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Investigation of Travel Behaviour of Visitors to Scotland

Thompson, K.J. and Ferguson, N.S. (2007) Investigation of Travel Behaviour of Visitors to Scotland. Other. Scottish Executive, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Abstract

Tourism in Scotland is both an important and extensive land use and a major contributor to Gross Domestic Product. In 2005, it is estimated that Scotland received around 10.5 million visitors from outside Scotland. Just over 76% of the visits originated in the rest of the United Kingdom, with the remainder having an international origin. Tourism relies heavily on passenger transport both to access the destination, but also to travel around within it. However, there has been a lack of attention to the internal accessibility of Scotland from the visitor perspective. Whilst some attempts have been suggested and prioritised for facilitating tourists' travel around Scotland, such efforts are mainly undertaken by tourism organisations throughout Scotland, whose ultimate power to enable changes to transport systems is largely limited to lobbying. Moreover, without a clear picture of how accessible Scotland is internally as a destination, or of the transport demands of visitors in terms of internal accessibility, any measures taken to enhance visitor transportation remain largely uninformed. How tourists travel around Scotland, the extent to which they are reliant on public transport and the importance of existing transport provision in their travel behaviour and experience of the destination, including the areas they ultimately visit, merits further clarification. To this end, this study was commissioned by the Transport Department of The Scottish Executive to provide an overview of existing research into the travel behaviour of visitors to Scotland. The principal aim of the study was to review and collate existing sources of information on the use of transport by those visiting Scotland for leisure, recreation and business purposes. In conjunction with the objectives of the Scottish Executive, a thorough review of the literature and secondary data sources pertaining to the use of transport by visitors to Scotland for leisure, tourism and business purposes was conducted.