Comparative Analysis: Relationship Between Transport and Tourism
This report is commissioned to provide in-depth analysis of the relationship between the transport and tourism by considering the services of bus and ferry offered by Opal Card and Hop on Hop in Sydney. From the study, it was found that e-ticketing plays a comprehensive role in Sydney’s tourism and transport system. These systems are developed to deal with Sydney’s complex network of trains, buses, light trains, ferries and rails through unique fare structure. The Opal card is presently utilized for almost 75% of the total journey taken every day on public transport within the greater Sydney area which sums up a huge 40,000 square kilometer of the state. This study also stated certain recommendations like Opal cards or Hip-on Hip-off must offer discounts for return trips in order to enhance the usage of these services. It is beneficial to permit the travelers to have a breakable trip in order to enhance the experience of the travelers. Both Opal card and Hip-on hip-off must allow 24-hour ticket validity so that it can be convenient if someone is traveling late at night and expecting to return early in the morning.
The Opal card is nothing but the smartcard tickets which are kept, reloaded and reused by the travelers or visitors in order to pay for travel mainly on public transport. The travelers only need to add value in their Opal card and then tap on and tap off so as to pay their fares on buses, light rails, ferries, and trains anywhere within the Opal network. The Opal cards along with lowest single fares offer various benefits, especially for its regular travelers (Kos-Łabędowicz, 2014, October). Conversely, Hop-on Hop-off provides various modes of bus and ferry services within the Sydney. Hop-on Hop-off tour is one of the most convenient tours service for exploring the beautiful sights and climate of Sydney. It allows their travelers to Hop-on the bus and makes their way to the open rooftop seating area. If the travelers want to explore, they can make their way back down to the door. This report will also exhibit an in-depth comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of both the products, how these products are presently incorporated into Sydney’s transport and tourism systems and some recommendations for enhancing the prevailing products and services for improving the visitor’s experience along with better integrating the transport and tourism system of Sydney (Sankarananrayanan, & Hamilton, 2014, May).
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Opal Card and Hop-on Hop-off:
The strengths are stated below:
- The opal card offers the lowest fare to its different modes of services like buses, light rails, trains, and ferries.
- It has effective connectivity with its ride range of the operational network.
- If the traveler makes several trips by using the same mode of transport, providing the traveler’s transfer occur within 1 hour of tapping off from the last trip, it will be count as a single fare or single journey (Gudymenko, Sousa, & Köpsell, 2014, October).
- One of the major strengths of Opal card is that the travelers are not bound to tap off for using the ferry services in the Sydney Ferries Manly and thus the standard transfer time is computed as 130 minutes from tap on.
- The policy of Hop-on Hop-off permits the travelers to pay one price for a whole day or two days of riding, no matter the traveler do all the three routes or just the first two stops of one route.
- The ferry services of Hop-on Hop-off enables the travelers to have complete control over their time so that they can experience the beauty and climate of Sydney the way they want to experience it.
- The ferry services of Hip-on Hip-off cover a large part of the Sydney (Gudymenko, Sousa, & Köpsell, 2014, October).
The weaknesses are stated below:
- If the traveler does not tap on or tap off, the Opal system will not be able to compute the total distance traveled which may lead to inappropriate dare charges.
- A large number of domestic travelers may get deprived of the discounts which are related to the purchasing weekly, quarterly, or monthly tickets.
- It is apparent that Opal card is costly for the women as they are likely to pay more because they are more likely to move around multiple times as a result of dropping and collecting of the kids, shopping, and other tasks which seems to be categorized mainly to women (Hjalager, 2015).
- The travelers sometimes get exposed to the harsh climate if they are at the top such as cold winds, hot sun, and rains.
- When the ferries or cruise ships drop off thousands of travelers simultaneously, it leads to chaos and confusion.
- The travelers are not offered with amusement accessories when the passengers are on board such as music, headphones, magazines, etc during the spare time of travel (Al-Ghawi, Hussain, Al Rahbi, and Hussain, 2016).
Assessing how both the products are presently integrated with Sydney’s transportation and tourism systems:
In order to sustain the reputation of Sydney as a modern and smart city, the government is dedicated to enhancing the tourism sector and transportation mobility by extensive investment on its public transport. For the said purpose, the government has launched e-ticketing systems like Opal Card, Hip-on Hip-off, etc which facilitates hassle-free transportation of the travelers. These systems are developed to deal with Sydney’s complex network of trains, buses, light trains, ferries and rails through unique fare structure ("Sydney – Opal Card Unifying Transit", 2018).
The Opal card is presently utilized for almost 75% of the total journey taken every day on public transport within the greater Sydney area which sums up a huge 40,000 square kilometer of the state. Moreover, Sydney is only the main city within Australia which is not possessed with an “Integrated” fare structure. But developers of Opal cared and Hip-on Hip-off is endeavoring to strengthen the entire fare and transportation structure for the ease and convenience of the commuters in Sydney. These e-ticketing systems are also enabling the travelers within the Sydney to choose the fastest mode of transportation to reach their destinations ("Sydney – Opal Card Unifying Transit", 2018).
Recommendations for enhancing the products:
Some of the major recommendations for enhancing the efficiency of these e-ticketing systems are stated below:
- Opal cards or Hip-on Hip-off must offer discounts for return trips in order to enhance the usage of these services.
- These e-ticketing systems must also offer discounts for peak hour travel to its users as travelers have to rush during these hours and they are less likely to get seats (Saulwick, 2018).
- It is beneficial to permit the travelers to have a breakable trip in order to enhance the experience of the travelers.
- Both Opal card and Hip-on hip-off must allow 24-hour ticket validity so that it can be convenient if someone is traveling late at night and expecting to return early in the morning (Saulwick, 2018).
Application of the relevant theories and concept of tourism and transport management on Opal card and Hip-on Hip-off:
The most appropriate tourism and transport concept in context to the Opal card and Hip-on Hip-off is the Tourism Area Lifecycle (TALC) model. This particular model refers to the model in which a destination begins as a relatively unknown and visitors initially comes in a limited number due to the limitations of access, local knowledge, facilities, etc which are considered as Exploration. This model comprises of five different stages known as Exploration, involvement, development, consolidation and stagnation. As there are ample scopes of development within the prevailing services of these e-ticketing systems as mentioned above, the developer of Opal Card and Hip-on Hip-off services must undertake this model in order to develop and offer best services to the travelers within the Sydney. After considering the different stages of the TALC model, the developer can effectively develop the services which can suit the traveler the best in terms of prices and benefits.