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Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation

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This study aims to understand the reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation. The concepts explored are the antecedents towards sustainable tourist behaviour, namely which attitudes, motivations, values, lifestyle influence sustainable travel choices. It adopts an exploratory research approach and a mono method qualitative research design. Data are collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews to travellers staying in sustainable accommodation and to managers of sustainable tourist establishments based in Portugal, in particular, nearby the Lisbon Area. It is intended to determine which factors influence this choice the most and to define sustainable accommodation. The study seeks to contribute to the academic area of green consumption and sustainable consumer behaviour in the tourism field. Moreover, it provides insights to the hospitality sector to focus better on the services offer and integrated communication strategies.
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MASTER
MARKETING
MASTERS THESIS
DISSERTATION
REASONS FOR THE CHOICE OF
SUSTAINABLE ACCOMMODATION
IRENE PAOLINELLI
OCTOBER 2020
MASTER
MARKETING
MASTERS THESIS
DISSERTATION
REASONS FOR THE CHOICE OF
SUSTAINABLE ACCOMMODATION
IRENE PAOLINELLI
ORIENTATION:
PROF. MARIA MARGARIDA DE MELO COELHO DUARTE
OCTOBER 2020
Irene Paolinelli
i
"Life belongs to the living,
and he who lives must be prepared for changes."
(Goethe, 1817)
Irene Paolinelli
ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
To Professor Margarida Duarte for making me develop the interest for Consumer Behaviour area and
giving me the opportunity to merge my passions for the fields of Tourism and Consumer Behaviour in
this dissertation.
To all those who gave their fundamental contribution and their availability to participate in this study,
sharing lots of interesting insights.
To all the teachers of this Master's Degree, for all their knowledge shared.
To my parents who have always given me the means to achieve my goals over these years, transmitting
me the values of sacrifice and commitment.
To my sister Ilaria, always by my side, physically distant, but always supporting me when needed.
To Flora and Fifi, the best flatmates ever, my meninas, source of positive vibes, always supporting the
little tiger in the cave, from the first to the last day of this journey.
To my worldwide friends with whom I shared unforgettable experiences, they gave me the opportunity
to get to know new cultures developing new points of view, in particular, obrigada to Thais and Raissa,
my university presents.
To Lisboa, that illuminated me with its powerful light in direction of new horizons.
To Raffaello Franz, ensemble vers le lendemain.
To myself, who has never stopped fighting, achieving with determination, small and persistent steps,
this important goal full of challenges.
Irene Paolinelli
iii
RESUMO
Este estudo visa compreender as razões de escolha de um alojamento sustentável. Os conceitos
explorados são os antecedentes para o comportamento turístico sustentável, nomeadamente quais as
atitudes, motivações, valores e estilo de vida influenciam as escolhas de viagens sustentáveis.
Adota-se uma abordagem de investigação exploratória e uma investigação qualitativa mono método. Os
dados são recolhidos através de entrevistas em profundidade semi-estruturadas a viajantes que
escolheram alojamentos sustentáveis durante as suas viagens. Além disso, foram entrevistados também
alguns gestores de estabelecimentos turísticos sustentáveis localizados em Portugal, especialmente nas
proximidades de Lisboa. Pretende-se determinar quais são os fatores que mais influenciam esta escolha
e definir o significado de um alojamento sustentável. O estudo procura contribuir para a área académica
do consumo sustentável e do comportamento sustentável do consumidor no campo do turismo. Para
além disso, fornece insights para o sector hoteleiro com o intuito de aperfeiçoar a oferta dos serviços e
as estratégias de comunicação integradas.
Palavras-chave: Comportamento turístico sustentável, sustentabilidade triple bottom line, alojamento
sustentável, atitudes, motivações, valores, estilo de vida.
Irene Paolinelli
iv
ABSTRACT
This study aims to understand the reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation. The concepts
explored are the antecedents towards sustainable tourist behaviour, namely which attitudes, motivations,
values, lifestyle influence sustainable travel choices. It adopts an exploratory research approach and a
mono method qualitative research design. Data are collected through semi-structured in-depth
interviews to travellers staying in sustainable accommodation and to managers of sustainable tourist
establishments based in Portugal, in particular, nearby the Lisbon Area. It is intended to determine which
factors influence this choice the most and to define sustainable accommodation. The study seeks to
contribute to the academic area of green consumption and sustainable consumer behaviour in the tourism
field. Moreover, it provides insights to the hospitality sector to focus better on the services offer and
integrated communication strategies.
Keywords: Sustainable tourist behaviour, triple bottom line sustainability, sustainable accommodation,
attitudes, motivations, values, lifestyle.
Irene Paolinelli
v
ABBREVIATIONS
TBL - Triple Bottom Line
NAM Norm Activation Model
Irene Paolinelli
vi
INDEX
RESUMO ............................................................................................................................................... iii
ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................... iv
ABBREVIATIONS ................................................................................................................................ v
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Study Purpose and Specific Objectives ......................................................................................... 1
1.2 Contextualization and Problem Delimitation ................................................................................ 1
1.3 Relevance to Marketing Theory and Practice ................................................................................ 3
1.4 Research Project Structure ............................................................................................................. 3
CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................ 3
2.1 Triple Bottom Line Approach to Sustainability ............................................................................ 3
2.1.1 Triple Bottom Line in Sustainable Tourism ............................................................................... 5
2.2 Attitudes ......................................................................................................................................... 6
2.3 Motivations .................................................................................................................................... 7
2.3.1 Tourist Motivations .................................................................................................................... 8
2.4 Values ............................................................................................................................................ 9
2.5 Lifestyle ....................................................................................................................................... 11
2.5.1 Sustainable Lifestyle ................................................................................................................. 11
2.6 Research framework .................................................................................................................... 12
CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION ................................................... 13
3.1 Research Type ............................................................................................................................. 13
3.2 Population Definition, Sample and Data Collection .................................................................... 13
CHAPTER 4 - DATA ANALYSIS ..................................................................................................... 15
4.1 Sample Characterization .............................................................................................................. 15
4.2 Analysis of Interviews ................................................................................................................. 17
4.2.1 Sustainability and Sustainable Accommodation Definition ..................................................... 17
4.2.2 Factors Influencing the Choice for Sustainable Accommodation ............................................ 19
4.2.2.1 Positive Attitudes towards Sustainability .............................................................................. 19
4.2.2.2 Tourist Motivations Considering Sustainability Aspects ...................................................... 20
4.2.2.3 Sustainability Values Applied at Home and while Travelling .............................................. 22
4.2.2.4 Sustainable Behaviour in Daily life and on Vacation ............................................................ 24
CHAPTER 5 - DISCUSSION OF RESULTS .................................................................................... 27
Irene Paolinelli
vii
CHAPTER 6 - CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE
RESEARCH.......................................................................................................................................... 30
6.1 Conclusions.................................................................................................................................. 30
6.2 Academic and Practical Contributions ........................................................................................ 31
6.3 Limitations of the Study .............................................................................................................. 32
6.4 Suggestions for Future Research ................................................................................................. 33
REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................................... 34
WEBOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................. 39
APPENDICES ...................................................................................................................................... 40
Appendix 1 - Main definitions of the constructs in analysis ............................................................. 40
Appendix 2 Conceptual models considered for the research framework of this study .................. 42
Appendix 3 - Criteria for the selection of interviews participants..................................................... 43
Appendix 4 - Sociodemographic information sheet of interviews participants ................................ 44
Appendix 5 Interview guides with travellers for data collection .................................................... 44
Appendix 6 Table considered for the analysis of travellers’ interviews ........................................ 46
Appendix 7 Interview guides with managers for data collection ................................................... 48
Appendix 8 Table considered for the analysis of managers’ interviews ........................................ 49
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 Research questions ................................................................................................................. 12
Table 2 - Travellers characterization...................................................................................................... 16
Table 3 - Managers characterization ...................................................................................................... 17
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1 Research framework ............................................................................................................. 12
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
1
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Study Purpose and Specific Objectives
This study aims to understand traveller’s reasons for choosing sustainable accommodation, namely
which attitudes, motivations, values and lifestyle influence people choosing this type of tourist
establishments. In this way, it is intended to explore the antecedents towards tourist behaviour and their
relations to sustainable behavioural choices in the sustainable tourism field.
1.2 Contextualization and Problem Delimitation
From a marketing perspective, a more detailed analysis of guests is required in different forms of
accommodation. Despite the growing international recognition of the importance of environmental
sustainability across many economic sectors, there are issues related to the application of the concept
into effective practical strategies (Morrison, Pearce, Moscardo, Nadkarni & O’Leary, 1996).
Sustainable tourism has attracted significant attention in many scientific studies and it has been one
growing area of tourism research in recent years, as it aims to make a balance between protecting the
environment, maintaining cultural integrity, establishing social justice and promoting economic benefits
meeting the needs of the host population to improve living standards in the short and long term (Liu,
Tzeng, & Lee, 2013, p.102, as cited in Zolfani, Sedaghat, Maknoon & Zavadskas, 2015, p. 2). There are
various issues about defining sustainability. Most of the time, only environmental aspects are considered
to define sustainability, without taking into consideration social aspects. This study takes into
consideration the “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL) approach to sustainability. It is a framework coined in
the 1990s by a business consultant called Elkington that goes beyond the traditional measures of profits
and includes the social and environmental dimensions (Hammer & Pivo, 2017). Practicing TBL
sustainability can have both operational and competitive benefits for hospitality firms. In fact, it allows
the transition of their attention from short-term profits to long-term environmental, social and economic
performance (Boley & Uysal, 2013).
The accommodation sector plays an important role in the development of tourism in local economies
(Hobson & Essex, 2010). There is no agreement on a clear definition of sustainable accommodation. In
the literature, sustainable accommodation and eco-friendly accommodation are used frequently as
synonyms. Nevertheless, since this study takes into consideration the TBL approach, the two terms are
not used as synonyms. At this regard, sustainable accommodation can be identified as an overall profile
characterized by a set of criteria. It is described as a type of accommodation that aims to maximise local
economic benefits and minimise the negative impact on the environment. It provides also employment
and economic opportunities for the local community and encourages guests to engage in sustainable
activities (Moscardo, Morrison & Pearce, 1996).
Variables affecting guests’ sustainable intentions have a prominent role in sustainable
accommodation choice (Han & Yoon, 2015). Moreover, Doran and Larsen (2016) refer that although
the tourism industry uses marketing tools to create demand, individual tourists still have the final
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
2
decision on where to go and what to do. This includes, for instance, choosing the type of accommodation
where to stay.
Pandey and Srivastava (2016) state that several factors play a significant role in individual choices;
thus, it is useful to highlight the relations between these antecedents and customer purchase intention.
Among the main antecedents considered in empirical studies, attitudes and motivations stand out
frequently. Attitudes play an important role in the context of sustainable tourism practices (Doran &
Larsen, 2016). Empirical results show that a high level of tourist interest in sustainable accommodation
is in line with personal attitudes (Dalton, Lockington & Baldock, 2008). Also, lifestyle and values have
a relevant impact on the customer’s purchase intention (Qing, Lobo & Chongguang, 2012; Fratu 2011).
Furthermore, Zolfani et al. (2015) argue that consumer choice is mostly influenced by the perceived
environmental changes. López-Sánchez and Pulido-Fernández (2016) claim that the scientific debate
regarding consumer behaviour in sustainability issues is intense, in particular, sustainable tourist
behaviour is a growing field of study. It is important to better understand the meaning of sustainability
from the tourist’s perspective to provide more in-depth knowledge of sustainable consumption in the
tourism field. Dolnicar, Crouch and Long (2008) highlight that there is a limited understanding of what
tourist behaviour can be considered as sustainable, and little consensus about who sustainable tourists
are. Gossling, Scott, Hall, Ceron and Dubois (2012) show that significant gaps remain about tourism
demand responses. For this reason, there is a need to continue researching those issues. Dolnicar (2010)
shows the difference between sustainable behaviour at home and on vacation. In this regard, Juvan and
Dolnicar (2014) studied the attitude-behaviour gap in sustainable tourism. However, findings indicate
that customers who have positive attitudes towards sustainable behaviour in their daily lives and positive
image of green accommodation are willing to choose it (Han, Hsu & Lee, 2009).
