Why visit an eco-friendly destination? Perspectives of four European nationalities
This article explores the importance placed on a destination's eco-friendliness by tourists in relation to their cultural backgrounds. The study subsequently tests relationships between the perceived eco-friendliness and other tourist motivations for visiting a nature-based destination such as Norway. An online survey, initiated on the information obtained in telephone interviews, is used to study potential tourists from four European countries: UK, France, Sweden and Norway. Altogether, 2010 French, 2891 British, 2035 Swedish and 2027 Norwegian residents finished the questionnaire, making a generalisation feasible among the residents regarding their intention to visit a nature-based destination. The results reveal differences among the four countries in terms of the importance given to the destination's eco-friendliness as well as motivations for travel. The respondents fall into two culturally distinct groups: the Scandinavian group and the British-French group. The tourists from Scandinavia seem to be motivated by being in and enjoying nature to a larger extent than those from the British-French group, who on the other hand are motivated more strongly by non-nature related motivations such as telling others of their experiences. The study results are discussed in relation to consumer culture theory and the way people utilise nature (i.e. autotelic - in the moment, in opposition to instrumental purposes), based on their cultural and religious backgrounds. This article argues that the present study results reflect the cultural philosophy held by the four European nationalities and that human and nature are two separate entities as informed by Judeo-Christianity. Future research and managerial implications are suggested.
Journal of Vacation Marketing