Promoting sustainable mobility among tourists
This measure involved the development of a mobile application, MyMaltaPlan, to provide useful and interesting information to encourage a change in travel behaviour amongst tourists towards more green mobility options.
The objectives of this measure were to encourage sustainable transport behaviour among tourists and to collect data through the app to assist long-term tourism transport infrastructure planning.
Implementing sustainable mobility
The App, MyMaltaPlan app, provides useful and interesting information to tourists in order to encourage a change in travel behaviour towards more environmentally friendly mobility options. The app provides information about the main tourist attractions and how to get to these attractions using sustainable modes of transport, including public buses, inner-harbour ferries, and car and (e-) bike sharing. The novel contribution of the MyMaltaPlan app lies in the creation of a random customised trip timetable, based on the user’s preferences, dates of arrival and departure, and opening hours of activities.
The University of Malta developed the app with assistance from Transport Malta (TM) and the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). The app was launched in October 2019 and a marketing campaign was devised. A public launch event took place in early March 2020. Data collection has been done before the introduction of the app to determine the baseline situation. The ex-post survey was planned for spring 2020, to monitor the use of the app and the modal shift achieved through the information and encouragement provided by the app. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism came to a complete halt and the survey had to be postponed.
Through stakeholder consultation, desktop research and on-the-spot data collection, baseline data was collected which helped with the design of the specifications for the system. A workshop for tourist operators was organised in July 2019 for them to learn how to submit information about their attractions and services to the app.
The workshop included a practical component, where the tourist operators were asked to submit information on their tourist attraction or service to the Tourist Operator Tool in the back-end of the app. The Tourist Operator Tool provides the operators with a standard form that they have to fill to include their touristic activities in the database.
The operator tool also provides information on the demographics of the tourists, the number of tourists that have added an activity to their timetable (through the automated process or manually added), and tourist feedback on the activities (star rating). This feedback is only visible to the tourist operators.
The ex-post data collection had to be postponed until there was some business and tourism up and running again.