The European Commission’s study about awareness, attitudes, and experiences of European citizens
towards the environment reveals that 81% of Europeans agree that environmental issues have a direct
effect on their life. The view that protecting the environment is important corresponds to 99% in Portugal
(European Commission, 2017). In this regard, 93% of Europeans have taken at least one action to tackle
climate change (European Commission, 2019). According to the sustainable travel report of
Booking.com, over half of global travellers report (55%) being more determined to make sustainable
travel choices than in the previous year (Booking.com, 2019). Tourism products and services
demands are better geared towards environmental protection and benefits to local communities. In this
concern, tourism can contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 for
sustainable development. Critical attention should be paid to the way it is managed (UNWTO, 2018).
By the year 2020, there will be around 1.6 billion eco-inspired trips taken. Sustainability will be a key
factor in successful brand management in the hospitality field (Trivago Business Blog, 2019).
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
3
1.3 Relevance to Marketing Theory and Practice
The demand for sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industry is growing. Managers of
sustainable accommodation can benefit strategically from increasing their understanding of customers’
eco-friendly motivations and attitudes (Baker, Davis & Weaver, 2014; Han & Yoon, 2015). This study
can help them to focus better on their services offer and their integrated communication strategies.
Moreover, it will be relevant to marketing theory, since the antecedents of consumer behaviour explicitly
related to sustainable accommodation choice have been little explored. The study can contribute to the
academic area of green consumption and sustainable behaviour in the tourism field. In this respect, it
aims to investigate on why travellers choose to stay in sustainable accommodation, and what drives
them to opt for that.
1.4 Research Project Structure
The research project structure is the following: first, the literature review explores the TBL approach
to sustainability and the variables that can influence the behavioural choice, namely attitudes,
motivations, values, and lifestyle. The methodology chapter describes the research approach, the
research design, the empirical context, the selected sample, the time horizon and the data collection
methods used for this study. Afterwards, the data analysis chapter highlights the sample characterization
and the analysis of the interviews taking into consideration the definition of sustainability, sustainable
accommodation and the central factors influencing the sustainable accommodation choice. Furthermore,
the discussion of results chapter shows the relation between this study’s results and the previous studies
in the literature. Finally, the conclusions chapter answers to the investigation questions indicating the
main conclusions, the academic and practical contributions, the limitations of the study and the
suggestions for future research.
CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW
ANTECEDENTS OF SUSTAINABLE TOURIST BEHAVIOUR
2.1 Triple Bottom Line Approach to Sustainability
Sustainability has been an often-mentioned goal of businesses and different organizations in the past
decade, yet measuring the degree of being sustainable can be difficult” (Slaper & Hall, 2011, p.4). In
this regard, the triple bottom line has become one of the leading frameworks adopted by businesses
trying to address sustainability. There are two main kinds of approaches to sustainability, (1) top-down
that emphasizes management, measurement, and control and (2) inside out that focuses on the
importance of change and innovation. The TBL concept is a sustainability-related construct that was
coined by Elkington (1997). It is originated from the notion of sustainability and sustainable
development. It focuses not just on the economic value, but also the social and environmental aspects,
namely economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social equity. It integrates the 3 Ps: profit,
people and planet (Adams, Frost & Webber, 2013). It provides a framework for measuring the
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
4
performance of the business and the success of the organizations using these three lines (Goel, 2010; as
cited in Alhaddi, 2015). It is intended to be a philosophy, a way of doing business that is socially and
environmentally responsible (Stoddard, Pollard & Evans, 2012). Nowadays social and environmental
reporting is relevant for every organization (Adams et al., 2013). The Sustainability Reporting
Guidelines suggest that organizations report their strategy concerning sustainability as a management
approach to handle sustainable issues (Stoddard, Pollard & Evans, 2012).
Sustainable development is defined in the Brundtland Report by the World Commission on
Environment and Development as development that meets the needs of the present world without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UNWCED, 1987, p.43; as
cited in Adams et al., 2013, p.17). Similar to this definition, sustainability is defined as “the expectations
of improving the social and the environmental performance of the present generation without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their social and environmental needs” (Hart &
Milsten, 2003; as cited in Alhaddi, 2015, p. 7). Marshall and Toffel (2005) consider affirm that
sustainability has been defined in many ways over the years, they refer the concept to “transforming our
ways of living to maximize the chances that environmental and social conditions will indefinitely
support human security, well-being and health” (Marshall & Toffel, 2005, p. 679; as cited in Stoddard,
Pollard & Evans, 2012, p. 241).
Some studies use sustainability to mainly refer to the environmental aspects, other focus on the social
line and some refer to all three dimensions bringing more balance and coherence into the construct.
Alhaddi, (2015, p. 6) argues that the triple bottom line and sustainability are two related constructs that
are often used interchangeably in the literature”.
The economic line of the TBL approach regards the impact of the organization’s business practices
on the economic system, including personal income, job growth, and employment rate. It uses traditional
financial performance indicators. The social dimension refers to fair business practices to labour, human
capital, local community, shareholders and stakeholders, as safety and security, female labour,
educational attainment, employment satisfaction, social well-being, and quality of life of communities.
The environmental line refers to natural capital engaging in practices that protect environmental
resources for future generations minimizing the ecological footprint, like electricity consumption, waste,
air quality, use of recycled materials and water sources (Elkington, 1997; as cited in Alhaddi, 2015).
There is considerably less empirical research on TBL compared to environmental sustainability.
Moreover, the literature shows an inconsistent usage of sustainability term referring to only one or two
of the three known lines (Alhaddi, 2015).
Furthermore, there are challenges to put the TBL into practice since the dimensions do not have a
common unit of measurement. Measurement is the key issue, as there is no standard method to calculate
the TBL. This aspect can also be seen as a strength because it allows adapting the general framework to
different entities needs (Slaper & Hall, 2011). The critics of the TBL consider that it focuses on
controlling the negative aspects of an organization’s operations, the social indicators are the most
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
5
difficult to assess it is difficult to measure them in objective ways. The heterogeneity of the tourism
sector complicates the development of universal social and environmental impact measures (Stoddard,
Pollard & Evans, 2012).
The TBL concept is identified as important by practitioners, but it is not completely integrated into
practice. Little research has been conducted regarding how professionals view and practice it. Sources
of debate regard how the concept has been addressed in practice since it involves differences in
definition and measurement, especially about social and environmental factors that are less quantifiable
indicators. However, environmental and social factors are also connected to economic development
(Hammer & Pivo, 2017).
2.1.1 Triple Bottom Line in Sustainable Tourism
Tourism development organizations adopt the TBL framework to evaluate the degree to which their
operations are sustainable and its managerial implications. The concept is integrated into the sustainable
tourism context. The concept of TBL, sustainability and sustainable tourism development are linked
(Stoddard, Pollard & Evans, 2012). Ivanov, Ivanova and Iankova (2015, p. 175) argue that
sustainability has been embraced as a guiding principle in the management of destinations, tourist
enterprises, and accommodation establishments.
For Stoddard, Pollard and Evans (2012, p. 245), sustainable tourism refers to a level of tourism
activity that can be maintained over the long term because it results in a net benefit for the social,
economic, natural and cultural environments of the area in which it takes place.These researchers
suggest a list of indicators for tourism. Economic indicators of tourism are the easiest to establish.
Establishments occupancy rates, the number of tourism employees, labour income from tourism and
seasonality can typically provide measures. Social indicators of tourism are linked with the concept of
social capital as cooperation with non-governmental organizations, collaboration with local, awareness
of the destination, housing affordability, Human resources practices, social services for the local
communities, the rights of people with disabilities to guarantee them access to tourism goods and
services (Darcy, Cameron & Pegg, 2010). Environmental indicators of tourism concern the sector’s
impact on nature conservation. These indicators are based on the guidebook of indicators of sustainable
development for tourism destinations developed by the UNWTO (2004). Tourism organizations TBL
thinking adoption identifies potential cost savings. From a marketing perspective, the fact of adopting
this approach can lead to the improvement of market positioning increasing competitive differentiation.
Also, it can improve strategic decision making (Stoddard, Pollard & Evans, 2012).
Regarding the hospitality field, society increases the pressure on the sector to be socially and
environmentally responsible. The relevant stakeholders are not only the customers and shareholders, but
also the social surrounding. By adopting this TBL approach and considering the needs of all
stakeholders, accommodation establishments can gain potential benefits like competitive and cost
advantages, gaining also community recognition by being more transparent in reporting the impacts of
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
6
their commitments and operations (Assaf, Josiassen & Cvelbar, 2012). The accommodation industry is
responsible for waste pollution. Sustainable practices in this sector are of crucial importance for the
negative impacts on nature. The degree of implementation of these practices will vary depending on the
accommodation’s type, category, location, and served market segments.
The environmental dimension of sustainability has received dominant attention in hospitality
research. Social responsibility is a less researched aspect of sustainability in the hospitality sector
compared to environmental issues (Ivanov, Ivanova & Iankova, 2015).
Darcy, Cameron and Pegg (2010, p. 516) argue that the research into sustainable tourism has so far
largely ignored social arguments concerning ageing and disability. It presents a significant and ongoing
challenge for the sector.
Nevertheless, there is no agreement on a clear definition of sustainable accommodation. The term is
frequently used as synonymous with eco-friendly accommodation considering mostly environmental
aspects. In this regard, Moscardo et al., (1996) tried to identify the following key characteristics of
sustainable accommodation taking into consideration both environmental and social criteria. First of all,
it should be on a small scale and locally owned, providing employment opportunities for the local
community and being spread not near major attractions. Furthermore, it should have aspects that reflects
the region; encouraging the local heritage protection by using existing buildings, promoting educational
activities and quality experiences. Finally, it should not have negative impacts on other sectors
(Moscardo et al., 1996).
According to Ivanov, Ivanova and Iankova (2015, p.193) a new generation of tourists appear
showing a behaviour drifting away from the pure consumerism, but developing mentality of sustainable
consciousness, that characterises them as tourists who would prefer to stay in sustainable
accommodation.
Boley and Uysal (2013) consider important to follow a holistic sustainable approach in the hospitality
sector practices, and finding out how to communicate messages to guests directing their behaviour
toward sustainability. In this regard, Darci, Cameron and Pegg (2010, p. 520) state that the leisure and
tourism industry have the greatest potential to contribute to social sustainability because its services can
enhance the quality of life of individuals in many ways.
2.2 Attitudes
There are different views on the concept of attitude. Nevertheless, authors agree that an attitude
represents “a summary evaluation of a psychological object as good-bad, pleasant-unpleasant, likeable-
unlikeable (Ajzen, 2001, p. 29, as cited in Argyriou & Melewar, 2011, pp. 432-433). According to this
view “attitudes are based on salient beliefs about an object’s attributes (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1974, p.59;
Fishbein & Middlestadt, 1995, p.185, as cited in Argyriou & Melewar, 2011, p.440). Studies of tourism
behaviour show that tourist attitude describes the psychological tendencies expressed by the positive or
negative evaluations of tourists when engaged in certain behaviours (Ajzen, 1991, as cited in Lee, 2009).
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
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A prevalent model of attitude structure specifies three components: affect, behaviour, and cognition
(Breckler, 1984). Researchers treat the construct as an affective construct that mediate the relationship
between cognitive information processing and subsequent behaviour (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1974). Ajzen
(1991) developed the theory of planned behaviour to predict an individual’s intention and behaviour.
The theory of planned behaviour can be useful in predicting ecological behaviour (Kiser, Wolfing &
Fuhrer, 1999).
Attitudes are based on elements such as liking, feelings, and emotions generated by exposure to the
stimulus, rather than attribute information (Vakratsas & Ambler, 1999, as cited in Argyriou & Melewar,
2011). The decision can also be influenced by situational factors, but certain attitudes are stored in the
form of memory associations (Shavitt, 1989). Fazio (1990) recognizes that attitude formation depends
on factors like motivation and level of conscious awareness.
