Satisfaction with Leisure Trips: Findings from Ghent, Belgium
Recently, studies have started analysing how people perceive their travel and how satisfied they are with it. This travel satisfaction − i.e., the mood during trips and the evaluation of these trips – can be affected by trip characteristics, such as the used travel mode and trip duration. In this study – analysing leisure trips of 1720 respondents living in the city of Ghent (Belgium) − we do not only look at the effect of trip characteristics on travel satisfaction, but also on the effects of travel-related attitudes and the residential location on travel satisfaction, both singly and each controlling for the other. The latter makes it possible to analyse whether people who live in their preferred neighbourhood based on travel preferences (e.g., car lovers living in suburban-type of neighbourhoods) are more satisfied than people who do not. Furthermore, this chapter also explores possible outcomes of travel satisfaction. It is possible that satisfying trips with a certain travel mode increase the chance of choosing that mode for future trips of the same kind, whether or not indirect through changes in attitudes. Repetitive positively or negatively perceived trips might also affect longer-term well-being, such as life satisfaction, both directly and indirectly through the performance of − and satisfaction with − activities at the destination of the trip. On the other hand, life satisfaction can also influence people’s satisfaction with short-term activity episodes, such as satisfaction with leisure trips and activities.
KeywordsTravel behaviour Travel satisfaction Attitudes Well-being Residential location
This research has been funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), grant 12F2516N. The author would like to thank dr. Tim Schwanen, prof. Patricia L. Mokhtarian, dr. Veronique Van Acker and prof. Frank Witlox for their supervising role in the author’s doctoral research (De Vos 2015), on which this chapter is partly based.
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