The relationship between transport and tourism development is a vital area of tourism studies. For development of any destination, adequate and efficient transportation infrastructure and access to generating markets is one of the most important aspects.
According to Burkart and Medlik transportation can be defined as “the means to reach the destination and also the means of movement at the destination”.
Dynamically Changing Needs and Means:
In the ancient times the mode of transport used by travellers was a horse, a horse carriage, a hand- driven carriage or a boat. This was followed by a ship. It was, however, in the nineteenth century that mechanised transport was invented beginning with the introduction of railways, motorcar and thereafter the aero plane, all of which revolutionised transport all over the world.
Developments of road transport in the post-World War I period and air transport in the post-World War II period were the major factors which were responsible and continue to be so for the great support in modern tourism. For the greater part of contemporary tourism, transport means airlines and private cars.
As a broad generalisation, it can be said that holiday makers travelling away from home to another country spend a major portion of their total holiday budget on transport. Transport costs as much as 30-40 percent of the total long-haul holiday expenditure. This fact has been brought about by a number of studies undertaken by various organisations.
The war necessitated innovations in the fields of motor and air transports for the purpose of initially using them for the war itself. After the war was over they were utilized as modes of transport for travel.
Many road systems and airports which were initially built for transporting men and material for use in the war were subsequently utilized for transporting passengers for the purpose of travel and tourism.
There are different modes of transport which have been evolved over the years. Technological developments have revolutionised various modes of transport and there is a continuous research to upgrade them.
Each technological advance in a travel mode affects the other modes. Railways replaced the horse, the private ownership of automobile and public bus system replaced the railways and the airplane replaced the transoceanic ship and long-distance rail travel.
Major Landmarks in the Transport Sector:
1. Great Eastern ship launched in Nineteenth Century by Isambard Kingdom Brunei (designer engineer). Its weight was 18915 tonnes. It had 24 feet screw propeller and 58-ft paddle wheels. Its speed was 18 knots. It was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunei during 19th century AD.
2. First airplane was invented by Oliver and Wilbur Wright
3. Grand Trunk Road was constructed in 1540-45 by Shershah Suri (ruler)
4. First steamship was invented in 1775 by JC Perrier (France)
5. Cook transported 570 passengers from Leicester to Southborough in 1841.
6. In 1841, Henry Wells (USA) started as a shipper but became a tourist transporter at a later stage. His firm, Well Fargo, became a well known firm in the field of tourism and transport. American Express launched a few years later.
7. Mass excursion was started by Thomas Cook in 1845. First trip was from Liverpool to Cameron. Tourists travelled to Liverpool by train. Then, they took a steamer to Cameron
8. T. Cook executed a tour to Europe for his clients in 1862.
9. In 1894, First turbinate ship called Turbinia was developed by Sir Chariest Parsons. In its maiden voyage, it achieved a speed of 34.5 knots.
10. The best known luxury sea liner was the Titanic; it sank on its maiden voyage in April, 16, 1912. Nearly 1600 persons died, most of them effluent.
11. Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972) built and plotted the first ever successful 4-engine place in 1913.
12. First ever single-rotor helicopter was made in 1939 by Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972) of Russia.
13. First flight of Imperial Airways from Delhi to Cairo was made on Jan 8, 1927.
14. First Air station of Delhi was constructed in 1927.
15. First Flying Club at Delhi was organised in 1928.
16. First full-fledged air port at Delhi (12500 ft) for 747 B aircraft was constructed in 1939-45.
17. In 1910, First ever powered seaplane to make a successful flight (Hydration) was made by Henri Fabre (France).
18. World’s longest land vehicle is the Arctic Snow Train; it has a length of 572 ft (174.3 m). It belongs to the US Army.
19. First trans-Atlantic air mail had a bag of 192 letters. It was taken abroad the first non-stop transatlantic flight. The transit from New Found-land to Ireland took 16 hours and 12 minutes. It was flown by Captain John W Adcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown in 1919.
20. First train from Mumbai to Thane ran in 1953. The total distance was 32 km.
21. In 1981, Julian Knot made flight in a solar powered balloon across the English Channel. Air burner was used to lift the balloon and solar panel was used to keep the air warm during the 1.25 hour crossing of the channel
22. In 1979-82, the Government of India and local Authorities constructed flyovers in Delhi to facilitate smooth flow of traffic during the Asian Games.
