); and in tourism – Bieber and Potier (1993), Davidson (1993), Davidson (1998), Kenward and Whittington (1999), Laws (1991), Lundberg (1990), Mowforth and Munt (1998), Page (1999), Pearce and Butler (1993), Sisman (1998), Stabler (1999), Wanhill (1996). The dissertation concentrates on the meaning and content of mobility that has been created by tourism travel and its growth trends or that tourism contributes to. To make it possible to achieve the objectives set in regard to this topic, it is necessary that principles, concepts and ideas from various academic disciplines are applied and interrelated rather than to investigate each mobility aspect separately in the context of a single academic discipline – something that is a common practise and that makes the treatment of quite important sides of tourism growth and travel mobility development insufficient or biased. An example is the environmental impact of tourist movements.

Interdisciplinarity is relevant not only to quantitative but also to qualitative studies (Hampton 1999). The use of qualitative techniques appears to be highly pertinent as a complementary research tool when adopting a grounding approach that has been referred to by some authors as an interpretive one and opposite to the traditional positivist approaches. Its application is recommended when beginning an initial investigation into a new problem area for tourism where previous research is limited (Veal 1996, Hampton 1999). The analysis of mobility from the perspective of tourism and travel industry and in an interdisciplinary light makes it quite a new research subject where not too much has been written. As Veal (1996) emphasises, the two techniques, qualitative and quantitative, complement each other and the quantitative research becomes reasonable and possible only on the basis of an initial qualitative work. Thus, the present work is a qualitative analysis underpinning key trends, processes, concepts, ideas, and the combinations and configurations between them, in order that a future precise quantitative analysis becomes possible. Hampton (1999) emphasises the great value of qualitative interpretations when a need has arisen for identification and explanation of new and complex situations, for development of tourism internationalisation, as well as for evaluating the social and technological changes it is exposed to. Thus, Hampton stresses the credibility of the rigorously analysed qualitative information and its particular importance for tourism that being a global dynamic and developing industry cannot be investigated and understood thoroughly in many of its aspects without the involvement of a good quality research (Hampton 1999).

The interdisciplinary approach suggests identification of similarities and differences from different contexts (Brotherton 1999a). The dissertation’s research interest about mobility in a tourism travel context is to oppose signals from the literature and from the real world. Hence, the need for making a comparison between them proves to be apparent and imperative as the last two represent different information sources underpinning one and the same fact – the interdependence characterising the contemporary world. The integration of comparison in the qualitative analysis of this dissertation proves itself as one of the best ways for exploring the leading features and characteristics of new processes. In this way it can contribute to a better development of the knowledge base of tourism and to strengthening the theoretical insight into these recent processes in Europe. As Brotherton (1999a) summarises, this contribution to knowledge can be achieved by exploring the nature of generalities and particularities.

The role of the comparative element in the qualitative research is leading as the contextual factors that determine the features of the studied new mobility concepts and processes are recognised to be of great importance. As Brotherton (1999a) stresses, all research embodies comparisons of various types and at certain levels but that does not make each study automatically a comparative work. To be classified as such, the overall aim should be explicitly comparative in its nature whereby sufficient attention has been given to the contextual factors (Brotherton 1999a) in order that the results from the comparative study are unbiased and correct. This dissertation takes into consideration the description of the presented cases and examples, so that the explanatory element and the findings of the qualitative work achieve high credibility. As the analysed mobility processes and concepts have been developing in Europe mainly for the last several years, the longitudinal element will be out of the research area. The role of the time at this initial stage of new mobility developments can be neglected without this to harm the results. The focus will be to examine differences in the perceptions, ideas, and concepts on these processes across different spatial contexts. Hence, this dissertation carries the features of what Brotherton (1999a) describes as a predominantly cross-sectional comparative study. Not only the meaning of the general concept ‘mobility’ from different disciplinary and practical perspectives is presented but also its interdependent place between different economy branches and different countries.

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