Volume 8, Issue 2, 2016
Authors: Carmen VÁZQUEZ VARELA, José M. MARTÍNEZ NAVARRO
HIGH-SPEED RAILWAY AND TOURISM: IS THERE AN IMPACT ON INTERMEDIATE CITIES? EVIDENCE FROM TWO CASE STUDIES IN CASTILLA-LA MANCHA (SPAIN)
The expectations of cities served by High Speed Rail are numerous. Improvements in a destination’s accessibility could lead to an increase in transport demand and the revitalization of urban and business tourism. However, High Speed Rail services do not automatically affect the choice of destination even if they improve accessibility. Even so, they can improve visitation rates when tourist amenities are located near High Speed Rail stations becoming therefore easily accessible. The development of tourism is also influenced by the collective strategies of local stakeholders. Larger cities also appear able to leverage higher tourist volumes from the construction of High Speed Rail and most analyses to date have focused upon them. Thus we focus here on how the arrival of High Speed Rail services has impacted tourism on medium sized cities. Using a diachronic study of different socio-economic variables and tourist features, this article analyses the impact that the new rail infrastructure can have on tourism in two selected cases in Spain: Cuenca and Toledo.