Julia Hibbert, Janet Dickinson, Christopher Winstanley, Tom Cherrett, Nigel Davies, Sarah Norgate, Chris Speed (2014).

The use of smart phone technology in creating a bottom up approach to behaviour change, The psychology of governing sustainable tourism mobility: Bridging the science-policy gap, 2nd International Workshop, 1-4 July 2014, Freiburg, Germany

Abstract: It is acknowledged that tourists have an awareness of the environmental impacts of their tourism mobility but are unwilling to change their behaviour.  At the same time it is suggested that policy makers are not providing sufficient incentives or barriers to instigate behaviour change.  This study explores the outcomes of providing tourists with a tool to enable them to utilise available transport resources within a localised network in order to travel more sustainability.  The study context is camping tourism which is heavily reliant on car use with many visitors making the same journeys at the same time.  A smartphone app was developed to enable visitors to join a social network in which users could combine resources and undertake collaborative car travel (e.g. lift sharing, shopping for one another or information exchange).  A trial during 2013 asked campsite visitors to use the app for the duration of their stay (ranging from 3-10 days).  All app users were issued a feedback questionnaire and approximately half of the users were interviewed.  This study found that tourists were willing to share relevant local information within their network.  In addition, they were eager to use the app to offer lifts or collect shopping.  However, these offers were rarely taken up and there were very few instances of help requests being placed.  This suggests that despite a viable mechanism being in place, barriers to behaviour change remain.  These barriers include a desire to build up ‘credit’ in the exchange system and to retain the flexibility that personal car travel allows.  While this study has revealed some capacity for changing travel behaviour from the bottom-up, aside from the tourists’ good will, the policy direction does little to encourage collaborative travel.

Dickinson, J (2014)

PhD workshop using the 6ST Campsite app to explore travel collaboration. PhD workshop using the 6ST Campsite app to explore travel collaboration - The Forge, Lancaster University

Filimonau, V., Dickinson, J., Cherrett, T., Davies. N., Norgate, S., Speed, C (2013)

Rethinking travel networks: mobile media and collaborative travel in the tourism domain. 45th Annual Conference of the Universities' Transport Study Group, University of Oxford, UK, January.

Abstract: With the rapid adoption of the smartphone as a travel tool there have emerged opportunities to better coordinate the use of transport resources. The capacity to track users in space and time, together with the social network capabilities of smartphones, can reveal future opportunities within the transport network to a social network of users. This concept is explored within the 6th Sense Transport project and this paper analyses travel collaboration concepts and opportunities within the tourism domain. At a destination, tourists are often attempting to do a similar set of activities that require travel to the same places within similar time frames. This generates destination and attraction congestion and car-based greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of five cars travelling to collect barbeque lighter fuel, how might we enable users to realise the network potential and avoid travel? This paper focuses on campsite tourism since a temporary community is formed by people living in close proximity, using shared facilities and often forming lasting friendships that are reinforced by repeat visitation.
Data were collected by in-depth interviews with UK campsite visitors, with spatial and temporal patterns recorded by a purpose built tracking app (Traverse). The interviews and analysis sought to capture: the extent of current collaboration home and away; the scope for adoption of collaborative travel in tourism; and the potential for mobile media to enable collaborative travel.
While participants were engaged in a variety of collaboration activities in daily life, including travel related activities, there was less evidence of collaboration in a tourism context. However, participants were open to, and excited by, the idea of collaboration and by the opportunities afforded by new technology. Drawing on theoretical constructs from geography and sociology, discussion focuses on reciprocation, control, social presence, trust and social capital to better understand travel collaboration opportunities.

Dickinson, J., Hibbert, J. (2013)

Festival of Learning Workshop. Bournemouth University Festival of Learning (a series of educational events open to the general public): Workshop - Using your 6th Sense - an activity using the 6ST Campsite app to move objects for other people. June 2013

Dickinson, J (2012) 6th Sense Transport:

Visualizing Network Opportunities to Enable Fluid Tourism Destination Travel. Digital Futures 2012. The Third Annual Digital Economy All Hands Conference. October 23rd - 25th 2012. Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference centre.

Dickinson, J (2012)

Developing a social networking tool for collaborative travel in tourism. ITS (UK) half-day seminar. ”Social Networks in Transport”. BAE Systems Detica, Blue Fin Building, 4th Floor, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU, UK 15 November 2012.

Dickinson, J.E., Viachaslau, S., Cherrett, T., Davies, N., Norgate, S. Speed, C., Winstanley, C. (2012)

Understanding temporal rhythms and travel behaviour at destinations: potential ways to achieve more sustainable travel. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2013.802328
Abstract: Rapid technological advancements are enhancing tourists’ space-time capabilities resulting in access to more immediate and personalised information relative to destination travel opportunities. This offers new affordances for travel behaviour. Given that time is traditionally seen as a significant factor shaping travel behaviour and that time frames the tourist experience, this points to a need to examine more closely the temporal issues in a destination travel context. This paper analyses the role played by time in destination based travel behaviour. Data were captured using a diary-photography, diary-interview method with tourists at a rural destination. In addition, spatial and temporal patterns of participants were captured using a purpose built smartphone app. The analysis indicates a variety of temporal issues influence travel behaviour. Tourists experience tensions with clock-time and encounter multiple competing forms of time that lead to less sustainable travel choices. As our temporal capabilities are extended by mobile media, time is an issue that needs to be taken into account in order to bring about more sustainable mobility.

Dickinson, J.E., Ghali, K., Cherrett, T., Speed, C., Davies, N., Norgate, S. (2012)

Tourism and the smartphone app: capabilities, emerging practice and scope in the travel domain. Current Issues in Tourism. iFirst article, 1-18
Abstract: Tourism and the smartphone app: capabilities, emerging practice and scope in the travel domain. Abstract: Based on its advanced computing capabilities and ubiquity, the smartphone has rapidly been adopted as a tourism travel tool. With a growing number of users and a wide variety of applications emerging, the smartphone is fundamentally altering our current use and understanding of the transport network and tourism travel. Based on a review of smartphone apps, this article evaluates the current functionalities used in the domestic tourism travel domain and highlights where the next major developments lie. Then, at a more conceptual level, the article analyses how the smartphone mediates tourism travel and the role it might play in more collaborative and dynamic travel decisions to facilitate sustainable travel. Some emerging research challenges are discussed.


We understand the extent to which behavioural change in transport habits and practices can be facilitated through the creation of a new form of ‘transport network’, based on extending social tablet.pngnetworking principles to transport users.

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Mobile Apps

The project has developed a suite of mobile phone apps for each of the corresponding research contexts. Watch videos and read details of the projects aims, phone-exploded.pngkey findings and outputs.

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The 6ST team comprised researchers from the universities of Southampton, Edinburgh, Salford, people.pngBournemouth and Lancaster.

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