SIGNATURE PROJECT 3 - Sustainable Transportation for Tourism

Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Manning (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources)
Co-Investigators: Drs. Lisa C. Chase (VT Tourism Data Center) and Chyi-Lyi (Kathleen) Liang (Community Development and Applied Economics)
Funding Agency: US DOT

Project Summary

Transportation engineers often study patterns for routine daily travel: to work, to school, for social activities and errands. In this project an experienced interdisciplinary team tackles the issue of sustainable transportation in the context of tourism.

The researchers propose a model built on a matrix-based approach to define varying levels of sustainability where "indicators" are organized into a three-fold framework of environmental, social, and economic considerations. A range of "standards" for these indicators is arrayed across the matrix. Researchers are focusing on three types of geography where tourism travel is significant: tourist towns, scenic corridors and national parks. By incorporating indicators and standards a Level of Service (LOS) style metric can be extended to tourist travel.

Researchers are also considering marketing aspects of tourist travel behavior. Provision of more sustainable transportation such as a certified Green Coach is hypothesized to not only affect tourist travel decisions but to also provide public education and community/economic development.

Documents: Research poster