Greenways: a sustainable leisure experience concept for both communities and tourists

This paper reviews the development of greenways/car-free trails as an alternative environmentally friendly communication system and assesses their strengths and weaknesses. It gives the results of a questionnaire survey of 1261 users along a 106-km greenway in Spain linking the Pyrenees with the Mediterranean Sea. Unlike previous studies, sampling was random and unequal probabilities of selection were properly accounted for. The results show a complex range of user profiles, tourist and non-tourist, their perceptions of the trail and some of the direct and indirect impacts of the greenway on the communities through which it passes. Management recommendations flowing from the survey are presented with the aim of increasing the use of accommodation services and businesses in the towns and villages near the greenway and helping create a more sustainable tourism system. The paper illustrates the potential importance of greenways in a future low-carbon tourism strategy adapting to climate change ​
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