A Proposed Investigation into Core Value Systems as Predictors of Ecotourist Choice and Behaviour
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Humanity has been in the grip of increasing instances of global ecological degradation and local individual inaction, paradoxically coupled with higher interest in and growing concern about environmental issues. The economic market has recognised this growing interest and realised that "eco" and "green" can sell almost anything these days (Wight, 1993). The tourism industry has by no means been immune to this phenomenon, with ecotourism representing the fastest growing sector of the travel industry worldwide, generating billions of dollars annually (Page & Dowling, 2002). However, systematic empirical research into ecotourists and their psychological motivations is scarce, and what has been done is primarily descriptive in nature rather than explanatory (Fennell, 1999). The theoretical framework presented in this paper suggests that ecotourists, especially those who choose more authentic experiences, may hold stronger proenvironmental value systems and feelings of care towards the natural environment than mass tourists or even ecotourists who engage in less authentic experiences. Further it is proposed that these pro-environmental value systems may be predictive of both choice of product and behaviour in situ. The theoretical framework presented here represents the first part of a larger study being conducted on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Marketing Accountabilities and Responsibilities ANZMAC 2004
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Please note that at the time of publication the author's name was Helen Roobottom, now she is known as Helen Perkins.