Fishbein and Ajzen (1974) claim that sustainable behaviour is more likely to occur when people have
a positive attitude towards environmental issues. To explain attitudes, marketers need to understand their
motivational underpinnings (Argyriou & Melewar, 2011). An attitude towards one behaviour may not
necessarily be related to other behaviours. Indeed, other studies suggest that sustainable behaviour can
be perceived as a uni-dimensional rather than a multi-dimensional concept because everything is linked
to the common goal of protecting the environment (Gatersleben, Murtagh & Abrahamse, 2014). Baker
et al. (2014) argue that sustainable attitudes can be positively related to consumers’ intention to purchase
green products. However, some studies show that people feel less moral obligation to behave sustainably
while being on vacation than at home. The majority of tourists consider themselves sustainably-minded
consumers, but only half consider themselves sustainably-minded travellers (Dalton et al., 2008).
In this regard, the first investigation question is defined.
Q1: How can travellers attitudes influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
2.3 Motivations
Consumer motivations are determined by different stimuli of everyday life (Pandey & Srivastava,
2016). Keller (1983, p. 389, as cited in Crookes and Schmidt 1991, p. 481) argue that “motivations refer
to the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid, and the degree
of effort they will exert in that respect. Deci and Ryan (1995, p. 169) distinguish intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation: “people who are intrinsically motivated in doing an activity are doing it for themselves.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, refers to learning situations where the reason for doing a task is
something other. Fratu (2011) identifies conscious motivations, related to the individual’s previous
experience and unconscious motivations, usually identified by indirect psychological investigation
techniques. Motivations are affected by cultural diversities and they are omnipresent in the lives of
consumers (Pandey & Srivastava, 2016).
Also, in tourism research motivations have been categorized in four categories: (1) physical
motivations, as the desire to practice sport; (2) cultural motivations as the desire to visit a museum; (3)
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8
interpersonal motivations, as the desire to socialize; and (4) prestige motivations, for example, the desire
of being appreciated (Fratu, 2011). Sustainable tourism combines altruistic motivations with the travel
concept. Tourists are increasingly searching for alternative experiences that make a positive contribution
to the social, natural and economic environment. Tourism motives concern personal growth, undertaking
a holiday with a difference and contributing to the local community (Ooi & Laing, 2010). Moreover,
findings show that people who have satisfied their needs are more likely to act ecologically (Deci &
Ryan, 1995).
Stern, Dietz, Abel, Guagnano and Kalof (1999) propose that sustainability concern is affected by a
combination of egoistic, social and biospheric orientation. The stronger is the egoistic orientation, the
stronger is the motivation for the behaviour. The egoistic orientation can be a motivation for sustainable
behaviour as far as the action serves the person’s needs and wants. Researchers differentiate between
primary motives, the greater motives that let us engage in a whole set of behaviours and selective
motives that influence a specific action (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002). Lee (2009) claim that to interpret
tourist behaviour, tourist motivation can be considered the main factor. Tourist needs and motivations
are interrelated.
2.3.1 Tourist Motivations
Eagles (1992, as cited in Lee 2009) affirm that understanding tourist motivation is complex and
generally multifaceted. Tourist motivations also have been characterised into attraction and social
motivations. Leiper (1990, p. 367) state that “attractions can be regarded as systems or sets of
interconnected elements. Lew (1987) shows the importance of attractions in tourism studies. Law
(1987, p. 554, as cited in Leiper 1990, p. 369) claim that tourist attractions consist of all those elements
of a non-home place that draw travellers away from their homes including landscape to observe,
activities to participate in and experiences to remember. Attraction is not only sightseeing. Tourist
attractions can be regarded as systems and tourists are part of these systems (Leiper, 1990).
Social motivations can be defined considering certain conditions. First the fact that the person is in
direct contact with another person or group. Then, the social presence effects, namely indications about
how to act in different situations. Third, the socially engendered effect that is capable of initiating and
intensifying the behaviour. Also, it concerns the need for avoiding criticism or negative evaluations by
others (Geen, 1991).
Sustainable tourists are generally defined considering their interest in nature-based activities. It may
be translated as tourists who stay at sustainable accommodation (Dolnicar et al., 2008). Moisander
(2007) shows that sustainable oriented consumer behaviour is characterized by motivational complexity.
Sustainable behaviour usually involves motivational conflicts including intellectual and moral
factors. The motivational conflict concerns the difference between what someone wants to do and what
should be done instead. Grund, Grunschel, Bruhn and Fries (2015, p. 506) argue that it shows the
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9
relationship between different components of well-being because more affective or more cognitive
motivational aspects are ignored.
Pearce and Caltabiano (1983) argue that travel motivation changes under one’s own personal
experiences and external circumstances. In this respect, Gossling et al. (2012) claim that climate change
perception affects travel motivation and demand.
In this respect, the second research question is stated.
Q2: How can travellers motivations influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
2.4 Values
In the social sciences values can be defined as “concepts or beliefs, about desirable end states or
behaviours, which transcend specific situations, and guide selection or evaluation of behaviour and
events, and are ordered by relative importance(Schwartz & Bilsky, 1990 p. 878, as cited in
Gatersleben, White, Abrahamse, Jackson & Uzzell, 2012 p. 38). Different values are linked to different
forms of behaviour (Veal, 1993). Values play in fact, an important role in understanding sustainable
behaviour (Gatersleben et al., 2014). Stern and Dietz (1994, pp. 69-70, as cited in Gatersleben et al.
2012, p.38) affirm that three values underlie sustainability concern: egoism, altruism, and
biospherism. Biospheric value regards the nature issues; altruistic value is linked with the welfare of
others; and egoistic value focuses on maximizing individuals' benefits (Achchuthan, Umanakenan &
Kajenthiran, 2017).
Sustainable behaviour is positively related to environmental concern and negatively related to
materialism. It can be considered also as a socially desirable behaviour (Onwezen, Antonides & Bartels,
2013). It seems that the more people have a strong sustainability concern, the more they intend to assume
a series of sustainable choices. Researches show that different values and concerns are related to
consumer attitudes and behavioural intentions in different ways (Gatersleben, et al., 2012).
Fratu (2011) states that family is the social factor with the highest impact on the individual. It is
characterised by moral and political norms. Family influences a child’s perception of the surrounding
that lasts to adulthood. This shows that changing tourists’ behaviour may be a challenging task for
marketers. Kollmuss & Agyeman (2002) claim that a combination of factors expresses people’s
awareness, for example, childhood experiences in nature and sustainable values held by the family.
The emotional connection to the natural environment seems to encourage environmental awareness
and environmental concern. Also, awareness of consequences and awareness of responsibility have an
influence on sustainability concern (Gatersleben et al., 2014). The Norm Activation Model (Schwartz,
1977) analyses altruistic behaviour connecting it to moral obligation. Onwezen et al. (2012, p. 142) state
that Schwartz (1977) developed the Norm Activation Model (NAM) in the context of altruistic
behaviour. Personal norms form the core of this model. They are experienced as feelings of moral
obligation and they are used to predict individual behaviour. Achchuthan et al. (2017) claim that
personal norm bridges the value-action gap and activates the actual behaviour. Such issues refer to
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
10
the fact that a person who holds sustainability concern and knowledge, not necessarily put the effort
to act sustainably.
Studies show that altruistic behaviour and sustainable behaviour occur when people feel a sense of
moral obligation. It is a set of factors involving awareness of consequences and a sense of personal
responsibilities for certain conducts (Gatersleben, et al., 2014). Empirical studies about prosocial and
pro-environmental behaviours have often applied the NAM model (De Groot & Steg, 2009).
Schwartz (1977) showed that moral obligation depends on inputs coming from external situations
and internal factors. These feelings are generated in particular situations and individuals differ in
performing particular actions.
Moreover, one of the underpinning factors that activate the individual behaviour is the awareness of
consequences, namely “the tendency to become aware of the consequences of one’s behaviour for
others” (Schwartz, 1977, p. 229). Also, the responsibility denial is significant and it indicates the
individual tendency to accept rationales for denying responsibility for the consequences of one’s
behaviour(Schwartz, 1977, p. 230). Individuals act also depending on their personal norms, self-
concept, and self-expectations (Schwartz, 1977). Schwartz (1977, pp. 231-232) affirm that while social
norms are perceived to be shared by members of a group, personal norms typically vary from one
individual to another. Each person has a unique cognitive structure of images, beliefs, evaluations, action
plans.” What people feel to do can be different from what they think that others expect from them.
Values depend on self-evaluation and the hierarchy of importance of these factors. Schwartz (1977,
p. 233) claims the more important the relevant norms and values are to one’s self-evaluation, the
stronger are the feelings of obligation which are experienced. Furthermore, the awareness of personal
and others’ needs influence the behaviour. Schwartz (1977, p. 242) affirm that the need is defined as
any actual or potential deficiency of a required, desired, or normally possessed resource. The initial
recognition of ability is required for the activation phase of an action. It may also increase the probability
of success. Another relevant factor is the sense of responsibility. Schwartz (1977, p. 246) argues that
responsibility refers to a sense of connection or relatedness with the person in need.Responsibility is
not the same as the feelings of obligation. Feelings of obligation are directed toward the performance of
specific acts. Being generally connected to other’s needs establishes responsibility. Achchuthan et al.
(2017, p. 8) assert that this NAM theory postulates that awareness of consequences, awareness of
needs, situational responsibility, efficacy, ability, and denial of responsibility are the determinants
of the personal norm, which in turn activate the behaviour.
Nevertheless, Dolnicar (2010) claims that people will behave in more sustainable ways in general if
they identify themselves with the place in which they live. Schwartz and Rubel-Lifschitz (2009) show
a positive relationship between sustainability concern in tourism choices and willingness to accept
economic sacrifices to protect the environment. However, Miller, Rathouse, Scarles, Holmes and Tribe
(2010) consider that awareness of the environmental problems of tourism may not lead to sustainable
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
11
behaviour. They suggest that behavioural change instead may be a result of the tourist developing a
feeling of personal responsibility for the impact of tourism on the environment.
Dalton et al., (2008) found that tourists who perceive the importance of behaving sustainably express
the willingness to stay in sustainable accommodation. According to that, the third investigation question
is declared.
Q3: How can travellers values influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
2.5 Lifestyle
The origins of lifestyle concepts are ambiguous, but its roots are traceable to the poets, and
philosophers’ writings in the sixteenth century (Anderson & Golden, 1984). There is a lack of consensus
in defining the meaning of the term. A varied number of factors have a role in defining lifestyle, namely:
behaviour, values, attitudes, group interaction, coherence, beliefs, interests, and choices (Veal, 1993).
The psychologist Adler (1929) uses the term lifestyle to indicate the uniqueness of individuals
remarking their values rather than the social dimension. In contrast, Weber (1948) mentions in his
studies that lifestyle is associated with a status group. In his opinion lifestyle is a set of symbols
associated with different groups in society (Weber, 1948, as cited in Veal, 1993). The lifestyle concept
is significant in understanding, explaining and predicting consumer behaviour (Anderson & Golden,
1984). American research on suburbanization in the 1950s and 1960s used the concept of lifestyle.
Afterward, during the 1970s and 1980s, lifestyle becomes a major theme in different areas, including
market research and leisure studies (Veal, 1993; Kamakura & Wedel, 1995, as cited in Qing, Lobo &
Chongguang, 2012). Social science literature considers the concept at three levels: individual, group,
generic class or category (Ansbacher, 1976, as cited Anderson & Golden, 1984).
Veal (1993) develops a definition as a result of the review of the issues surrounding the
conceptualization of lifestyle: “lifestyle is the distinctive pattern of personal and social behaviour
characteristic of an individual or a group” (Veal, 1993, p. 247). Findings relate lifestyle and the idea of
leisure styles with tourist behaviour, seeking to define tourists’ types based on common tastes and values
(Veal, 1993). There is a relationship between attitudes and sustainable lifestyles. In this respect, the fact
of individuals considering themselves as sustainable minded people is related to sustainable buying
behaviours (Gatersleben et al., 2014).
