Current analyses highlight the relatively high contribution of holiday travel to greenhouse gas emissions. One response has been a growing 'slow travel' movement. Slow travel is an emerging concept which can be explained as an alternative to air and car travel where people travel to destinations more slowly overland and travel less distance. At first glance, slow travel might seem to preclude much international tourism, however, as an adaptation strategy, slow travel has the potential to reduce tourism's overall carbon footprint. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with 15 UK participants before and after a holiday to another European country. The analysis explores the discourses used by both slow and non-slow travellers to justify modal choice in relation to climate change. Then, using a social practices model, the paper explores how holiday travel is constrained by both individual agency to act and the structures that exist within the travel and tourism industry. The paper concludes with some recommendations for the development of slow travel as a tourism adaptation strategy for a lower carbon future. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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