Larsen, Gunvor and Guiver, Jo W
How understanding tourists' perceptions of distance can help reduce the environmental impact of tourism mobility.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Travel represents tourism’s major source of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, with up to three-quarters of the environmental impact of tourism being the result of tourists' journeys to and from holiday destinations. The rapid growth in the length of tourist journeys, especially using air travel, during the last century shows little sign of reduction in spite of current environmental concerns, but a reduction in average distances travelled by tourists must be part of tourism's efforts towards becoming a more environmentally friendly sector. Little is known, however, about how tourists themselves view the distance they travel across, and whether these understandings might help reduce tourist travel. Discourse analysis of interviews with Danish tourists about the distances they travel as part of their holiday mobility revealed various understandings and representations of distance and its attractions. This insight into how tourists understand distance offers a number of ways of satisfying tourists' desire for distance, while potentially at the same time reducing the distances travelled by tourists.