A simulation model to assess emission reduction policies in tourism transport: Case study of the Geiranger fjord UNESCO world heritage site in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Tourism transport may lead to significant air emissions and congestion problems on road networks. This is particularly troublesome for nature-based tourism destinations, as they often are in rural areas with low transportation capacities and vulnerable nature. Tourism transport systems are poorly understood, especially multi-modal systems with land and sea dynamics. In this article, we propose a multi-modal transport model that integrates traffic both at land and sea generated by tourism. The model was built on data from an in-situ questionnaire and validated with traffic counts and video recordings for the Geiranger fjord UNESCO world heritage site in Norway. Following a parliament decision to eliminate emissions from sea traffic, four emission reduction scenarios were explored. Results show that cruise-generated tourist buses may significantly contribute to air emissions and the formation of road congestion and emphasize the necessity of having a holistic approach in analyzing consequences of emission reduction policies for tourism transport. The model may be used in transportation planning and policymaking to assess alternative pathways to sustainable tourism transport.