1. INTRODUCTION (parte seconda)

period congestion and the desire to explore congestion-reducing alternatives. It is possible that in most places planners do not view leisure travel as economically productive (in contrast to work-related travel), and hence it is not factored into decisions about the cost-effectiveness of infrastructure improvements or other policies (even in areas of high tourism, tourism is viewed as part of the economy from a supply-side perspective – e.g. the employment it generates, and the infrastructure required to support visitors from outside the region – but the demand for leisure travel on the part of local residents may be neglected). It is also possible that planners (perhaps implicitly) view discretionary travel as less susceptible to policy intervention. Almost by definition, people tend to have and exercise more flexibility in their leisure activity choices, and since they are already (for the most part) conducting such activities because they want to, not because they have to, they may be less inclined to consider choices that will reduce those activities or the associated travel.
The fact that some value-of-time studies show that people have lower monetary valuations of travel time for discretionary trips than for mandatory trips (e.g. Hensher, 1997) is one indication that people are less motivated to reduce their travel in these cases. Finally, the options for leisure activities and travel are simply far more numerous, diverse, and complex than those for the other two types of activities, and thus it is more difficult to measure, model, and predict peoples’ behavior in this respect (Potier, 2000).
Yet leisure is by no means an insignificant segment of total activity. In many studies, discretionary purposes account for a third to a half of total personal travel (Anable, 2002; ECMT, 2000; G`tz, et al., 2002). There seems to be growth not only in the importance that people place on leisure (e.g., Snir and Harpaz, 2002) and in the amount of time devoted to leisure related activities, but also in their diversity of type (Heinze, 2000) and spatial location (Schlich, et al., 2004). The European Council of Ministers of Transport (ECMT, 2000, p. 182) notes that growth in leisure travel and activities can be attributed to three factors: “rising standards of living, earlier retirement and the trend towards shorter working hours.” Thus, it can be expected that to the extent economic prosperity continues to rise worldwide, the demand for discretionary activities and their associated travel will increase.3

Given the current and future importance of leisure to humankind, therefore, it is relevant to
examine the potential impacts of ICTs on this category of activities and hence on the associated travel. The purpose of this report is to offer a conceptual exploration of those impacts. By analyzing the possible types of impacts of ICT on leisure, and classifying leisure activities according to factors that are relevant to understanding those impacts, we hope to provide a conceptual framework from which future empirical studies can benefit.
The organization of this report is as follows. In the following section, we explore various issues related to the definition and classification of leisure activities. After discussing some ideas about what leisure is and is not, we briefly review several typologies of leisure activities that have previously appeared in the literature. Section 3 constitutes the heart of the report, exploring the relationship of ICT to leisure activities. First, we discuss four kinds of ways by which ICT can affect leisure activities, and speculate on the general nature of the concomitant travel impacts of those effects. We then present 13 dimensions to leisure activities that are especially relevant to the issue of ICT impacts. Section 4 offers some concluding remarks, including suggested directions for further research.

Continua >>>>>

3 However, the relationship may be more complex than these trends alone indicate. There is evidence suggesting that reduced work hours over the last few decades, especially in western European countries, have translated into more work on “second jobs” and increasing incomes. This growth in income may facilitate leisure activities of a different nature and on different time scales. For example, the reduction of daily leisure time availability due to second jobs may translate into more distant (and expensive) annual vacations. Thus, increasing incomes do not necessarily translate into more leisure activities. The income effect may be moderated in various ways, both in quantitative and qualitative dimensions.