The importance of Mobility Management for ports, islands and tourist destinations

The importance of Mobility Management for ports, islands and tourist destinations

This article was originally published on: EPOMM

Dear reader,

whereas traffic to resort areas often peaks at particular seasons and times of the week, traffic at ports do have a, more or less, constant – high – flow of traffic. In both cases, may it be visitors or port authorities, transport or freight operators have particular mobility needs and requirements. Changing their attitudes and behaviour, as well as policies towards a more environmental friendly mobility is an important aspect of Mobility Management. Especially, when it comes to information and communication, organising services and coordinating activities of different partners and stakeholders.

Mobility Management as a tool to meet sustainable requirements

Created by Benzoix - Freepik.com

Created by Benzoix - Freepik.com

Tourist travel has predictable patterns and needs, and often occurs in areas that have unique environmental and social features that are particularly sensitive to degradation by excessive automobile traffic. Therefore, Mobility Management on islands and tourist destinations can help to preserve the amenities that attract visitors to an area, whether it is an historic city center or a pristine natural environment.

On the other hand, heavy trucks, for example, represent a major share of total traffic particularly around major ports and industrial areas. Because of their size, freight trucks impose relatively high congestion, road wear, accident risk, air pollution and noise costs, so Mobility Management can provide significant benefits in areas where they are concentrated.

Both, heritage cities and islands attract many visitors, generating benefits and costs. And the same goes for ports and harbours. However, when the costs exceed the benefits, neither tourism nor port development is any longer sustainable, and interventions become necessary.

Maritime transport and its impact on cities and regions

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https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/cargo-ship_1186739.htm

The quality of life on many European islands and in peripheral maritime regions depends, to a large extent, upon the provision of maritime transport services — providing a means for passengers to arrive/leave, and for goods to be delivered. The total number of maritime passengers that embarked or disembarked in EU-28 ports reached a relative peak of 439 million in 2008 at the onset of the global financial and economic crisis. There followed four successive reductions, as the total number of maritime passengers fell to 398 million. The modest increases in maritime passengers in both 2013 (0.5 percent) and 2015 (0.6 percent) were more than offset by a 1.7 percent reduction in 2014, with the total number of maritime passengers in the EU standing at 395 million in 2015.

Some of the EU’s most popular maritime routes were to and from the Greek islands or across the Baltic Sea.

On the other hand, maritime transport facilitates international trade between EU Member States and the rest of the world and contributes towards, among others, the security of supply of energy, food and other goods, while providing EU exporters with a means of reaching international markets; indeed, the vast majority (in tonnage) of the EU’s international freight is transported by sea.

More than two thirds of the maritime freight handled in the top 20 EU ports arrived from or was destined for a non-member country.

In 2015, the total quantity of maritime freight handled (goods loaded and unloaded) in all EU-28 ports was 3.8 billion tonnes, with main ports accounting for 3.1 billion tonnes.

See also: Eurostat Transport statistics at regional level (data from March 2017; planned article update: September 2018).

The Port of the Future: When Mobility Management and Innovation go hand in hand

Port of Trieste - © Marino Sterle

Port of Trieste - © Marino Sterle

Port cities traditionally function as two cities rather than one, the city and the port area. This creates complex laboratories where challenges connected to urban mobility face a dual system of gravity centres. This specific situation is, at the same time, a challenge and an opportunity, as it provides scope for planning, implementing and evaluating solutions in contexts that require, more than in other urban settings, the ability to integrate the work of multiple authorities and different territorial dimensions, i.e. the city, the port and the regional hinterland.

To design and demonstrate integrated sets of innovative sustainable mobility measures that address the problems of port cities in Europe is the overarching objective for CIVITAS PORTIS. Five living labs (Aberdeen, Antwerp, Constanta, Klaipeda and Trieste) are implementing mobility measures, supporting their multifunctional role of cities, ports and gateways to inland areas.

smartPORT: The intelligent port of Hamburg

Port of Hamburg

Port of Hamburg

In the port of Hamburg, state-of-the-art digital intelligence guarantees a smooth, efficient operation. The control-systems used by the Hamburg Port Authority are world-leading, while the interaction between sensor technology and analysis, forecasting and information-systems delivers huge efficiency improvements. This is not only good for business, it also protects the environment.

