Island communities are often not capable to autonomously develop comprehensive environmental protection and sustainable tourism development plans. At the same time, they are increasingly anxious to maintain their competitive advantage, i.e. to preserve their identity, environment, their natural and cultural wealth from the impact of uncontrolled tourism flows. On the other hand, the increasing demand for special interest and alternative forms of tourism (e.g. ecotourism, wine tourism, adventure tourism) strongly suggests that the ‘new-tourism era’ is dominated by individuals of strong environmental consciousness and respect for local cultures, who exert pressure upon the tourism industry for the provision of a variety of experiences and a range of activities.
In order to create a place's identity, their own competitive branding and export their image globally, island communities have to focus on their green (i.e. environmental) potential, both tangible and intangible. For this purpose, they need tools and methods to help them modify local resources into lucrative tourism product components, able to generate positive multiplier effects in the local economy. It is very common that policy makers on the islands try to link the local tourism potential with practices used in the past which are often contradictory to the modern approaches applied today. They foresee tourism as a tool for development without planning thoroughly enough for its consequences on either the environment or the society. Our project proposes an action framework for the sustainable use of transport, which would guide local actors to identify, signify, valorise and manage their resources, in order to enter the global tourism market safely while guaranteeing (at the same time) viable long-term growth.
Through research and analysis on transport, tourism, environment and economy, the proposed project aims to:
- identify the factors that affect the study area development;
- identify the requirements of decision makers;
- investigate individual activity and travel pattern;
- explore island destination choice for tourists;
- develop advanced integrated discrete and latent variable choice models for both tourists and residents;
- simulate travel behaviour;
- develop an environmental model;
- analyse the environmental impact of green transport policies;
- evaluate the impact of green policies; and
- develop a policy analysis platform.
The project goals can be widely categorized as:
- Scientific; and
The scientific goals are:
- The development of an innovative methodological framework for analysing the behaviour of individuals, households and tourists regarding green transport. The methodological framework will take into consideration the following:
- choice of an island as a place of residence and work;
- choice of an island as a place of education and career development;
- car ownership choice (e.g. conventional, hybrid, electric);
- scheduling of activities (physical activities vs tele-activities, i.e. implemented remotely via information and communication technologies);
- destination choice of tourists;
- activities and transport mode choice from tourists;
- the development of innovative data collection methodologies using:
- stated preference experiments for investigating traveller behaviour in future/hypothetical situations; and
- advanced data collection tools, such as smart phones and GPS for recording individuals travel patterns.
- The development of models for spatial development, transport and environmental impacts, tourist development and energy use in order to evaluate a series of green policies. These models will also include:
- values, attitudes and perceptions of decision makers;
- the dynamic character of choices; and
- the overall well-being/happiness that these choices have on the decision-makers.
- The development of a framework that will convert the disaggregated behavioural data into a macroscopic level;
- The development of methodologies for evaluating the financia
The vision of green transportation requires the development of an integrated system which will be able to compare different policies in three major areas: Economy, Environment and Society, which are the three main pillars in the majority of strategic plans of various organizations, including the United Nations. The effect of each policy should be converted to comparable indicators and be categorized depending on the sensitivity of each policy action (including carbon based taxation and incentives as well as increases in conventional fuel costs). Performance indicators will be coded into a policy platform and will be defined in terms of input (such as average elasticities of demand and their heterogeneity) and output data (performance indicators).
These policies may be applied both on local residents and tourists, as the “footprint” the latter leave on each visit often times pressures infrastructure to its limit and overextends local resources in order to meet the increased demand. Initiatives can be implemented in order to measure the effectiveness of environmental impact and how they are adopted by tourists, not just residents.
Travel choices (including mode choice) are affected by personal characteristics (age and gender) and household social and demographic structure (number of children, living with older parents), characteristics of the study area such as employment spatial organization and density indicators and quality of life. These may also include attitudes and perceptions of tourists and residents (e.g., about the environment), and activity engagement and travel to serve multiple purposes throughout a typical day.
In the proposed project, the factors that can lead a person to car sharing and using hybrid vehicles, electric cars, and bicycles (such as time and cost savings by sharing or avoiding fuel and parking costs) will be explored in depth. This exploration will happen in two complementary ways starting with the creation of a main household (or tourist group) survey to gather background data. Then, both recruited residents and tourists will answer questions in stated preference scenarios and a typical revealed preference activity survey. The exploration of travelers’ choices using stated preference scenarios will be conducted through personal interviews in different social groups. Respondents’ choices, regarding willingness to pay and anticipated satisfaction, using choice models that account for a variety of other mediating variables.
The main outcome of GreTIA project is the creation of a policy evaluation tool (platform). The platform is designed and implemented in order to be accessible and used by local and regional policy and decision makers, researchers and students. The main objective of the platform is to assess and evaluate green policy options on the island of Chios, North Aegean, Greece.
New generation activity-based models are gaining ground in transportation modelling. The most important attribute of this model is the uncorporation of inta-household interactions. They are based on the detailed classification of activities and travel segmentation. In particular, activities are grouped by type (mandatory, maintenance, discretionary) and setting (individual, allocated, joint) where a special modelling technique is applied for each particular type and setting.
Instead of fractional-probability calculations at the level of origin–destination pairs of zones, the model is applied at the level of individual households, persons, and tours with no explicit restrictions on the number of variables or population/travel segments.
The platform is based on a 4-step model simulation including innovative scenarios. The project proposed and evaluated 3 policy scenarios, built around a main scenario idea and containing sub-scenarios:
1) the use of existing parking spots near Chios town with an integrated park and ride system. Sub-scenarios contain the use of bike sharing system, driverless buses or golf cars;
2) the creation of an integrated system of bike lanes to connect the island’s main town with close towns and villages. Sub-scenarios include various connections, evaluating at the same time the effect on overall traffic;
3) the pedestrianization of a part of Chios town centre.
Sub-scenarios vary as the range of this transformation changes.
The final policy tool is a simple and reliable software application that can be used by decision makers or policy planners in order to assist the decision making process. Policies are analysed through a comprehensive Key Performance Indicators system specific to each of the three main parts of the study (transportation, environment, tourism). The tool is built for the island of Chios but with adjustments of the models it is transferable to any region.