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Rose Tinted Memories as a Cause of Unsustainable Leisure Travel

Nawijn, J., & Peeters, P.
Bibliographical information:
Nawijn, J., & Peeters, P. (2014). Rose Tinted Memories as a Cause of Unsustainable Leisure Travel. In T. Gärling, D. Ettema & M. Friman (Eds.), Handbook of Sustainable Travel (pp. 185-197). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Most people strive to become happier. Although a substantial increase in the cognitive component of happiness is limited due to heredity, there is still room for substantial gains in the affective component of happiness through environmental factors and behavioural choices. One way to become happier is to undertake leisure travel. The effect of leisure travel on happiness tends however to be short-lived, which may cause individuals in affluent nations to travel more often. A vast increase in leisure travel is also forecasted for developing and emerging industrialized countries. Rosy recollections of past experiences of leisure travel may trigger booking another trip. A growth in travel frequency and air travel in particular increases emissions that contribute to climate change. We argue that the main driver for leisure travel is the rose tinted memories of past leisure trips. However, these memories are valued against the context of peer pressure and social norms. Based on previous research findings the processes that contribute to the development of unsustainable leisure travel are discussed.

The Handbook of Sustainable Travel: People, Society, and Transportation Systems gathers distinguished researchers on travel behavior from a variety disciplines, to offer state-of-the-art research and analysis encompassing environmental, traffic and transport psychology; transport planning and engineering; transport geography; transport economics; consumer services research; environmental sociology and well-being research. The underlying dilemma is that neither contemporary transportation technology nor contemporary travel behaviors are sustainable. The path toward sustainability is complex, because the consequences of changing technology and attempts to change travel preferences can be extreme both in economic and in social terms. The Handbook of Sustainable Travel discusses transportation systems from environmental, social and economic perspectives, to provide insights into the underlying mechanisms, and to envisage potential strategies towards more sustainable travel. Part I offers an introduction to the subject, with chapters review historical and future trends in travel, the role of travel for a good society, and the satisfaction of travelers with various features of travel options. Part II proceeds from the fact that the car is the backbone of today’s transportation system, and that a break with automobiles is likely to be necessary in the future. Contributors review the development of private car use, explore economic and psychological reasons why the car has become the primary mode of transport and discuss how this can be changed in the future. Part III addresses the social sustainability of travel, providing insights into the social costs and benefits of leisure, business and health travel, and taking into account the social costs or benefits of measures whose goals are primarily environmental. The authors provide the necessary background to judge whether proposed transport policies are also sustainable from a social perspective. Part IV highlights future alternatives to physical travel and surveys ecologically sustainable travel modes such as public transport and non-motorized modes of transportation.
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