XREAP 2008-14: Tourism and urban transport: Holding demand pressure under supply constraints

Scholars and local planners are increasingly interested in tourism contribution to economic and social development. To this regard, several European cities lead the world rankings on tourist arrivals, and their governments have promoted tourism activity. Mobility is an essential service for tourists visiting large cities, since it is a crucial factor for their comfort. In addition, it facilitates the spread of benefits across the city. The aim of this study is to determine whether city planners respond to this additional urban transport demand pressure by extending supply services. We use an international database of European cities. Our results confirm that tourism intensity is a demand enhancing factor on urban transport. Contrarily, cities do not seem to address this pressure by increasing service supply. This suggests that tourism exerts a positive externality on public transport since it provides additional funding for these services, but it imposes as well external costs on resident users because of congestion given supply constraints.

Albalate, D. (PPRE-IREA), Bel, G. (PPRE-IREA)