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The psychology of governing sustainable tourism mobility:
Bridging the science-policy gap

Second international workshop in the Black Forest of Freiburg, Germany

1st – 4th of July 2014

was proudly organised by
NHTV Breda UAS, University of Surrey, Western Norway Research Institute, and University of Otago 

The 2014 international workshop in the Black Forest focused on the psychology of governing sustainable mobility. The main roadblock we seeked to address was the inability of policy makers and stakeholders to change the tourism mobility system towards sustainable development. Therefore the workshop explored the psychological and social barriers and incentives to taking effective governance measures, alongside building further on a sound understanding of the consumption behaviour of tourists.

The first international workshop in the Black Forest (2012) on ‘psychological and behavioural factors in understanding and governing sustainable tourism mobility’ was highly successful, and delivered a Routledge edited book and a special issue in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Focused on the need to achieve changes in transport behaviour for environmental reasons, a clear outcome of the 2012 workshop was that tourists are generally unwilling or unable to change transport behaviour based on an awareness of environmental impacts, and specifically climate change. In order to mitigate tourism’s contribution to climate change, there is consequently a need for innovation at the governance level that is founded in psychological insights regarding both individual travel behaviour and the psychology of various stakeholders including policy makers.

Consequently, a comprehensive research initiative needs to address how the public will react to command-and-control as well as market-based and soft policies, in order to design acceptable and effective legislative initiatives. In this context, it will be necessary to better understand the social, cultural and psychological structures underlying the reasoning of consumers as well as policy makers.

The programme consisted of multi-disciplinary sessions and discussions in plenum about the following topics:

  • Policy-making and transport governance
  • Taxation, rationing, trading and incentives
  • De-marketing, choice editing, and desirable futures
  • Basic psychological insights
The final programme and abstracts of "The psychology of governing sustainable tourism mobility: Bridging the science-policy gap, Second international workshop in the Black Forest of Freiburg, Germany", can be found in the WORKSHOP READER.

As in 2012, the workshop has been a great success, with 26 high quality papers and 28 participants from many renowned institutes. A Special issue of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, with nine contributions and an editorial, was published in 2016 (Volume 24, Issue 3, 2016). Separate papers appeared in the Journal of Transport Geography (Gössling & Cohen, 2014) and Environment and Planning A (Cohen & Gössling, 2015).