Do buses help meet tourism objectives? The contribution and potential of scheduled buses in rural destination areas

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, planning - environmental impact, land use - impacts, policy - environment, place - rural, mode - bus


Tourists, Tourist trade, Tourism, Surveys, Social impacts, Rural areas, Passengers, Motor bus transportation, Modal shift, Intercity bus transportation, Environmental impacts, Environmental effects, Economic impacts, Bus usage, Bus travel, Bus transportation, Accessibility


A review of tourism policy documents reveals three key objectives: environmental, social and economic sustainability. This paper examines the role of scheduled buses in meeting these objectives, using data from a large survey of bus passengers in rural tourist destinations. It finds that buses achieve modest modal shift from cars, allow access to the countryside for people without cars and generate spending in local economies. It suggests how these functions could be improved by market-segmentation, better publicity and service delivery and questions why many such services struggle for funding each year.


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