New article by Angela Smith, Derek Robbins & Janet E. Dickinson 2019,

New article by Angela Smith, Derek Robbins & Janet E. Dickinson 2019,
Defining sustainable transport in rural tourism: experiences from the New Forest
Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Volume 27(2), Pages: 258-275 |

Transport policy agendas have long sought to bring about more sustainable transport at tourism destinations. Whilst there are examples of successes, it remains unclear what inroads have been made towards creating a sustainable transport future. Policy directions have evolved over a number of years and in many tourism destination contexts, it is far from clear what a desirable transport future looks like. When translated to implementation, the aims of initiatives can be unclear and baseline measures inconsistent, making success difficult to judge. This paper analyses how sustainable travel has been implemented in practice at a destination level. The focus is rural tourism and data are derived from a specific case, the New Forest National Park, UK, where a wide range of transport initiatives have been implemented since the Park’s designation in 2005. The study adopts a social practice theory perspective. Data are derived from a visitor survey, interviews and observations. It finds there is scope to improve sustainable transport provision at destinations through understanding visitor practices, but limited scope to influence meanings associated with visitor travel and travel skills. Policy meets the needs of some visitors more than others.

Author information

Angela Smith is a PhD student with a background in transport planning. Her research uses the experiences in the New Forest National Park to analyse transport practices and relative sustainability.

Derek Robbins is a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University. Trained as a transport planner his research interests include the relationship between transport and tourism, tourism and climate change, sustainable transport policy and the cruise industry.

Janet Dickinson is a professor at Bournemouth University. Her research interests focus on tourism and climate change, the sharing economy, social representations and time.


New Forest National Park Authority.