chapter  15
16 Pages

Why we travel this way: An exploration into the motivations of recreational vehicle users


Since the advent of the motor vehicle, self-drive tourism has been an important contributor to the growth of many tourist destinations. Research suggests that the broader self-drive tourism market is non-homogenous, consisting of people with varying behavioural characteristics, who are under - taking journeys beyond the traditional access routes, with differing spatial configuration patterns (Lue et al. 1993; Prideaux et al. 2001; Muller and O’Cass 2003; Prideaux and Carson 2003; Hardy et al. 2005). Access to a vehicle provides travellers with mobilities not afforded by other forms of travel. Self-drive tourism is characterised by independence and flexibility, as well as exploration. Further, the driving itself is often the central part of the travel experience, as captured by Pearce (1999) in the term ‘touring for pleasure’. Urry has described the car, the highway and the view through the windscreen as integral components of the tourist gaze. Indeed, he proposed that the advent of the motor vehicle caused the traditional static tourist gaze to become mobilised, as vistas were seen briefly from moving vehicles. Consequently he writes of ‘tourist glances’ and the ‘mobilised gaze’, whereby one may drive and leave the past behind (Urry 2002).