Volume 19, Issue 4-6, December 2015
URBAN WALKING: PERSPECTIVES OF LOCALS AND TOURISTS
Authors: Jelena Farkić, Dušan Perić, Miha Lesjak, Mitja Petelin
Abstract: Urban planners and architects have done extensive research on walkability: what it means and how it correlates with urban design and quality of life of the locals, however, it has been hitherto neglected from the aspect of tourism studies. Many cities worldwide are or tend to be walkable as this leads to more sustainable and prosperous communities. In addition, walking-friendly environments greatly cater for leisure and tourism, as in many cities, walking is an integral part of tourist experience. Therefore, tourism industry can be of tremendous help for the city authorities in understanding walkers’ needs and experiences. Taking into account both the locals and tourists, this research sought to: (1) determine the most frequently utilised modes of transportation in Novi Sad in Serbia and Koper in Slovenia; (2) assess thier reasons for walking and perception of the quality of pedestrian infrastructure; and (3) evaluate the psychometric properties of the questionnaire designed for the purpose of this study. The results show that the great majority of respondents walk in these two cities. The locals walk primarily to achieve physical ftness, whereas tourists walk primarily to explore the urban spaces. This makes more space for tourism as it combines a competitive supply able to meet visitors’ expectations with a positive contribution to the sustainable development of cities and well-being of their residents. Furthermore, this study contributes to emphasising walking as a sustainable form of mobility in urban environment and can be the impetus for profling Novi Sad and Koper as walking-friendly cities.
Keywords: Pedestrian infrastructure, walking, walkability, urban tourism, quality of life
Article info: 212-222
Received: August 4, 2015 | Revised: November 21, 2015 | Accepted: December 11, 2015