23. On 03-04-1984, Rakesh Sharma executed first joint Indo-Soviet space mission Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma is the first Indian in space
24. Kalpana Chawla (1997) is the First Indian-American in space.
25. Exuba, a luxury vehicle designed by Ashok Leyland on the base of a cargo vehicle (of 1912) in 2002.
26. In 2002 at Nedumbassery first private international airport of India constructed.
27. On 25-12-2002 Phoenix 1000, an American submarine, became the first ever submarine to be gifted. It has been built by US Submarines. It is 213 ft long and has an interior space of 5000 sq m. It has four levels, an exercise room, a kitchen, dining area, and lounge. It can handle 40 guests at one time for day trips and 16 guests for the night.
It can dive up to a depth of 1000 ft and has an onboard docking station for an 8-person mini-submarine that can dive up to a depth of 2000 ft. Two diesel engines provide power to it on the surface and 40 tones of 220-V batteries propel it underwater. It carries enough oxygen to keep it under water for 3 weeks. Its cost is US $ 80 million. Suitable only for billionaires.
28. On 01-02-2003, Space Shuttle (Columbia) crashed during its twenty-eighth mission in space. All the 7 crew members dead (Kalpana Chawla, Rick Husband, Illan Ramon, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, Willam McCool, David Brown). These astronauts had completed 80 experiments before evaporating into thin air over Fort Worth (Texas).
Socio-Economic Implications of Transport Developments:
Developments in the transport sector improved social as well as economic conditions of the people.
Developed transport networks have led to mass movements from rural areas to urban areas. This migration pattern had become more prominent during the eighties and nineties of the last century travel to far off places with ease.
They mingle with people of different regions and tribes. These interactions have developed a national split that binds the nation as a unique cultural entity (despite the differences in individual cultures and value systems).
Cultural programmes and festivals also involve people of different races. Even foreigners take pride in witnessing the cultural performances of India. This was made possible because of the provision of facilities related to travel and transport. Indian and foreign tourists visit Goa and attend the famous Goa Carnival during December each year.
The parade on December 25 brings several thousand people on the streets of Goa. Transport networks have increased interest of tourists (domestic and foreign) in various cultural festivals and competitions. They either witness such competitions or are proud to participate in the same.
Many festivals and cultural programmes have becomes so famous that these have acquired international recognition. This was made possible because of the developments in transport networks. People were able to visit the sites of these festivals and fairs and publicise them through word-of- mouth campaigns.
Snake boat races of South India, Kullu Dussehra, Mysore Dussehra, Baisakhi of Punjab, Pongla, Onam, Holi, Lohri and Deepavali are some of the festivals that have been acknowledged as mirrors of Indian culture and art forms.
The famous Sun Temple of Konark is the venue of dance festival in December every year. Goa’s Carnival is also world famous. Dandiya of Gujarat is attended by millions; so is Ganesh Puja in Maharashtra.
The Durga Puja festival (in West Bengal) attracts visitors from India and abroad. The holy Shrine of Vaishno Devi (near Jammu) can be approached (from Katra) by a helicopter. Indian Airlines is organising flights to Leh, which is the roof of the world. Many other examples can be quoted in this context.
Environmental Implications of Transport Developments:
Besides all other beneficial gifts of transport development, there are some hazzardous implications also. These are in the field of environment. Pollution raised because of the fuels used in transports is a serious problem on the environmental front, our position is slightly week. Some of the implications are as follows:
Diesel fuel is used to propel coaches and ordinary buses. Diesel contains sulphur, which, upon combustion, delivers sulphur dioxide. So, our roads are the living examples of “pollution tubes.” There is no solution in sight, however.
In Delhi, the local transport system is based on CNG as a fuel. But other cities continue to use diesel and petrol as fuels for their vehicles. So, pollution levels are very high in Kanpur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmadabad and other major cities of India.
Pollution creates problems in all parts of the country. Global warming, ecological imbalances and decay of fauna and flora are directly related to movements of human beings. Growing urbanisation leads to creation of new road and rail networks. Jungles are cut and crop fields are trimmed as a result. Wild life suffers and so does the ecology.
The present area of India under forest is only 19 per cent of the total area; it should be 33 per cent of the total area. The government has created biosphere reserves and also, defined norms for wild life parks. However, other areas are polluted by humans and vehicles alike.
Tours and leisure activities of travellers add to the burden of local resources, which include water, air, food, fuel etc. But economic compulsions force the transporters to carry on their businesses.
Foreign tourist’s arrivals in India are less. But domestic tourism activities contribute a lot towards pollution. All the railway routes have not been electrified. Diesel engines create a lot of pollution. These issues ought to be addressed by the Ministry of Railways. A lot of time is needed to electrify even the major railway routes.
Aircraft use aviation fuel, which has a high calorific value. It is also a contributor to the process of global warming. Private airlines have jumped on to the bandwagon of domestic transport. Naturally, they would also add to the already high levels of air pollution. Noise pollution is on the rise in major cities, thanks to vast transport networks and growing number of vehicles.