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Sustainable Transport Management at Holiday Resorts

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Complete with results
Project Acronym
D6 (NRP 41)
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects


Background & Policy context

The NRP 41 was launched by the Federal Council at the end of 1995 to improve the scientific basis which might solve Switzerland's traffic problems, while taking into account the growing interconnection with Europe, ecological limits, and economic and social needs. The NRP 41 aimed at becoming a think-tank for sustainable transport policy. Each of the 54 projects belongs to one of the following six modules:

  • A Mobility: Socio-institutional Aspects
  • B Mobility: Socio-economical Aspects
  • C Environment: Tools and Models for Impact Assessments
  • D Political and Economic Strategies and Prerequisites
  • E Traffic Management: Potentials and Impacts
  • F Technologies: Potentials and Impacts
  • M Materials
  • S Synthesis Projects

Holiday resorts can implement successful solutions to ever increasing transport problems by thorough planning of action and by seeking co-operation with the public. Many holiday resorts have been developing public transport concepts in order to prevent tourism being destroyed by individual motorised traffic. However, such measures will only have the desired effect if they are thoroughly planned and implemented in cooperation with all parties involved. A well-balanced combination of traffic calming and regulating measures is a prerequisite for successful implementation. More often than not, detailed concepts fail because of lacking acceptance. Widespread scepticism can only be overcome if the general public, as well as business, is involved right from the start. The case study of Gstaad demonstrates that all parties can ultimately view such measures as being beneficial. The research report illustrates this by means of eight case studies from the Alpine region. It analyses acceptance problems together with the effect of traffic direction systems at holiday resorts, and examines key actions for successful implementation of transport concepts, together with practical recommendations.


The research report illustrates nine case studies from the Alpine region: Arosa, Ascona, Davos, Engelberg, Gstaad, Leukerbad (all in Switzerland), Bad Hofgastein (Austria), Hochpustertal (Italy) and Oberstdorf (Germany). These findings were checked and supplemented with interviews with locals who were involved, making it possible to evaluate the impact of traffic measures on the environment, the implementation process flow and appraisal of the measures. A grid was used to assess the processes, with the key elements of the implementation process being subdivided into key prerequisites, key processes and key results. In two cases, the outcome of the interviews was amended by surveys conducted among inhabitants, local businesses and guests. An additional traffic study was conducted in Gstaad before and after commissioning of the bypass.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss National Science Foundation SNF
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The main findings can be summarized as follows:


• Leisure and tourist traffic continues to grow steadily. Almost all destinations will have to deal with more traffic. On average, the growth in car traffic in holiday resorts between 2000 and 2015 will be around 17%, but in individual cases, the figure will be higher due to concentration processes.

• Only pedestrian areas are comparatively unaffected by this situation. However, secondary effects with a detrimental impact on the environment and tourism attractiveness are felt on the 'fringes'.

• All other measures are negatively affected by traffic growth. The impact of traffic restraints tails off. Local public traffic cannot absorb the additional traffic without expansion (bus lanes, priority control at traffic lights, increased capacity) and may become much less attractive as the result of traffic jams.

• The prerequisites for successful implementation processes are already different and change is not uniform everywhere. However, there is a tendency for them to deteriorate in all destinations.


The results of the implementation processes and the impact of traffic measures on the environment in the nine resorts studied can be summarized as follows:

1. The following tourism structures influence traffic solutions:

• Health resorts are more aware of the negative effects of traffic than other holiday resorts. At the same time, health resort guests often have to rely more heavily on private vehicles because they are elderly or physically frail. Consequently, in such resorts, the main focus is on comprehensive traffic restraint.

• Destinations with a higher percentage of guests with big purchasing power design the planned traffic measures as a fresh attraction.

• The percentage of excursion tourism plays an important part. Traffic-restraining measures and pedestrian areas mainly benefit holiday guests and locals. Excursion tourists often perceive them as obstacles.


2. Ensuring financial feasibility without imposing too much on locals makes a fundamental contribution to acceptance of the measures while denying opponents an effective argument.


3. Sets of measures implemented By way of a rough distinction, four sets of measures were implemented in the cases under study:

• Set 1: Bypass, closing of the resort centre to private car traffic and redesign of the centre as a pedestrian area.

• Set 2: Com

Policy implications

The future viability of the measures as regards impact is measured by their reaction to the foreseeable development of private car traffic. The future viability of the following four sets of measures should be investigated:

• Bypasses and pedestrian areas: Improvement in the recreational quality of the resort centre is retained. However, the general increase in traffic volume mean that areas round the bypass route will come in for greater pressure in future.

• Comprehensive traffic restraint: the traffic-calming effect is preserved in principle but may be undermined by rising traffic. Streets that have not benefitted from calming measures will become less attractive (traffic jams). There is a greater risk of drivers 'sneaking' through quiet areas and of public transport being obstructed. The objective can only be achieved by taking flanking measures.

• Making local public transport more attractive: the positive environmental impact of changing the modal split in favour of public transport is cancelled out by increased traffic on the roads. Moreover, traffic jams can detract from the appeal of public transport. The objective can only be achieved by taking flanking measures.

• Operation and layout of public car parks: Increased traffic on the roads can generate serious parking problems. The objective can only be achieved by taking flanking measures. Implemented individually at local level, the measures investigated have only limited future viability. Positive effects (even if traffic continues to grow) can be achieved only if all four sets of measures are combined. Any loss of impact must by countered with suitable complementary measures, and involving access transport can generate valuable synergy effects.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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