Where everyday mobility meets tourism : an age-friendly perspective on cycling in the Netherlands and the UK

den Hoed, Wilbert (2019) Where everyday mobility meets tourism : an age-friendly perspective on cycling in the Netherlands and the UK. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. ISSN 0966-9582

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    Abstract

    Tourism is traditionally presented as an escape from daily life and located at places we do not normally visit. Against a backdrop of problematic pressures on (urban) tourist centres and mobility systems, some scholars have explored the possibility of tourism nearer the home. Such locations, however, are often perceived too mundane or are not sufficiently equipped as tourist destinations. In addition, the study of tourist experiences is often dominated by motorised transport, and with limited consideration of older age groups. This paper combines different strands of literature to consider the role of active mobility among older people and its contribution to age-friendliness and more proximate forms of tourism. Two case studies in the contrasting mobility contexts of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom show how everyday mobility contains implicit and explicit tourism elements. Commutes, local visits, and active travel itself may act as springboards for tourism close(r) to home. Using biographical and mobile methods, this paper shows how local tourism roots in individual lifecourses, depends on the transport environment, and supports social and physical well-being. The findings provide much-needed empirical insight in the convergence of tourism and everyday mobilities, and underline the growing importance of slower and more age-friendly approaches to tourism.