2.5.1 Sustainable Lifestyle
The fact of identifying the way of living, or attempting to live, in more sustainable ways defines a
sustainable lifestyle. It regards choosing a way of living that pursues a minimal environmental and social
impact (Evans & Abrahamse, 2009).
However, there is a lack of clarity in understanding what a sustainable lifestyle is and how to
operationalize to promote sustainable consumption. The concept needs to be considered with social and
cultural practices. Sacrifices are associated with sustainability. Findings show that respondents have a
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
12
difficult understanding of the term sustainability. It is problematic to reach a point where it is possible
to affirm to live entirely in a sustainable way. Individuals have more than one lifestyle and these are not
all conducive to a reduction of the environmental impact (Evans & Abrahamse, 2009). Dolnicar et al.,
(2010) claim that individuals who demonstrate to behave in a sustainable way in everyday life, not
necessarily then behave sustainably while being on vacation. Nevertheless, it is noticed that people who
assume sustainable practices in their daily lives are more willing to behave sustainably also on vacation
choosing for instance a sustainable accommodation (Han et al., 2009).
Q4: How can travellers lifestyle influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
2.6 Research framework
After analysing the main relevant concepts in the literature review, the following research framework
is proposed, taking into consideration the research framework proposed by Pandey and Srivastava
(2016) to understand the antecedents of customer purchase intention and the Norm Activation Model
(Schwartz, 1977). These two models are presented in Appendix 2.
Figure 1 Research framework
Table 1 Research questions
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
13
CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION
3.1 Research Type
This study is exploratory aiming to explore behaviour antecedents of tourist deciding to stay in
sustainable accommodation. It follows a mono method qualitative research design with semi-structured
in-depth interviews for primary data collection. Qualitative research has a significant value for
investigating questions about experience, beliefs, attitudes, and concepts of normative behaviour
(Hammarberg, Kirkman & De Lacey, 2016). According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) in-
depth interviews is one of the data collection techniques most used in social research. The present study
is cross-sectional. It tries to explain a specific phenomenon at a certain time.
3.2 Population Definition, Sample and Data Collection
The selection of the empirical context considers the ongoing development regarding tourism and
sustainable tourism in the area selected. According to Tourism Statistics 2018 of Portugal (INE, 2019),
the Centre Region of Portugal concentrated last year the highest number of overnight stays, with a yearly
increase of 16,9% in the Lisbon area.
Ten travellers who stayed in sustainable accommodation located in Portugal, in particular nearby
Lisbon area, have been interviewed. The aim was to understand the reasons that impacted on their travel
choices. In particular, most of the questions focused on understanding the travellers’ perceptions toward
sustainability, sustainable tourism, sustainable accommodation, and what makes the tourist opt for
sustainable accommodation. In this respect, the following factors are explored: travellers’ attitudes
toward sustainability, tourist motivations, sustainability concern, values and sustainable practices that are
implemented in their daily life and on vacation. The way sustainability is conceptualised and defined can
have an impact on its operationalization. Since there is no consensus on this, the meaning attributed to
"sustainability" and "sustainable accommodation" by tourists and sustainable accommodation operators
has also been explored in this study. In this respect, also, the co-founders of two travel agencies
promoting sustainable accommodation, and four managers of sustainable accommodation located in the
area mentioned were interviewed to gain insights about their customers’ target.
The sample size and the number of in-depth interviews depend on data saturations, when data tend
towards repetition (Hammarberg et al., 2016). In this research, the size sample was influenced by the
time available.
Concerning the selection and the access to participants for interviews, the online Italian travel agent
Ecobnb supported the research by sharing contacts of relevant Portuguese sustainable accommodation
operators present in their network of sustainable tourism hospitality. Ecobnb is a specialized marketplace
where only sustainable accommodation establishments are listed. Their aim is to promote responsible
tourism with low environmental impact and to encourage green traveling practices. An invitation e-mail
was sent to the potential participants. This technique was helpful because sustainable tourism businesses
are not easy to reach and also the reliability of truly being sustainable was something to consider as
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
14
some authors highlighted (Thompson, Gillen, & Friess, 2018). Moreover, a sustainable establishment
located in Lisbon, called Impact House, showed its availability to collaborate in the research allowing
access to their guests. Also, the travellers interviewed were reached through specific Facebook groups
that only included members passionate about sustainable tourism.
Therefore, the criteria for the selection of participants derived from the literature review and took
into consideration Ecobnb users’ data and its personas. All participants were contacted directly based
on the following criteria: being a traveller who have stayed in a sustainable accommodation located in
Portugal at least once or being a sustainable accommodation manager. Further details are described in
Appendix 3. Regarding travellers, different kinds of travellers were selected, namely from different
nationalities, ages, and gender staying in different sustainable accommodation establishments based
around the Lisbon Area. For socio-demographic diversity, solo-travellers, couples, and groups of friends
were considered. Also, the selection included those who choose to stay in sustainable accommodation
for the first time and the ones that regularly look for this type of accommodation when traveling.
As for sustainable accommodation managers, participants were selected from the database provided
by Ecobnb. All interviews were in English. The interviewees’ profile is described in Table 2 and Table
3. The collection of primary data took place during the months of June and July 2020.
The non-probabilistic convenience sampling approach is adopted in this study. The sampling is
focused on getting a manageable and relevant group of individuals. In this case, the purpose is not to
represent a general population, but instead it is to gain a deep understanding of the phenomenon in a
specific empirical context (Saunders et al., 2009).
All interviews followed a semi-structured interview guide with open-ended questions. Two different
interview guides were developed, one for travellers and the other for managers. It intended to explore
several aspects. The semi-structured interview guide for travellers was organized in six main sections.
First, some questions aiming to break the ice, then the following questions were grouped according to
the specific constructs, also asking questions about the current experience, the meaning of sustainability
and sustainable accommodation. The interview guide for managers was focused on understanding the
personal motivations for having started their business focused on sustainability, description of the
activity and the main personal perceptions towards the guests. Interview guides used for data collection
can be found in Appendix 5 and Appendix 7. The interview structure aimed to encourage respondents
to share their stories, and their experiences related to the main research questions. Further, it was
expected that the duration of each interview to be around 50 minutes. All participants were interviewed
by video call. It was asked the authorization to register the interviews with a voice recorder for later
transcription.
The web application Otter.ai, that converts live speaking into written transcriptions, was used to
transcribe the interviews. As regards the data analysis, the interpretative approach was used to analyse
the collected information. The insights obtained were interpreted in the light of the theory. Erickson
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
15
(1986) argues that the interpretative approach focuses on the meaning that individuals give to social
phenomena and it is based on the investigator elucidation.
Finally, during the data collection process, ethical issues were considered to ensure the professional
and respectful treatment of the participants, who were informed about the objectives of the investigation.
CHAPTER 4 - DATA ANALYSIS
The analysis of the interviews focuses on the factors that lead travellers to choose sustainable
accommodation.
4.1 Sample Characterization
The sample involves a total of 16 people, 10 travellers and 6 sustainable accommodation managers.
The participants included both males and females, aged between 20 and 55 years old. Concerning the
level of education, 2 had a Bachelor’s degree, 11 participants had a Master’s degree, and 3 had a PhD.
As regards the nationality, one participant was from Belgium, two from England, three from Portugal,
one from the Netherlands, one from Italy, two from France, two participants from USA, one from
Pakistan, one from Brazil, one from Georgia, and one from Russia. Concerning the professional status
seven participants were self-employed, seven were employees, and two were students. These data were
collected from a socio-demographic information sheet sent to the participants at the beginning of the
interviews (Appendix 4). As regards the travellers interviewed, three experienced sustainable
accommodation only once for the first time recently, and seven usually choose sustainable
accommodation when travelling.
The following tables describe the sample characterization. Table 2 describes travellers and Table 3
managers.
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Table 2 - Travellers characterization
Name
Age
Nationality
Education
Professional
status
Solo-
traveller or
travelling
with
someone
First experience in
sustainable
accommodation or
already experienced
before
1.Jean
25
Belgian
Master’s
degree.
Management
Entrepreneur
Solo-
traveller
First experience
2.Charlotte
60
American
PhD.
Business
University
teacher
Solo-
traveller
and with tour
group
Already experienced
before
3.Christian
21
English
Bachelor’s
degree.
Philosophy.
Student
With friends
and small
group
First experience
4.Harry
20
English
Bachelor’s
degree.
Sociology.
Student
With friends
and family
First experience
5.Maria
45
American
Master’s
degree.
Nursing
Nurse
Solo-
traveller and
with partner
Already experienced
before
6.Olivia
40
French
Master’s
degree.
Geography
Geographer
Solo-
travaller,
backpacker
Already experienced
before
7.Patricia
36
Portuguese
Master’s
degree.
Business
Real Estate
Agent
Solo-
traveller and
with friends
Already experienced
before
8.Taimoor
53
Pakistan
Master’s
degree.
Hospitality
Travel
Agent
Solo-
traveller
Already experienced
before
9.Tatiana
34
Brazilian
PhD.
Sociology
University
teacher
Solo-
traveller and
with friends
Already experienced
before
10.Keti
46
Georgian
Master’s
degree.
Hospitality
Hospitality
director
Solo-
traveller
Already experienced
before
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
17
Table 3 - Managers characterization
4.2 Analysis of Interviews
After transcribing the interviews, an interpretative approach was adopted to analyse the data
collected, without the use of any software. The interviews information has been analysed and organized
with the support of an Excel file to compare all the participants answers.
4.2.1 Sustainability and Sustainable Accommodation Definition
Since there is no consensus on the definition of sustainability, the interviews conducted explored
first of all the meaning attributed to sustainability and sustainable accommodation by travellers and
Name
Age
Nationality
Education
Professional
status
Type of
accommodation
to manage
Main sustainability
practices
implemented
1.Rita
31
Portuguese
Master’s
degree.
Management
Entrepreneur
Sustainable
Hostel
Recycling,
composting, local
food, social shop, art
gallery with local
disabled artists, eco
cleaning products,
volunteer activities.
2.Marianna
46
Russian
Master’s
degree.
Art and
Photography
Entrepreneur
Sustainable
Hotel
Biological pool, solar
panel, local food
products, 100% linen
sheets, no paper use,
local workshops
3.Richard
40
Dutch
Master’s
degree.
Hospitality,
events
management
Entrepreneur
Sustainable
Guest house
Restoring abandoned
building, reuse
materials, solar
panels, grey water
recycling, beach
clean-up activities
4.Francisco
55
Portuguese
Master’s
degree.
Hospitality
Entrepreneur
Sustainable
Guest house
Restoring abandoned
building, local
materials, labour, and
food. Energy, water,
heating, paper saving
5.Silvia
42
Italian
PhD.
Architecture
Entrepreneur
Ecobnb
100% renewable
energy, local food,
car-free accessibility,
eco cleaning
products, recycling,
green building,
energy saving,
solar panels, reuse of
rainwater.
6.Boris
34
French
Master’s
degree.
Marketing
Entrepreneur
Beco Stay
Eco amenities, saving
energy, reusing and
recycling materials,
local food.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
18
sustainable accommodation managers. All participants were asked to give a definition to sustainability,
sustainable tourism and sustainable accommodation. The most highlighted aspects about sustainability
were the decrease of negative effects on environment and society, the implementation of sustainable
practices, respect, and preservation for future generations.
Sustainability concerns mainly having the minimum environmental impact and to benefit
economically the local communities, at the same time respecting cultures and traditions. It’s something
that actually incentives small circular economy practices.” (Taimoor, Pakistan, traveller)
For me sustainability concerns minimizing our environmental footprint, maximizing our positive
social impact, and thinking about the long-term future. (Rita, manager)
As regards the meaning of sustainable tourism, most of participants mentioned travelling with a
good purpose, reducing as much as possible the negative impact on the environment, buying local, using
public transports, and empowering local people.