Thanks to its smartPORT philosophy, the Hamburg Port Authority is achieving sustainable economic growth and maximum benefit for its customers and the people of Hamburg. smartPORT logistics combines economic and ecological aspects in three subsectors: traffic flows, infrastructure and the flow of goods. An intermodal PortTraffic centre for sea, rail and road transport forms the basis for networking the flow of traffic.

Travel smart and enjoy the landscape

© Urlaubsguru.at

The impact of growing leisure travel is especially felt in tourist regions that have to cope with seasonal changes in transport demand and severe congestion caused by high levels of car use. An inefficient organisation of mobility can lead to a decrease in the attractiveness of a destination because of road congestion and poor air quality.

For example in Madeira, Portugal, there is a new and straightforward way to promote the public transport service with a higher level of information. The public transport company has prepared a free audio-guide for smartphones. Passengers of a selected public transport line can now enjoy touristic information via their headset while travelling on a regular bus line on the island. The trip “A journey to the heart of the Island” has 10 waypoints that are combined with interesting stories about the island.

 

Travelling sustainably along the blue Danube

© WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH-Erber

The Danube region is one of the most promising tourism destinations in Europe. Most of the trips to and within the Danube region are carried out by car, causing negative impacts to the environment and the inhabitants. The project Transdanube.Pearls aims at addressing these challenges by developing socially fair, economically viable, environmentally friendly and health promoting mobility services for the visitors of the Danube region.

The central element of the project is the establishment of a network of destinations, the so called Danube.Pearls, which are committed to sustainable mobility for tourists and inhabitants along the Danube. From 2017 to 2019 and led by the Environment Agency Austria, 15 partners from nine countries of the Danube region work on the improvement of sustainable mobility services as mobility centers, bike facilities and flexible transport modes in and between the regions. A strong focus is on the involvement of relevant stakeholder from the transport and tourism sector as well as on the training of mobility managers as promotors of sustainable mobility in the regions.

Mobility Management for tourists and residents alike

Mobility Week 2017 in Limassol

Tourism puts great pressures in the transport systems. Also on islands.

The integration of sustainable tourism and mobility strategies through the development of a series of innovative solutions in six European islands and insular cities (Elba, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Limassol, Madeira, Rethymno and Valletta) is the main aim of CIVITAS DESTINATIONS. These cities apply a set of uniform methodologies in order to develop and implement sustainable mobility measures and actions with the view to offering intelligent sustainable transport solutions for tourists and residents alike through innovation and cooperation of all major stakeholders.

Flexible transport systems for the last mile in tourism

© V&E Photographers 2015 - Source:  https://www.interregeurope.eu/lastmile/

How to move sustainably on site in the tourism destination? This is one of the main problems visitors have to face and mostly decide for their own car. Public transport is a challenging task in many hinterlands due to different factors that make the operation of regular lines difficult. Beyond that, locations with tourist frequentation are facing a variation in demand depending on seasons.

To overcome these gaps, the project LAST MILE focused on flexible transport solutions for “the last mile” in tourism, from the railway station / hub to the hotel and to different points of interest in the destination. In 2,5 years of project implementation of this INTERREG EUROPE-project and led by the Environment Agency Austria, six European regions exchanged their experiences with demand responding and sharing systems and their framework conditions as e.g. the often missing legal frameworks. All regions elaborated comprehensive regional action plans to implement innovative solutions in their region. The final synthesis is to be expected to be published on the project website in autumn 2018.

Conclusion

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Tourist regions and ports alike face challenges in transport demand and congestion because of high levels of car use. Hence, inefficient mobility can lead to decreasing attractiveness of a destination, or to an inefficient operation of a port. Therefore, integrated policy-making and strategy development is needed to face such challenges.

The mobility needs of both, tourists and freight operators have to be included in the local sustainable mobility policy processes. Respectively, tourism and the transport of goods in general should be an integral part of each Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. Furthermore, and of special importance for touristic destinations, it is essential to:

  • Make it affordable, convenient and enjoyable to visit a resort community without using a private automobile.
  • Coordinate stakeholders (tourist agencies, transportation providers, hotels, resorts) to provide and promote car-free travel packages.
  • Provide detailed information on the travel choices that are available and how to use them.
  • Take into account visitors’ transport needs and preferences, including baggage requirements and the need to accommodate changing schedules.
  • Provide benefits to visitors who arrive without a car, such as priority access for buses.
  • Include Commute Trip Reduction programs to reduce employee trips.
  • Create functional and attractive pedestrian and cycling facilities.

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