THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Transportation has been an integral part of the tourism industry; transportation links tourists with various tourist attractions. There is a general agreement that tourism expands more when there are better transportation systems. In many part of the world tourism had been underperforming compared to the natural heritage the country is endowed with. One of the things mentioned as the reason for under performance is poor transportation systems. Transportation needs for tourism promotion and tourism development among others, to be maintenance of the existing roads, construction of more roads/rail track/sea and air transportation, and construction of local airports and enhancement of local flight operations. And established that the level of security and safety in transportation systems is not bad though transportation costs are considered high by tourists. Tourism development could be even bigger if more could be done in various elements of transportation systems. It is an important for all its stakeholders to take part to develop tourism in their regions. (The government, and other stakeholders of tourism).
Tourism sector is one of the main important sectors of the economy. Many countries take advantage of covering the budget deficit with the help of profits coming from tourism. That is why tourism sometimes is called a factory without chimney. But tourism has its own unique features that differentiate this sector from the others. Like in the other service industries, in tourism the customers, that is, the tourists come to the destination where the tourism services are provided. As the matter of fact it is difficult to think of tourism sector without transportation. Transportation is the main mean to carry passengers, that is, the tourists to the actual site where tourism services are performed.
The development of transportation, transportation vehicles, infrastructure and using new technologies in this sector speed up the development of tourism. If we pay attention to the statistics of World Tourism Organization, we may see that the tourism dynamics has changed and increased rapidly between 2005 and 2015. In 2010 international tourist arrivals rose to 940 million. This in turn brought the economies $980 billion. This trend can be explained with different factors. But the main important factor here is the rapid development of transportation sector and application of technological innovations which enable the tourists to reach many destinations of the world.
Whether transportation plays important role in enriching the travel experience of a tourist depends on the mode of transportation and the frequency of use. Transportation can turn into a separate tourist attraction element; cruising, Orient Express trains, boat trips along the river and etc. are the best examples to tourist attractions. The effective factors in choosing the transportation mode in tourism are given below (Westlake and Robbins 2005, 463):
• Time limit
• Geographical position
An increase in traffic due to world tourism growth puts pressure on transportation facilities, and this can have adverse effects. Those negative effects are as follows (Goeldner and Ritchie 2012, 96).
• Congestion – means delays which leads to waste of time and energy. Serious congestions may have a negative effect on transportation modes, especially on airports and roads during peak times.
• Safety and security – making sure that the transportation mode is safe and secure is a basic and important requirement for tourism.
• Environment – an increase in traffic may have disastrous effect on the environment if that area does not have the carrying capacity for additional tourists.
• Seasonality – seasonal patterns of travel demand create overcrowding at certain times. Adversely low occupancies and load factors will occur at other periods.
Air Transportation One of the most important transportation modes in tourism is air travel. Air travel has made significant changes in people’s minds concerning time and distance. In order to meet the demand which increases every day, the airline companies spend billions of dollars and apply new technological innovations. Having matchless role in long distances the air travel industry develops very rapidly. The world’s airline industry numbers 1,629 airlines, 27,271 aircraft, 3,733 airports, 29.6 million scheduled departures a year, and carries 2.7 billion of passengers a year. The major aircraft making companies to share the market will be Airbus and Boeing.
Automobile Transportation In short distances automobile transportation comes forward in regard to other modes of transportation. The automobile transportation makes it easy to see local culture and nations. It presents great flexibility in contrast to other modes of transportation (Oter, 2007). The importance of this mode in tourism is also very important. When compared with the prices in air transportation, this mode of transportation is frequently used by tourists because of low prices. But the main factor affecting this choice is time and distance
Railway Transportation The other mode that affects tourism is railway transportation. This type of transportation is considered the oldest one. In 19th century the railways were frequently used. Currently in many countries the railways are used for transportation of loads. The reason for this is tourist choice of air or automobile transportation. But there exists such railroads that have been included to touristic packages. For the example, we can give Orient Express railways. But nowadays application of technology and technological innovation gave birth to fast trains which compete with air and automobile transportation modes.
Sea Transportation Here we may include cruise travel, boat travel, yachting, ferry travel and etc. The cruise travel has a special place in tourism. In table 3 we can see the world and North America’s growing trend for cruise travel. From the table, we can infer that cruise travel has been much more developed in North America. The cruise ships named as sailing hotels provide tourists with indispensable travel opportunity. While travelling with a cruise ship, the tourists get the opportunity to see several countries at a time. This type of transportation is one the most expensive one, because the price for a cruise ship exceeds $100 million. More than thousands of employees work in a cruise ship at a time, may see that in cruise travel from North/south Americans to Asia, Europe and Middle East companies gained great successes.
All the stated issues prove the importance of transportation in tourism. As mentioned above the tourist’s travel experience starts and ends with transportation. In this sense, if the countries want to gain sustainable development of tourism sector, they must pay attention to transportation sector, reduce monopoly in this sector; provide sound competition opportunities for the companies.
To sum up, in order to develop and increase the role of transportation in tourism the countries should pay attention to the following points:
• The transportation modes specific to the regions must be developed
• The transportation costs must always be kept competitive
• The passengers must be attracted to sea and railway modes of transportation
• New embarkation ports must be established in order to develop cruise travel
• New fast train lines must be established and new fast trains must be bought and foreign experience must be applied
• The distance from stations must be kept less
• New coaches must be brought to the country
• New technologically advanced aircraft must be put into air lines
• The personnel must be trained
• The governments should allocate financial support for the development of transportation