It’s the type of tourism that gets into consideration the local population without damaging the local
environment. It means that the location where I stay and the experiences I participate in, are run by
local people, so trying to participate in the local economy. The great thing about Impact House, you go
there and you give something back to the communities of the place you are visiting. (Harry, UK,
traveller)
Sustainable tourism regards all the good practices that tourism sector can incentive through its
activities, and empowering people.” (Marianna, manager)
As for the definition of sustainable accommodation, the most recurrent points proposed by
participants were the fact of being an establishment run by local people, mostly located close to nature,
that tries to reduce waste, recycling, taking care of the heritage of the place, creating a network between
guests, local community, local suppliers and local services without having a negative impact on the
environment and the society. The focus was on both environmental and social projects.
I was volunteering doing the youth support while staying in a sustainable hostel in Lisbon. Also,
we did other activities like beach clean-up. I loved the staff, they made me understand little aspects of
Portuguese culture and practices. They were involving the local community in the experiences they were
offering connecting travellers with local NGO programs.” (Christian, UK, traveller)
First of all, we aim to invest in renovating abandoned houses using local materials and local
companies. We have local staff and we involve only Portuguese stakeholders and suppliers. We offer
local products, we do recycling, upcycling, and we take care of leftover food donating it to people in
need.” (Francisco, manager)
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
19
4.2.2 Factors Influencing the Choice for Sustainable Accommodation
4.2.2.1 Positive Attitudes towards Sustainability
According to the interviews analysed, positive evaluations towards sustainability influence the
choice for sustainable accommodation. Actually, the majority of participants typically stays in
sustainable accommodation while travelling.
What I promote and what I do is what I consume. Since I am very sensible to sustainable issues,
I use to travel choosing sustainable places.” (Francisco, manager)
It is noted that all the interviewees claimed that sustainability is very important.
Sustainability is really important to me. In my last trip I went to Vietnam, it was fundamental for me to
stay in a sustainable place and I stayed in a hostel that implemented a lot of sustainable practices, as
for example they didn’t allow to take photos to children and they gave us guidelines on how to support
local communities. (Patricia, Portugal, traveller)
The main factors considered while travelling concern avoiding the waste of resources, contributing
to the local community, gaining new experiences and looking from a different perspective.
I’ve been in the Azores and I stayed in a sustainable holiday house. I loved it because I didn’t
impact negatively on the local environment. I loved the experience and interaction with locals.”
(Tatiana, Brazil, traveller).
I think the guests coming here are interested in environmental issues, also they consider the social
aspects regarding the activities that we offer.” (Rita, manager)
There is a general consensus about the importance to know how the profit is managed.
I think for me the most important thing when I choose an accommodation is who’s making the money?
Is it staying in the local community or is it going to a bigger corporation that might not even be based
in that place?” (Maria, USA, traveller).
Travellers find it hard to support structures that waste resources and practice anti-social behaviour,
as companies unfairly treating their employees and presenting a predominant control of local
accommodation at the disadvantage of local people.
What we are doing it’s that the money we make in Portugal, we keep it in the company and we
invest it again in Portugal for the people here.” (Richard, manager)
Travellers will spend larger sums to stay in a sustainable place, even though having less comfort.
I will be willing to spend some more money to stay in a place paying attention to environmental and
social aspects rather than playing less and staying in a standard place, I do not need a five-stars hotel
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
20
with all its comforts. I am very willing to give up all the comfort to stay in a sustainable place with
positive environmental and social impact. (Taimoor, Pakistan, traveller)
Participants claimed that they felt they made a difference by staying in sustainable accommodation
because their money had a positive impact on the environment and the society.
When I stayed in Impact House in Lisbon, I think I made a difference because I had the possibility
to give something back to the community. My English skills helped and inspired marginalized
communities. (Harry, UK, traveller).
Moreover, they declared the intention to make more efforts for sustainability as finding ways to
reduce the own carbon footprint and efforts on social matters. Social and environmental sustainability
are both relevant aspects while travelling.
I think environment is really important to consider, but also when it comes to travel, social aspects
are significant, because my actions can have a direct impact”. (Christian, England, traveller)
Among our priorities we want to implement more workshops to train the staff in promoting
sustainable practices.” (Marianna, Manager)
4.2.2.2 Tourist Motivations Considering Sustainability Aspects
Regarding participants’ main travel motivations, there is a clear preference to travel to meet
different people, to learn about new cultures and different ways of living, exploring new places and
engaging with local communities.
Usually when I travel, the thing that motivates me to travel is the knowledge about different people
and different places. For example, when I went to Vietnam, first I read the book about the history and
once arrived there I wanted to understand more. (Patricia, Portugal, traveller)
Concerning the main motivations expressed for the choice of sustainable accommodation, the
participants included making a difference in the world by minimizing the impact of someone’s actions,
to respect what surrounds you, to be involved in the local community, giving something back, and the
preference for a place that has a bigger purpose than just economic profit.
Last time I went to the Alentejo region, I wanted to minimize my impact on the local environment,
so by choosing my sustainable accommodation built in a natural way I managed to reach my travel
goal.” (Tatiana, Brazil, traveller)
I think the main reasons for choosing sustainable accommodation is giving something back when
you are travelling.” (Harry, UK, traveller)
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
21
Furthermore, most of the respondents showed their interest in environmental issues, mostly related
to air and water pollution, climate change, global heating supercharging of the oceans, plastic
consumption, and environmental impact of air traffic.
Don’t take plastic bottle when you are travelling for me it is basic, what I’m trying to do is
consuming less of everything. For example, I am very interested in the oceans and the direct impact of
climate change.” (Olivia, France, traveller)
Moreover, participants asserted that the interest for social issues influences the choice for
sustainable accommodation like, in particular, the importance of diversity, the understanding of different
cultures, gender equality, and gentrification problems.
Every time I stay in a place while travelling, I think about: how does it impact the local
community? Is it providing jobs? The gentrification problem is huge in tourist areas, as people are not
able to afford to live in their cities because the areas became too much expensive due to tourism.
(Maria, USA, traveller)
Travelling in a group or with friends involves more motivational conflict because it is more
challenging to follow sustainable practices than while travelling alone. Some travellers expressed that,
when they travel with someone, they usually feel guilty for something they ended up doing.
When I am alone, I do not have much problem, but when I am with friends sometimes honestly, I
feel guilty, some friends are not aware of some things, it is hard to say no and I regretted some choices
I made with them. For example, I would not ride again a camel in Morocco.(Patricia, Portugal,
traveller)
Eight out of ten travellers declared to have changed their travel habits taking into account
sustainability issues after some particular travel experiences.
I became more conscious about sustainability when I was in Lisbon. It came up because once we
stayed in a sustainable hostel that opened our minds to sustainable practices in the way they instructed
their staff. It was a deeper experience than just going on holiday.(Harry, UK, traveller)
Furthermore, only two out of ten travellers said that they used to travel like that since childhood.
I think the way my parents raised me influenced me. In fact, my family has always been quite respectful;
we have been conscious of our impact and respectful learning about the culture before going. We used
to camp all the time.” (Maria, USA, traveller)
Sustainable accommodation managers interviewed declared that the main motivations expressed
by their guests for having chosen this type of accommodation concern the will to perform actions with
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
22
a positive impact and learning more sustainable practices to act in an even more sustainable way once
back home. They seem to have a certain mindset, and they do not accept waste when travelling.
The needs of travellers involve various aspects, among them there are people who are interested
in using bicycles and the need of electric car services is also increasing. Then, there are those who are
interested in vegetarian and vegan food, and many ecologists who travel with their animals.” (Silvia,
manager)
Managers claimed that to reach their desired target, they use standard websites and travel search
engine, also social media and WOM are largely effective. Nevertheless, the market needs more
specialised platforms about sustainable accommodation to find the right people, able to appreciate their
activities and their efforts to implement sustainable practices.
“We recently entered in a new platform called Ecobnb.com, that focus only on sustainable
accommodation, so I hope it will be useful to find our right target. We try to communicate to people
through our social media channels what they should expect coming to our sustainable hostel. We show
what we are doing trying to be creative and original maintaining a simple style because we want to
welcome simple people.” (Rita, manager)
“Our intention is to stop using standard travel platforms, because they send to us mass tourism
travellers who do not reflect our intended target to welcome, so we need to use very small specialized
platforms that kind of pre-select people coming to us.” (Richard, manager)
4.2.2.3 Sustainability Values Applied at Home and while Travelling
Participants claimed that being aware of sustainability and developing sustainability values
influenced their choice for sustainable accommodation.
I think awareness is a big concern important for travelling. Since I developed sustainability values
and I appreciate them, I can say I actually influence my way of travelling focusing on the destination’s
benefits.” (Maria, USA, traveller)
In the view of some, honesty is a fundamental value in life.
I think to be honest is such a huge value that other things come from honesty.” (Marianna,
manager)
I want to be honest with myself, about my practices, then thanks to honesty, respect, empathy,
kindness, fairness, I make good choices for the environment around me.” (Christian, England, traveller)
While travelling the most mentioned value taken into consideration and connected with
sustainability is respect.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
23
I travelled to Egypt and while I was in a shop, at some point the guy closed it and started to pray
in front of it. I found it weird but I respected it. It is important to respect the rules of other cultures and
the locals”. (Patricia, Portugal, Traveller)
The majority affirmed that they try to apply the same value both at home and while travelling.
When I travel, I try to apply the values that I have at home. I always try to be honest and to have
respect, always compensating my actions.” (Jean, Belgium, traveller).
These central values mentioned connected with the behaviour related to sustainability come mainly
from the family and education.
They came mainly from my family. We are six children and we all have very strong ethical values
with a strong respect. I think my behaviour concerning sustainability comes from becoming more
educated. (Charlotte, USA, traveller)
Everything starts with my family education. My family taught me lots of principles and values that
I have today. My dad has always been a very conscious traveller, he thaught me how to be respectful to
other cultures and countries. Also, I developed them through studying sociology, being able to analyse
how things can affect people differently.” (Harry, England, traveller)
My parents met travelling backpacking; my mother grows her own food as well as she has an
organic garden at home. She does lots of sustainable practices, she is very peaceful and quiet.” (Tatiana,
Brazil, traveller)
My family is very supportive about my choice of creating this sustainable accommodation, they
believe in it and they are pushing forward.(Richard, manager)
Additionally, interviewees hold the view that emotional connection to nature influence their
sustainability behaviour. In their childhood, they spent time in nature appreciating it.
When I was young, I used to be in love with nature. I spent a lot of time doing outdoor activities.
I was a scout, so I have always enjoyed being outside.” (Olivia, France, traveller)
Since my childhood I belong to a mountain village, so we used to play in those mountains and to
travel there. I still remember a place where we could listen the wind sound.” (Taimoor, Pakistan,
traveller)
Moreover, most participants, in particular seven out of ten travellers, declared that when they travel,
they are more conscious of sustainable practices, so their sustainability concerns are more substantial
regarding the place where they travel.
When I travel, I am more conscious, I am more aware. Where I live it seems that people do not
care about the environment, so what surrounds me does not push me. (Charlotte, USA, traveller)
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
24
Two participants had a contrary view; in fact, they claimed that they pay more attention to
sustainability where they live. I would say sustainability values are strongest where I live because it is
where I spend most of my time. I know better the different options, so I am more able to make sustainable
decisions.(Maria, USA, traveller) For one traveller sustainability concerns are similar both at home
and when travelling.
The interviews showed that the awareness of consequences and the feeling of responsibility
influence the choice for sustainable accommodation.
I feel responsible for my actions, for wasting energy, for my carbon footprint, when I shower, if I
use the washing machine, I am really concerned about my plastic use. I pay attention a lot on how I
affect people with who I interact with.” (Keti, Georgia, traveller)
When I travel, I am very concerned about the housing situation of the locals, and I feel guilty if I
stay in an Airbnb in the city centre, because I know that many locals are struggling to pay their rent
because of it, as in Lisbon, Barcelona, Venice. I am aware of the consequences of it, so I feel guilty.”
(Tatiana, Brazil, traveller)
All participants agreed that they would feel guilty if not making sustainable accommodation
choices.
