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In this conceptual discussion of the potential impacts of ICT on leisure activities and travel,
several recurring themes emerge. One theme is that a key role of ICT is to expand the individual’s choice set, both of activities and of ways to conduct a given activity. Among new ICTs, clearly the mobile phone and the Internet are having the largest impact on activity patterns. At present, the Internet is perhaps more important in the United States and the mobile phone more important elsewhere in the world, but both technologies are still spreading, as well as merging in forms such as the Web-enabled mobile phone and laptops or personal digital assistants (PDAs) with wireless Internet connections.
Another recurring theme, however, is that just because new choices are available, there is no
guarantee that people will choose them. The appeal of ICT-based activities will depend on
characteristics of the choice context, the alternatives, and the individual. We are reminded that
in many cases, ICT does not offer a satisfactory alternative to traditional ways of conducting
activities. And in fact, although we have generally assumed the availability of ICTs in the foregoing discussion, that assumption is not universally true. In some cases a desired ICT is not available to anyone – being technologically or economically out of reach at this point – and in other cases it is available to some people but not to everyone. Obviously availability is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for an ICT alternative to be chosen. Following the interesting results of Doherty (2003) with respect to the spatial and temporal flexibility of activities (discussed in Section 3.1.1), it would be valuable to monitor the extent to which that perceived flexibility is changing over time, as well as simply the extent to which ICT alternatives are perceived to be available. Further, the differential availability of ICTs to different geographical locations and socio-economic segments of society is a matter of policy concern as well as research interest.
A further overarching observation is that the potential leisure-related impacts of ICT on travel
are mixed. For some types of effects (categories 1 and 2 of Table 2 and Figure 2) the adoption of ICT is likely to reduce travel; for others (categories 3 and 4) the primary effect is likely to be generation of new travel, although secondary modification and substitution effects are also likely. We do not know the net outcome of these complex and counteracting relationships, nor even a rank ordering among the various types of ICT impacts with respect to their implications for travel.
In addition to those already expressed or implied, a number of directions for further research have been suggested by this discussion. One fundamental question worth exploring is, how do people perceive leisure? That is, what qualifies an activity as leisure or not-leisure to a given individual, and with what factors does that classification vary across people? Besides being of theoretical interest in their own right, from a practical standpoint the answers are important to our ability to craft empirical studies in a way that will be meaningful to the participants, even – or perhaps especially – if our desired definition differs from theirs (see Passmore and French, 2001 for one example of such a study).

With respect to each of the four types of ICT impacts identified in this report, two generic
questions can be raised: (1) What is the extent of the adoption of the relevant ICTs (whether
they are the ends of interest as in categories 1 and 2, or the means to another end as in categories 3 and 4); and (2) for a given level of adoption of ICTs, what is the nature and extent of their impacts on the targets of study? For a study of category 1 adoption (the choice of an ICT-based versus traditional way of conducting a given activity), discrete choice models probably constitute the logical analysis methodology. For adoption within the other three categories, the natural paradigm is not so much that of an either-or choice among discrete alternatives, but rather a shift in the way one’s time is allocated. Accordingly, appropriate analysis methodologies could include utility maximization based models of time allocation (see, e.g., Kraan, 1997), structural equations models (e.g. Lu and Pas, 1999), and/or duration models (Bhat, 1996).
In sum, the study of the impacts of ICTs on leisure activities and travel presents a number of
interesting and important challenges to the profession. We look forward to the further
development of this rich and rewarding topic.

The development of Figure 2 was inspired by a discussion with Gil Tal, and David Ory is the
source of footnote 12. Hani Mahmassani and Genevieve Giuliano also offered some helpful

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