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Title: The attitudes of tourists towards a bus service : implications for policy from a Maltese case study
Authors: Bajada, Therese
Titheridge, Helena
Keywords: Bus lines -- Malta -- Evaluation
Transportation -- Malta
Tourism -- Malta
Bus lines -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Bajada, T., & Titheridge, H. (2017). The attitudes of tourists towards a bus service: implications for policy from a Maltese case study. Transportation Research Procedia, 25, 4114-4133.
Abstract: When tourists visit a country, they often use the available public transport service. Their knowledge of this service, may be limited when compared with that of the citizens of the host country. This paper uses Malta as a case study, an island state that serves as a spatial laboratory, to understand the attitudes of tourists towards the main mode of public transport in Malta – the bus service. The research was carried out following a series of major changes to the bus system over a relatively short time-frame of three years, including a reform of the bus service. This reform involved change, amongst other factors, to the operator, network, fleet, and infrastructure. Seventeen semistructured interviews with tourists were recorded and then analysed using thematic analysis. This paper provides insight for the need to understand better the influence of tourists’ attitudes towards a bus service in the host country. Results show that bus service quality characteristics requiring improvement may have negative repercussions on other factors that influence tourists’ attitudes (for instance, crowding on buses contributes to increased waiting times). Moreover, suggestions for policy makers and transport planners could improve bus service operations that are attractive to both the citizens, and tourists, particularly in locations that are economically dependent on the tourism industry.
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