6th Sense Transport in Tourism
Our vision is to understand how new technology might enable better use of travel resources to reduce the carbon footprint of tourism travel.
To do this we are seeking ways to reveal destination based transport opportunities to tourists in the immediate future. The project uses smartphones and will embed users and their vehicles in a social network based around a Dorset campsite (Tom’s Field Camping near Swanage). Based on the social network and travel prediction, the smartphone will reveal problems, such as congestion or lack of car parking, and suggest opportunities to better use the transport resources available.
The Tourism case study has three primary areas of interest:
1) Concepts of time and mobility. We aim to better understand how people perceive time in general and if their perception of time changes when they go on holiday. We will examine how different perceptions of time among travellers relate to travel decisions and how better time predictions may affect routine tourist activities.
2) Collaboration. We aim to evaluate the current level of collaboration (social assistance) at the campsite and assess the scope for adoption of collaborative travel among visitors. Examples of collaborative practices (activities) include:
- Provision of lifts;
- Cooperative shopping for various items (food, drinks, camping gas);
- Cooperative transportation of equipment (e.g. beach gear, BBQ) for fellow tourists;
- Recommendations about local tourism products and services.
In particular, we seek to understand the barriers to social assistance among tourists and explore solutions which might minimise these barriers thus providing more collaborative opportunities to tourists. We will examine how privacy, safety, security and any other issues affect the willingness of travellers to help or get help from others when on holiday. For example, we aim to better understand what personal information tourists are willing to share and with whom, to provide or accept social assistance from fellow travellers.
Examples of collaborative activities tourists can get involved in are as follows - Lift-share, Congestion and Shopping (click on thumbnail to view image):
3) Technology. We will explore what technology is used by tourists and how the use of mobiles and communication (e.g. social networks) technology might facilitate collaboration. A mobile phone application will be developed to enable the 6ST project and it is expected that it will help travellers provide and seek social assistance.
The Tourism case study focuses on camping tourism. Its research activities will be carried out at Tom’s Field campsite (Purbeck, Dorset, UK, http://www.tomsfieldcamping.co.uk/). The first round of data collection will be held in summer 2012 when in-depth interviews with campers will be conducted. These will be supplemented with a quantitative survey (questionnaire) of visitors. Tourists will also be introduced to a proto-type of a mobile phone application which is expected to help them better organise their travel and obtain social assistance from fellow travellers. An opportunity will be given to campers to run this proto-type. The data obtained as a result of this trial will be interpreted and used not only to address the research objectives (areas of research interest) highlighted above but also to get an insight into the carbon footprint from camping tourism. You can follow us and obtain updates on the project progress on Twitter @6ST_TomsField.
If you have any questions or comments with regard to the Tourism case study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Viachaslau Filimonau at email@example.com.