Smartphone enabled travel collaboration in the tourism domain

Janet Dickinson, Viachaslau Filimonau, Christopher Winstanley, T Cherrett, Nigel Davies, Sarah Norgate, Chris Speed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Based on accommodation clusters, tourists frequently stay in close proximity to other tourists and encounters with other tourists contribute to co-creation of the holiday experience. This often leads to friendships and builds a sense of community associated with the accommodation setting. In the case of campsites, this is particularly marked given the shared use of facilities, day to day social interaction in the outdoor environment and repeat visitation patterns. However, little or no research has considered the potential for travel collaboration that might derive from these temporary communities. Given the shared destination travel patterns and needs of tourists, there is scope to harness this community using mobile technology to reduce car dependence.
This paper reports findings from the Sixth Sense Transport project which has developed a smartphone app to enable travel collaboration among tourists in a campsite community. The app enables lift sharing, shopping assistance, travel information sharing and other forms of collaboration with the aim of maximising the use of the available transport resources. Initial findings suggest tourists are open to the idea of collaboration. The paper will report on the data derived from the app and user experiences in order to understand the potential for travel collaboration and behaviour change with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions.
Conceptually the paper draws on White’s idea of ‘gel’ as a metaphor for networks of interactions that transcend public and private domains. Based on this framework analysis will consider the role of strong and weak social bonds, trust and reciprocity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew paradigms in conceptualising shared mobility (2) at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2013
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2013


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