|dc.description.abstract||The rising levels of global carbon emissions are accelerating climate change and global warming, with devastating effects on many communities. The tourism sector accounts for around eight per cent of carbon emissions (Lenzen, et al., 2018), with the hotel sector generating approximately 21 per cent of these emissions (Lee & Cheng, 2018). In addition, the hotel sector has been allied with adverse impacts on the environment through the depletion of natural resources. However, many hotels are striving to cut down their carbon footprint and level of environmental impact, which has led to the emergence of ‘green’ hotels. Research into the green hotel context is limited and consumer behaviour in this field has rarely been explored. Further, some issues remain scarcely investigated within the hotel sector, such as the effectiveness of interventions using pictorial elements employing positive and negative framing, and applicable content to gauge travellers’ perceptions and intentions to stay at green hotels.
This thesis aims to fill the gap in literature positing the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as a theoretical framework to provide a deeper understanding of travellers’ behaviour towards staying at green hotels. This research employs the TPB full model using beliefs, attitudes, subjective injunctive and descriptive norms, perceived behavioural control and behavioural intention, and extends the theory by adding green hotel knowledge to the TPB framework. This research uses qualitative methods as a foundation for the quantitative study. In phase one, an elicitation study of three focus groups, using open-ended questionnaires, is employed to identify beliefs and any additional predictors that donate to the foundation of Australian travellers’ purchasing decisions regarding staying at green hotels. Based on the qualitative results and a review of literature, the preliminary survey instrument was constructed. Subsequently, the preliminary survey instrument was pilot tested from a representative sample of Australian travellers.
In phase two, an online survey is deployed resulting in a total of 771 valid responses. Participants are assigned randomly to either neutral control conditions that received no intervention or two intervention groups. One of the randomly assigned groups received positively-framed images to evoke green hotels’ environmental benefits; the other group received negatively-framed images that indicated environmental pollution. These interventions are designed to examine their effect on travellers’ intentions to stay at a green hotel.
The results indicate that the TPB original constructs, except subjective descriptive norms, can positively affect travellers’ willingness to stay at green hotels. Particularly, perceived behavioural control is the most significant predictor of travellers' intentions to stay at a green hotel. The findings of the research also reveal that green hotel knowledge may have a direct effect on travellers’ willingness to stay at green hotels. Finally, the research has found that travellers’ intentions can be significantly different depending on the message framing used to attract their attention.
This research makes several theoretical and practical contributions. Theoretically, the original model of the theory-without extending the social norms into descriptive and injunctive is sufficient to explain travellers’ intention/s to stay at a green hotel. The research also extends existing knowledge with regard to the reconceptualisation of the TPB model with the inclusion of an additional dimension of green hotel knowledge. Practically, since green hotel knowledge is a clear barrier to staying intentions, hoteliers may induce perceptions of useful knowledge about green practices implemented in their establishments, to enable travellers to make informed decisions in favour of green accommodation. In addition, results show the superiority of positive over negative messages to impact travellers’ intentions to stay at green accommodation. Travellers might be driven to stay at a green hotel if positive green aspects were communicated through a knowledge-based approach in marketing material. Consequently, hotel managers can potentially improve their service development strategies and ultimately help promote their green marketing programs.||en_US