Slow Travel and Tourism
Routledge – 2010 – 240 pages
It is widely recognized that travel and tourism can have a high environmental impact and make a major contribution to climate change. It is therefore vital that ways to reduce these impacts are developed and implemented. 'Slow travel' provides such a concept, drawing on ideas from the 'slow food' movement with a concern for locality, ecology and quality of life. The aim of this book is to define slow travel and to discuss how some underlining values are likely to pervade new forms of sustainable development. It also aims to provide insights into the travel experience; these are explored in several chapters which bring new knowledge about sustainable transport tourism from across the world. In order to do this the book explores the concept of slow travel and sets out its core ingredients, comparing it with related frameworks such as low-carbon tourism and sustainable tourism development. The authors explain slow travel as holiday travel where air and car transport is rejected in favour of more environmentally benign forms of overland transport, which generally take much longer and become incorporated as part of the holiday experience. The book critically examines the key trends in tourism transport and recent climate change debates, setting out the main issues facing tourism planners. It reviews the potential for new consumption patterns, as well as current business models that facilitate hyper-mobility. This provides a cutting edge critique of the 'upstream' drivers to unsustainable tourism. Finally, the authors illustrate their approach through a series of case studies from around the world, featuring travel by train, bus, cycling and walking. Examples are drawn from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Cases include the Eurostar train (as an alternative to air travel), walking in the Appalachian Trail (US), the Euro-Velo network of long-distance cycling routes, canoe tours on the Gudena River in Denmark, sea kayaking in British Columbia (Canada) and the Oz Bus Europe to Australia.
'Ironically, you might think, I'm a great advocate of Slow Travel. There is a misconception that 'seeing the world' requires us all to travel further and faster. And I've probably contributed to it, with a series of television programmes that have largely depended on visiting distant lands. Nevertheless, I would suggest that our practice when we are in another country is sympathetic to the philosophy of Slow Travel.' Michael Palin 'This timely and important book, written by two of the leading experts in this emerging discipline, starts with the observation that slow travel creates time whereas normal travel tries to save time by speeding up. Lumsdon and Dickinson reconnoitre new terrain for both scientists and practitioners in tourism thinking. What is needed is a cultural revolution and this book provides many exciting insights to accommodate this paradigm switch. Read it and be inspired, changed and given more time!' Paul Peeters, Associate Professor NHTV University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands 'Slow Travel and Tourism will be of interest to all those interested in improving the sustainability of tourism and enhancing tourist experience. It is a very well researched book that provides detailed information on tourism transport and mobilities.' Susanne Becken, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University, New Zealand 'Slow Tourism shows clearly that the 'faster & further' characterizing current tourism development is a dead end. Instead, it provides us with a blueprint for a tourism system that considers environmental limits and long-term sustainability. Required reading for anyone stuck in the outdated logic of growth at any cost, as well as those looking for inspiration for innovation.' Stefan G?ssling, Professor of Tourism, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University 'Slow travel belongs to a wider international discourse covering slow food, slow consumption and slow time. This book is an updated and inspiring contribution to this discourse, scientifically solid but still inspiring to read. As emphasised slow travel is a necessary consequence of a development towards a low carbon future. With a lot of empirical cases from various transport systems, the book gives an in-depth exploration on how slow travel could, and should affect future tourism development.' Karl Georg H?yer, Professsor, Oslo University College 'Ironically, you might think, I'm a great advocate of Slow Travel. There is a misconception that 'seeing the world' requires us all to travel further and faster. And I've probably contributed to it, with a series of television programmes that have largely depended on visiting distant lands. Nevertheless, I would suggest that our practice when we are in another country is sympathetic to the philosophy of Slow Travel. We depend very much for our material on meeting local people and reflecting their environment and learning how they live, rather than just seeing them as a product. We prefer to take the path less travelled, and as far as possible move at the pace of the local people, eating their food, listening to their music and generally taking time to learn from them rather than the other way round. When it comes down to it I don't need to travel abroad for excitement. The world is all around me, wherever I am. I don't have to be taken to it. Within walking distance of my house I can, if I keep my eyes and ears open, find all kinds of interesting, unusual and memorable sights, sounds and experiences. In this madly rushing world it's well worth pausing to investigate travel that doesn't need crowded airports or crowded trains, or small change for the parking meter or a cold wait at a bus stop. Learn the history of your street, or why your town or village is where it is and why it looks like it is, and what the names around you mean. Let knowledge stimulate your imagination. Don't expect a tour operator or a travel agent to do everything for you. Think for yourself. The benefits are that you learn more and for much for less consumption. By all means go to Barbados if you want to, but make sure it's not so much of a rush that you experience little more than you might at Bournemouth on a good day. If you're going to Barbados make the most of it. Live there for a year or two. I like to walk whenever possible and I like to listen to and see what's happening around me. And I feel much more in control of my life if I do. So put away your mobile phones and headsets and all those things that cut you off from the world and look around as soon as you leave your front door. You might well be amazed.' Michael Palin
1. The Emergence of Slow Travel 2. The Impacts of Transport for Tourism 3. Tourism, Transport and Environment: Theoretical Perspectives 4. Slow Travel - The Ingredients 5. Train Tourism 6. Walking and Tourism 7. Cycling and Tourism 8. Bus and Coach Tourism 9. Water-Based Travel 10. The Future of Slow Travel References Index
Janet Dickinson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Services Management, Bournemouth University, UK. Her research interests include the social construction of sustainable tourism and transport. Les Lumsdon is Professor of Tourism in the School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors, University of Central Lancashire, UK. He is director of the Institute of Transport and Tourism and co-editor of Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development.