I think I would feel guilty if not choosing a sustainable place, I developed during these years a
higher awareness of how tourism establishments impact on residents and environmental factors, that I
would feel bad not taking care of it. Also, when you are travelling sustainable, you can actually get a
lot more from that experience.” (Harry, UK, traveller)
4.2.2.4 Sustainable Behaviour in Daily life and on Vacation
Respondents who consider themselves as sustainable minded also consider themselves as
sustainably-minded travellers. They defined their way of living as being aware of their own
consumptions, taking care of resources, making efforts to make things better, and not buying
unnecessary items.
“I do not drive, I tend to cycle or walk to most places, I try to buy food from places I trust, I try not
to buy things that I do not need.” (Harry, England, traveller)
In Lisbon when I was staying at Impact House, I used to put food leftover in the compost which
has environmental benefits.” (Christian, England, traveller)
“I live always trying to have a meaningful purpose and to pursue personal and job objectives
related to sustainability, in fact I managed to combine my sustainability values and my job, I have the
feeling I am in the right direction.” (Rita, manager)
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
25
Travellers who behave sustainably in daily life usually also act sustainably on vacation following
the same patterns of behaviour. In this regard, nine out of ten travellers interviewed confirmed this
assumption.
“I try to follow the same behaviour at home and while I am on vacation, because it comes to me
naturally, in vacation I try to learn even more sustainable practices to implement than at home.”
(Taimoor, Pakistan, traveller)
“My guests usually told me that they do the same things. Holidays does not mean to overconsume.”
(Boris, manager)
Only one traveller declared that for him it is easier to implement all good actions when at home
than when he travels.
“I believe that when I am in my comfort zone it is easier. When I travel it is more difficult to me to
follow my sustainable habits, I tend to be a little more open.” (Jean, Belgium, traveller)
Nevertheless, travellers who choose sustainable accommodation do not consider themselves having
an entirely sustainable lifestyle. First of all, being asked the meaning of sustainable lifestyle, the answers
included to be aware of their own choices, reducing the negative impact and focusing on something that
can have a positive influence.
“I think it means trying to focus on something with a positive impact and understanding where
things come from. I think to be perfect is impossible, we are humans, we are full of contradictions, and
we are not perfect.” (Jean, Belgium, traveller).
For me it regards to be conscious of all actions’ consequences, looking deeply with critical eyes.
Doing small steps as trying to produce the own shampoo instead of buying it and to stay alert on new
sustainable options. What we receive from the planet is a gift to respect and to leave for future
generations.” (Marianna, manager)
Afterwards, fourteen out of sixteen participants stated that it is impossible to affirm to have a one
hundred per cent sustainable lifestyle, because of external circumstances, and also, as they cannot yet
be aware of the impact of all their actions.
I think it is almost impossible to be completely sustainable nowadays, our way of living does not
allow us. Even if we try, there is always something wrong with what we do. Anyway, what we can do to
be more and more sustainable is always reflecting on the consequences of our actions.” (Rita, manager)
I am still far from having a sustainable lifestyle because, for example, I am dependent on
electricity. I would like to use solar energy or some kind of reusable energy resource for my
consumption, but at the moment I do not have the necessary means. I am not able to do that because I
am living in a rented place. I try to avoid plastic use, but it is impossible avoiding completely plastic
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
26
packaging. Also, I am not aware of where lots of things I buy come from. I am still in a learning stage.”
(Taimoor, Pakistan, traveller)
The problem is that I am not aware of the impact of all my actions. There are still probably aspects
that I am not aware. For example, I have been wearing clothes without knowing where they come from
and the way the employees that made them are treated.” (Christina, England, traveller)
Additionally, they asserted they are not implementing enough sustainable practices, because there
is always something more that can be done and they could be more informed about it.
“I think I can do better; I think a lot of things come from not knowing, I do not always know which
is the best sustainable option. I could be more educated. I think what sustainable tourism looks like it
might not be the same for every single place in the world. I think educating more myself about what it
means for the place that I am going is the right direction.” (Maria, USA, traveller)
Also, sustainable accommodation managers agreed on that declaring that they are not implementing
enough sustainable practices in their establishments, because of financial constraints and lack of
knowledge.
“I think we can always improve having more sustainable partners for example, more ideas can
come up. Also, we try to listen to our guests who can inspire us giving useful insights about some kind
of volunteer activities they would like to join, some practices they noticed in other places.” (Rita,
manager)
We try to do the most and our best, but of course it is not enough. There is always the possibility
to do something better, for example recently we decided not to have grass, so we do not need extra water
to make it growing and we chose to put river stones. Also, we would like to have chargers for electric
cars, but at the moment it is not economically viable.” (Marianna, manager)
Despite these concerns, participants claimed that the way they travel is one of the most sustainable
aspects of their lifestyle.
“I am very proud of the trip I did to Ireland; I did not use any kind of carbon emission transport, I
biked a lot, I took public transports, and then I stayed in small locally owned places. I had reusable
water bottles, so my carbon footprint and the waste I produced on that trip were minimal.” (Maria,
USA, traveller)
“I think I behave sustainably the most in the way I travel. In fact, staying in sustainable
accommodation for a while, trying to make connections with locals and having the minimum impact on
the environment is the best way to be sustainable for me.” (Jean, Belgium, traveller)
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
27
CHAPTER 5 - DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
After analysing the data collected via interviews, this chapter is dedicated to the discussion of
results according to the literature review examined, in order to answer to the research questions
formulated.
Concerning the results obtained regarding the sustainability definition, the interviewsoutcome
conforms with TBL concept coined by Elkington (1997) to describe sustainability. Participants
considered relevant the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability, integrating the
three dimensions: profit, people and planet, as announced by Adams et al. (2013). In line with the studies
of Alhaddi (2015), sustainability concern takes into consideration the present generation without
compromising future ones.
As regards sustainable tourism, the results are similar to Stoddard, Pollard and Evans (2012),
declaring that sustainable tourism concerns travel activities that benefit the social, economic and
environmental aspects of a destination. Also, there is a compatibility between the sustainable tourism
definitions mentioned by participants and the economic, social and environmental indicators of tourism,
declared by the guidebook of indicators of sustainable tourism development published by UNWTO
(2004). On the contrary, the interview answers contrast with the affirmation of Ivanov, Ivanova and
Iankova (2015) who declare that environmental dimension of sustainability received more attention in
hospitality field than social dimension, since the majority of respondents considered social sustainability
aspects as relevant as environmental sustainability ones in their sustainable accommodation choice.
Concerning the definition of sustainable accommodation, the results match with Moscardo et al.
(1996), as all interviewees describing sustainable accommodation, mentioned the features of being
locally owned, providing employment for local community, encouraging the protection of local heritage
and promoting educational activities without environmental and social negative impact. Following
Boley and Uysal (2013), participants declared that it is essential to communicate the right messages
through the proper channels to direct guests behaviour toward sustainability and to reach the desired
target. The form in which these two concepts are defined can have an impact on its operationalization.
About the first research question pretending to explore travellers’ attitudes influencing the choice
for sustainable accommodation, the results are consistent with Ajzen (1991), who supports that tourist
attitudes describe the psychological tendencies expressed by the positive or negative evaluations of
tourist when engaged in certain behaviours. In accordance with that, travellers interviewed showed a
positive assessment of sustainability practices.
Also, the results are in conformity with Fishbein and Ajzen (1974), sustainable behaviour is
influenced by positive attitudes towards environmental issues; participants declared that sustainability
is important to them, and social and environmental issues are significant. As Gatersleben, Murtagh and
Abrahmase (2014) state, sustainable behaviour is linked to the common goal of protecting the
environment. Additionally, there is a consonance with the study of Baker et al. (2014), since positive
attitudes towards sustainable tourism behaviour are positively related to consumer’s intention to buy
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
28
local products. However, the results do not support Dalton et al., (2008) studies claiming that people
feel less moral obligation to behave sustainably while being on vacation than at home. In fact, contrary
to this, participants consider themselves both sustainably minded when travelling and when at home.
Concerning the second research question exploring tourist motivations influencing the choice for
sustainable accommodation, the results are in line with the Ooi and Laing (2010) who found that
sustainable tourism combines altruistic reasons with the travel concept; travellers who choose
sustainable accommodation are looking for alternative experiences that make a positive impact on the
social, natural and economic aspects of the destination. Also, they are driven by the motivation of
undertaking a holiday with a difference contributing to the local communities without having a negative
impact. Additionally, the results of the present study match the findings of Lee (2009) affirming that
tourist motivations are a relevant factor to interpret tourist behaviour.
Furthermore, these results are in line with the previous studies of Lex (1987) and Eagles (1992)
confirming that tourist motivations take into consideration attractions and social motivations. Also, this
study support Dolnicar et al. (2008) and Gossling et al. (2012) that sustainable tourists are characterized
by the interest in nature-based activities and the climate change perception affects their travel
motivation. In agreement with Moisander (2007), sustainable behaviour is characterized by motivational
complexity involving motivational conflicts. In fact, participants declared that travelling in a group or
with friends involves motivational conflicts because it is more challenging to follow sustainable
practices. Not everyone has the same awareness and attention to sustainability.
These results also conform the conclusions of Pearce and Caltabiano (1983) that travel motivations
change under one’s own personal experiences and external circumstances. Interviewees claim to have
changed their travel habits, increasingly taking into account sustainability issues, after some particular
travel experiences. However, this study does not confirm the results of Geen (1991) that tourist
motivations concern the need to avoid criticism or negative evaluations, since no participants mentioned
that.
In order to discuss the results obtained on the third research question about how travellers values
can influence the choice for sustainable accommodation, it is noted that as Veal (1993) found different
values are linked to the sustainable behaviour and, as Gartersleben et al. (2014) found, values play an
important role in understanding sustainable behaviour. In fact participants declared that honesty and
respect are their central values and they consider them either acting at home or while travelling.
The results also confirm the findings of Onwezen, Antonides and Bartels (2013), that sustainable
behaviour is positively related to environmental and social concerns. The more people have clear
sustainability concerns, the more they intend to undertake sustainable choices. In fact, interviewees
highlighted that their emotional connection to nature and their attention to social issues influence their
sustainability behaviour. Similarity to Fratu (2011) and Kollmuss and Agyeman (2002), this research
found out that the family is the social factor with the highest impact on the individual influencing
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
29
sustainability awareness since childhood. In this regard, participants considered that their core values
are key to the behaviour related to sustainability and their family and education are relevant.
Furthermore, these results confirm Schwartz (1977) in that two of the underpinning factors that
activate individual behaviour are the awareness of consequences and the sense of responsibility. Also,
the results of this study agree with Gatersleben et al. (2014) in that sustainable behaviour occurs when
people are aware of the consequences, aware of responsibility and moral obligation. Participants
revealed that understanding the results of their actions and their feeling of liability influenced their
choice for sustainable accommodation. They would feel guilty not choosing a sustainable
accommodation. In addition, the results validate Dalton et al. (2008) supporting that tourists who
perceive the importance of behaving sustainably are willing to stay in a sustainable accommodation.
The results of this study differ from Achchuthan et al. (2017) and Miller et al. (2010), who found
that a person who holds sustainability concern, and is aware of the environmental problems of tourism,
does not necessarily act sustainably. In this study all participants claimed to pay attention to
sustainability issues, and they try to act sustainably at home and while travelling. These results do not
support Dolnicar (2010) in that people behave in more sustainable ways in the place where they live,
since the majority of participants declared that they are more conscious about sustainability practices
when they travel and their sustainability concerns are substantial higher regarding the place where they
travel than where they live. Nevertheless, the present study is similar to Schwartz and Rubel-Lifschitz
(2009) who show a positive relationship between sustainability choices and willingness to accept
economic sacrifices; in fact, travellers were willing to spend more money to stay in a sustainable
accommodation.
Finally, as regards the fourth research question concerning how travellers lifestyle can influence
the choice for sustainable accommodation, it is noted that Veal (1993) found various factors to have a
role in defining lifestyle. According to Anderson and Golden (1984), lifestyle is significant in
understanding the consumer behaviour. In this regard, participants defined their way of living
considering their buying preferences and the fact of being aware of their own consumptions patterns.
Nonetheless, the results do not support Gatersleben et al. (2014) who found that people with
sustainable buying behaviours consider themselves as sustainable people. In this study travellers who
choose sustainable accommodation do not consider themselves as having a completely sustainable
lifestyle. They declared that it is impossible to have a completely sustainable lifestyle due to external
constraints and for the fact of not being aware of the impact of all their actions. Similarity to Evans and
Abrahamnse (2009) it is problematic to be able to affirm to live entirely in a sustainable way.
These results are consistent with Evans and Abrahamse (2009) in that sustainable lifestyle concern
choosing a way of living that pursue a minimal environmental and social impact. In fact, participants
defined sustainable lifestyle as being aware of own choices, reducing the negative impact and focusing
on the positive impact.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
30
On the other hand, it is noted that the results are not in line with Dolnicar et al. (2010), which state
that individuals who behave sustainably in everyday life do not necessarily behave in a sustainable way
on vacation. On the contrary, the results of this study are similar to Han et al. (2009) which state that
people who implement sustainable practices in their daily lives are willing to behave sustainably also
on vacation. The travellers interviewed declared that they behave sustainably in daily life and also on
vacation following the same patterns of behaviour.
CHAPTER 6 - CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE
RESEARCH
The following chapter aims to present the main conclusions of this study, identifying its academic
and practical contributions, as well as its limitations and finally, a set of suggestions for future research.
6.1 Conclusions
This study developed an enquiry to explore in depth the reasons why travellers choose sustainable
accommodation. This research took into consideration the environmental and social challenges faced by
present and future generations. Sustainable tourism trends, namely the awareness of the impact of the
tourism industry on the environment and local community, are increasing. Nonetheless, the scientific
literature lacks of a clear vision about the factors leading the consumers to this behavioural choice. The
results of this study revealed some contradictions with previous investigations. More specifically, it
attempted to understand and analyse how traveller’s attitudes, motivations, values and lifestyle can
influence the sustainable accommodation choice.
Furthermore, since the absence of an explicit definition in the literature for sustainable
accommodation, this study attempted to uncover how travellers and managers defined this concept.
Following the data analysis and the discussion of results, it is possible to present the main conclusions.
As regards the definition of sustainable accommodation, this research suggests that it is a tourism
establishment run by local people, mostly located close to nature that takes care of the heritage of the
place and its environmental and social aspects by reducing waste and creating a network between guests,
local community, local suppliers and services. Its main goal is having a positive impact on the
environment and society.
The first research question concerns how travellers attitudes can influence sustainable
accommodation choice. This study concludes that positive attitudes towards sustainability influences
the choice of sustainable accommodation, since participants widely affirmed the importance of
sustainability, in particular caring about the waste of resources, the contribution to local communities
and even their personal growth. The study shows that information on the allocation of profit is deeply
relevant. In their efforts for achieving sustainability, travellers are willing to spend more money to stay
in sustainable places even having less comfort. Taking into account both social and environmental
sustainability dimensions has a relevant influence on the decision to stay in sustainable accommodation.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
31
The second research question relates to how travellers’ motivations can influence the choice for
sustainable accommodation. The study found that travellers’ motivations associated with this choice are
closely linked to the main motivations that participants took into account while planning a trip. In
particular, the purpose of their trips included meeting different people, gaining knowledge about new
cultures, experiencing a different way of living, engaging with the local community and even learning
other sustainable practices. Additional reasons for choosing a sustainable accommodation are: making
a difference while travelling, minimizing the negative impact of own actions, respecting the
surroundings, being involved with the local community and giving something back. The preference for
accommodation with purposes other than just economic profit has a great impact. Also, the interest in
environmental issues as air and water pollution, climate change, plastic consumption, the environmental
impact of aviation, and also the attention for social issues like the safeguard of diversity, gender equality
and gentrification problems are relevant. Travelling solo can increase the ability to follow sustainable
practices because it involves less motivational conflict situations, since not everyone in a travel group
has the same amount of sensibility for sustainability.
Regarding the third research question concerning how travellers’ values can influence sustainable
accommodation choices, it is possible to ascertain that being aware of sustainability and developing
sustainability values influence this choice. The main values related to this travel behaviour are honesty
and respect. Interestingly, emotional connection to nature, the feeling of responsibility and the awareness
of consequences influence this choice. The values that individuals apply at home during daily life and
on vacation are the same. The fact of not implementing sustainable practices causes a feeling of guilt.
These values derive mainly from family and education.
Finally, concerning the fourth and last investigation question about how travellers lifestyle can
influence the choice for sustainable accommodation, it is noted that individuals who consider themselves
as sustainably minded, also consider themselves as sustainably minded travellers and define their way
of living as being aware of own consumption, taking care of resources, making efforts to make things
better, not buying unnecessary things and focusing on actions’ positive impact. Travellers who follow
sustainable patterns of behaviour in daily life, also behave sustainably on vacation. Nevertheless,
travellers who choose sustainable accommodation do not consider themselves as having a completely
sustainable lifestyle because of external circumstances. There is always something more that individuals
can do or learn to act more sustainably.
6.2 Academic and Practical Contributions
At the academic level, this study contributed to increase the knowledge about green consumption
and sustainable behaviour in the tourism field. The concept of sustainable tourism is getting a broader
attention in tourism research and the concept of sustainable accommodation is emerging. This
dissertation, applied to the Portuguese empirical context, presents innovative aspects, since it
demonstrates important contributions in enriching the existing knowledge on a subject which is yet little
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
32
explored and has strong significance. More specifically, this study contributes to a better understanding
of the concepts of sustainable tourism and sustainable accommodation thanks to the exploration of
antecedents’ behaviour of travellers who choose sustainable accommodation. A set of variables was
used to investigate the reasons for this travel choice bridging the gaps in the literature and trying to
resolve some of its contradictions. This study reveals how travellers’ attitudes, motivations, values and
lifestyle have an influence on their travel behaviour, in particular the focus on environmental and social
issues is essential on this choice.
Furthermore, this dissertation contributes to clarifying that individuals who behave sustainably
during their daily life, also behave sustainably while being on vacation and they care both about
environmental and social sustainability. They are willing to make efforts and sacrifices to pursue
sustainable practices. Nevertheless, nowadays there is no way to live completely sustainably, due to
external circumstances, but little actions can contribute to make a positive impact. The awareness of
one’s own actions is a starting step.
At the business level, the analysis of the various topics explored in this research is particularly
relevant, since interest in sustainable tourism tends to increase, and governments, international
organizations and consumers are pressing for the adoption of more sustainable strategies and practices
in the tourism and hospitality industry. Thus, in order to help tourism companies to respond to this
expanding market requests achieving sustainability targets and meeting its needs, this study gives the
opportunity to sustainable accommodation managers and operators to benefit strategically and gaining
competitive advantages and profitability, thanks to deeper insights and for understanding of the reasons
for this travel choice.
Additionally, the insights provided by this study can help to focus better on the services offered and
the integration of communication strategies to reach the right target through the proper communication
channels and suitable content creation. More specifically, this study indicates that the main travel
motivations for the choice of sustainable accommodation include making a difference, minimizing the
negative impact of one’s actions, giving something back to the local community and learning more
sustainable practices. Companies can better address sustainability in their practices and communication
to increase the acquisition and retention of the desired target, emphasizing the main relevant sustainable
aspects.
6.3 Limitations of the Study
This study has some limitations which have influenced and conditioned its development process and
that should be considered in future studies.
First of all, it involves the use of a non-probabilistic, convenience sampling, implying that is not
representative of the population and it does not allow to generalize the results.
Furthermore, it was based on a small sample of participants, consisting of female and male
individuals, from different nationalities and different ages, yet including only sixteen interviewees. A
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
33
larger and more diversified sample has the potential to increase the outputs. Consecutively, the empirical
context and the collection of data concern the Portuguese market, so the results are mainly relevant for
Portugal, but not for a broader area.
The adoption of a mono-method qualitative study limited the results, the possible application of other
methods such as focus group or a mixed method with questionnaire could have allowed a more
comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon.
Due to limitations of time and coronavirus general restrictions, the selection of possible participants
was restricted and conditioned, in fact the most of participants were reached mainly through Facebook
groups and the interviews did not take place physically, but by video call which limits human
interactions and a deeper understanding of the interviewees reactions.
Finally, the concept of sustainable accommodation is relatively recent and only few studies have
researched the topic limiting the comparison of the outcomes of the research.
6.4 Suggestions for Future Research
The relevance of the topic under analysis leads to the identification of a set of significant topics that
might be explored in future research.
Firstly, it would be relevant to conduct the same study in a different empirical context, in a different
country with different participants’ nationalities to account for the cultural factors.
Additionally, it would be interesting to include a quantitative research with a representative sample
size to analyse the relation between the socio-demographic variables and traveller behaviour to achieve
a more complete consumer profile oriented to sustainable tourism and sustainable accommodation. Also,
future research could include efforts to segment consumers according to their sustainable tourism
orientation. Finally, it is recommended to investigate and explore more the social dimension of
sustainability, since in tourism research most research focuses on environmental issues.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
34
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APPENDICES
Appendix 1 - Main definitions of the constructs in analysis
Definitions of sustainable tourism in the academic literature
Author
Definition
Emphasis of the definition
Bramwell & Lane (1993)
“Sustainable tourism emerged in part as a negative and
reactive concept in response to the many tourism issues,
such as environmental damage and serious impacts on
society and traditional cultures” (Bramwell & Lane,
1993, p. 2, as cited in Zolfani et al., 2015, p.2).
Sustainable tourism as reactive concept
in response to tourism issues.
UNTWO (2005)
“Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of
present tourists and host regions while protecting and
enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged
as leading to management of all resources in such a way
that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be
fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential
ecological processes, biological diversity and life
support systems” (UNWTO, 2005, as cited in Zolfani et
al., 2015, p.3).
Sustainable tourism as protection and
management of the resources to maintain
cultural integrity.
Sharpley (2003)
“The concept of sustainable tourism has emerged with
the aim of reducing the negative effects of tourism
activities” (Sharpley, 2003, as cited in Zolfani et al.,
2015, p. 1).
Sustainable tourism as reduction of
negative impacts.
Day & Cai (2012)
“A wide variety of factors, including social, cultural and
economic considerations at each level of the tourism
system, affects the implementation of sustainable
tourism practices” (Day& Cai, 2012, p.380, as cited in
Zolfani et al., p.18).
Sustainable tourism practices involve
various factors.
Liu et al. (2013)
“The purpose of sustainable tourism is to make a
balance between protecting the environment,
maintaining cultural integrity, establishing social
justice and promoting economic benefits, meeting the
needs of the host population in term of improved living
standards both in the short and long term (Liu et al.,
2013 p. 102, as cited in Zolfani et al., 2015, p.2).
Sustainable tourism as a balance.
Zolfani et al. (2015)
“Sustainable tourism development concerns an
economic, social and environmental tourism
development that aims at the continuous improvement
of tourists’ experiences.” (Zolfani et al., 2015, p.1).
Sustainable tourism concerns a
development with the purpose of
improving experiences.
Definitions of attitudes in the academic literature
Author
Definition
Emphasis of the definition
Fishbein and Ajzen (1974)
“Attitudes are formed based on salient beliefs about an
object’s attributes and the categorization of these
beliefs on an affective continuum (Fishbein & Ajzen,
1974, p.59, as cited in Argyriou & Melewar, 2011, p.
440).
Attitudes as a set of beliefs.
Ajzen (2001)
“A summary evaluation of a psychological object
captured in such attribute dimensions as good-bad,
pleasant-unpleasant, likeable-unlikeable”.
(Ajzen, 2001, p.29, as cited in Argyriou & Melewar,
2011, pp. 432-433).
Attitudes as an evaluation.
Bagozzi and Dholakia (2002)
“A spiritual predisposition that is communicated by
assessing a specific object with some degree of positive
or negative” (Bagozzi & Dholakia, 2002, p.175, as cited
in Pandey & Srivastava, 2016, p. 58).
Attitudes as a predisposition.
Fratu (2011)
“Attitude is a person’s predisposition to answer in a
favourable or un favourable manner at the offer of a
tourism product or service. It has a lot of influence over
the market position of tourism products” (Fratu, 2011,
p. 120).
Attitudes as a predisposition.
Main definitions of motivations in the academic literature
Author
Definition
Emphasis of the definition
Keller (1983)
“Motivation refers to the choices people make as to
what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid,
and the degree of effort they will exert in that respect”
(Keller, 1983 p. 389, as cited in Crookes & Schmidt,
1991, p.481).
Motivation as choice and degree of
effort.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
41
Deci and Ryan (1985)
“People who are intrinsically motivated in doing an
activity are doing it for its own sake rather than because
of external pressure or promise of reward for doing it.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, refers to
learning situations where the reason for doing a task is
something other than an interest in the task itself” (Deci
& Ryan, 1985, p.35, as cited in Dickinson, 1995, p.
169).
Focus on intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation.
Crookes and Schmidt (1991)
“Motivation is typically grouped together with various
aspects of personality and emotion as miscellaneous
affective factors that may play a role in acquisition.
Motivation has been consistently linked with attitudes
(Crookes & Schmidt, 1991, p. 470).
Motivation linked to personality aspects,
affective factors and attitudes.
Moisander (2007)
“There is no agreed-upon definition for the term
motivation, the term usually refers to the question of
why a given behaviour occurs. It may be viewed to have
two important components: intensity or strength and
direction, which determines which behaviour is chosen
from all those possible”. (Moisander, 2007, p. 404).
Motivation as reason of why a certain
behaviour happens. It determines the
intensity and the direction of the
behaviour.
Main definitions of values in the academic literature
Author
Definition
Emphasis of the definition
Schwartz and Bilsky (1990)
“Concepts or beliefs, about desirable end states or
behaviours, which transcend specific situations, and
guide selection or evaluation of behaviour and events,
and are ordered by relative importance” (Schwartz &
Bilsky, 1990, p.878, as cited in Gatersleben, et al.,
2014, p.377).
Values as concepts or beliefs.
Schwartz (1992)
“Values are the criteria people use to select and justify
actions and to evaluate people.
The value concept should occupy a central position,
able to unify the apparently diverse interests of all the
sciences concerned with human behaviour”
(Schwartz, 1992, p. 1).
“Values are conceptualized as guiding principles
central in people’s life. Similar values cluster together
and form an individual’s value orientation
(Schwartz, 1992, as cited in Hedlund, 2011 p.279;
Hansla et al., 2008, p.2).
Values as guiding principles, criteria to
evaluate, to select and to justify actions.
Stern, Kalof, Dietz & Guagnano (1995)
“There is a link between individual’s values and their
expressed environmental concern” (Stern, Kalof,
Dietz & Guagnano, 1995, p. 1613; as cited in
Hedlund, 2011, p. 279).
Individual values linked to
environmental concern.
Blamey and Braithwaite (1997)
Values represent socially desirable standards of
behaviour. They can be viewed as the socially
acceptable manifestation of human needs” (Blamey
& Braithwaite, 1997, pp.31-32).
Values as socially desired behaviours
and manifestation of human needs.
Main definitions of lifestyle in the academic literature
Author
Definition
Emphasis of the definition
Adler (1929)
“Life-style to denote a person’s basic character as
established early in childhood which governs his
reactions and behaviour” (Adler, 1929, as cited in Veal,
1993, p. 234).
“The set of values and guiding principles which provide
the framework for that wholeness being termed the person
style of life” (Adler 1929, as cited in Veal, 1993, p. 236).
Focus on the uniqueness of
each individual.
Weber (1948)
“Lifestyle as the representation of a status group, based
on honour accorded by the rest of the society. In his
opinion lifestyle is basically a system of sets of symbols
associated with different groups in society” (Weber,
1948, as cited in Veal, 1993 pag.406).
Lifestyle associated to a status group.
Lazer (1963)
“Life-style as a systems concept referring to a distinctive
mode of living of a whole society or segment reflecting
dimensions of personality as values, attitudes, and
interests” (Lazer, 1963, p. 130, as cited in Anderson &
Golden, 1984, pag.406).
Focus on the society side.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
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Appendix 2 Conceptual models considered for the research framework of this study
“Antecedents of customer purchase intention proposed research framework”
(Pandey & Srivastava, 2016, p.79)
Norm activation theory conceptual model (Schwartz,
1977)
Schwartz (1977) developed the norm activation model in the
context of altruistic behaviour. Personal norms form the core
of this model. They are experienced as feelings of moral
obligation and they are used to predict individual behaviour”
(Onwezen et al., 2013, p. 142).
The Theory of planned behaviour conceptual model (Ajzen, 1991)
Value-belief-norms theory in pro-environmental behaviour
(Stern et al., 1999)
The theory of planned behaviour is an extension
of the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975).
“It postulates that attitudes, social norms and
perceived behavioural control affect people’s intentions
to behave in certain ways which, in turn, lead to actual behaviour.
This theory has frequently been used as a basis for investigating
environmentally sustainable tourism behaviour”
(Juvan & Dolnicar, 2014, p.77). Value-belief-norm theory of environmentalism postulates
relationships between a person’s values and beliefs about the
environment (Stern et al., 1999). “It postulates that two
specific beliefs affect pro-environmental behaviours: the
awareness of consequences of behaviour on the things people
value, and the ascription of responsibility indicating that
people believe they are responsible for protecting that which
they value highly” (Juvan & Dolnicar, 2014, p.78).
Veal (1993)
“Lifestyle is the distinctive pattern of personal and social
behaviour characteristic of an individual or a group”
(Veal, 1993, p.247).
Focus on the individual and the society
side.
Fratu (2011)
“Lifestyle as an individual system regarding the
individual interests, ideas, opinions, actions, consuming
habits” (Fratu, 2011, p.120).
Focus on the individual.
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
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Appendix 3 - Criteria for the selection of interviews participants
- Ecobnb Personas shared by Ecobnb
International Ecobnb personas Spanish and Latin American Ecobnb personas
Italian Ecobnb Personas Demographic data of Ecobnb Users
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
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Appendix 4 - Sociodemographic information sheet of interviews participants
Appendix 5 Interview guides with travellers for data collection
Interviews guide with travellers
1. Break the ice and
introduction to the
study
Hi, first of all I would like to thank you for this opportunity to have this talk with you. Let me introduce myself; I am a
student, presently attending the Master’s degree in Marketing in ISEG, Lisbon School of Economics and Management. I am
writing a thesis about the reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation. According to that I decided to interview you
here. All data will be used only for academic purposes. The call will be recorded to transcribe later the text.
1.1 Could you introduce yourself? (Background)
1.2 Tell me more about who you are, your age, where do you come from, what is your present occupation? (Socio
Demographic data table)
1.3 How important is it for you to travel?
1.4 How often do you travel?
1.5 What most characterizes you as a traveller? Which kind of traveler are you?
1.6 How do you normally travel and who do you usually travel with? Why?
1.7 Have you chosen sustainable accommodation only once or do you often travel like that? Why?
2.Sustainability,
Sustainable Tourism
2.1 What does sustainability mean for you?
2.2 What do you consider as sustainable practice? Examples of your past experiences
Sociodemographic information sheet
Name
Age
Nationality
Level of education
Area of education
Job occupation
Traveller
Interview via video call
Jean
05.06.20 48 min
Charlotte
12.06.20 1h18 min
Christian
11.06.20 1h30 min
Harry
17.06.20 45 min
Maria
14.06.20 1h37 min
Olivia
19.06.20 1h18 min
Patricia
12.06.20 1h20 min
Taimoor
10.06.20 1h19 min
Tatiana
12.06.20 1h12 min
Keti
09.06.20 49 min
Sustainable Accommodation
Manager
Type of
Accommodation
Location
Interview via video call
Impact House
rita.marques@impactrip.com
Hostel
Rua do Possolo 16 1350-
252 Lisbon, Portugal
13.06.20 43 min
Casa do Mercado Lisboa
f.francoafonso@gmail.com
Bed & Breakfast
Rua da Boavista 10, 1200-066
Lisboa, Portugal
23.06.20 47 min
Villa Epicurea
info@villaepicurea.com
Eco-lodge
R. do Casalinho 5A, 2970-052
Fetais, Portugal
06.07.20 1h8 min
Casa Opala
info@casaopala.com
Holiday Home
R. Gonçalo Velho 67, 8700-478
Olhão, Portugal
02.07.20 1h20 min
Ecobnb
info@ecobnb.com
Sustainable
Accommodation
Marketplace
Italy
03.06.20 57 min
Becostay
info@becostay.com
Sustainable
Accommodation
Marketplace
Belgium
18.06.20 - 1h12 min
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
45
and Sustainable
accommodation
2.3 Do you consider social sustainability as relevant as environmental sustainability? Why?
2.4 Which are for you the central themes of environmental and social sustainability?
2.5 What does sustainable tourism mean for you?
2.6 What represents for you a sustainable accommodation? How would you define it? (Describe examples of previous
experiences)
2.7 Could you give me some examples of previous experiences about sustainable accommodation? What was the most
sustainable accommodation you were in? What was it like? What did you like most / least about that accommodation?
3. Traveller’s
attitudes toward
sustainability
3.1 While travelling, how often do you stay in sustainable establishments? Why?
3.2 How much is sustainability important to you?
3.3 Which are the main factors you consider when you travel? And while choosing the place to stay during your vacations?
Why?
3.4 Which are the main attributes you consider relevant to a sustainable accommodation? Why?
3.5 Could you tell some examples of good and bad things you noticed during your travel experiences?
3.6 How did you choose the place where to stay? In case of WOM, Social Media…What did convince you the most? (How
did The way you find the place)
3.7 What is important to look for when you travel and you choose an accommodation?
3.8 What can you not accept?
3.9 How do you think you could make a difference? What did you do when you travel? Could you tell some examples of
some of your practices?
3.10 In which way do you think your efforts for sustainability should go? (Environment, Social)
4. Tourist
motivations taking
into account
sustainability issues
4.1 What is the most important thing that motivates you to travel?
4.2 Why did you choose to stay in a sustainable accommodation when you planned your trip?
4.3 Which are the main reasons and motivations for choosing this type of accommodation? Why?
4.4 When did you start to take into account sustainability issues while travelling in your life? How did it come up?
4.5 Did you change your travel habits after past experiences? Why? Could you tell me some concrete examples?
4.6 In which aspects about sustainability are you interested the most? Why?
4.7 How much are you interested in nature topics? Examples (main nature issues you are interested in?)
4.8 How much are you interested in social issues? Examples
4.9 When you travel do you feel any motivational conflict? (What to do and what should be done instead) Could you give
an example of that?
5.Sustainability
concern (Values)
5.1 Which are the values (principles) you give more importance in your life in general?
5.2 Which are the values you give more importance when you travel?
5.3 What do you think your main values are related with? Why? (Education, family..) (where they come from?)
5.4 What do you think is sustainability concern (principles)?
5.5 Where do you think your behaviour related to sustainability comes from? Why?
5.6 Do your family or friends travel in the same way as you? Why?
5.7 Did they transmit to you any value related to sustainability? For example?
5.8 When you were a child which were your feelings towards nature? Can you give some examples?
5.9 In which circumstances sustainability concerns are strongest? Are they strongest regarding the place where you live or
where you travel. And why? How do you see the connection between you and the place where you live?
5.10 Do you feel responsible for your good or bad actions about sustainability? Why?
5.11 What consequences of your actions as a traveler concern you most? Why?
5.12 Which sacrifices you did or would you be willing to make in order to pursue sustainable actions in terms of
environmental and social protection? Can you give examples? (i.e. economic sacrifices, being willing to pay more, less
comfort)
5.13 When you choose your accommodation, what sacrifices are you willing to make in order to be sustainable? Can you
give examples of your travels? Why?
5.14 How would you feel not making it? Why? (sustainable choices in daily life and vacation?)
6. Sustainable
practices
implemented in
daily life and on
vacation
6.1 How do you define your way of living?
6.2 What do you usually do when you are at home with regard to sustainable practices? Practical examples...
6.3 What do you usually do when you are on vacation with regard to sustainable practices? Practical examples...
6.4 Do you think are you implementing enough sustainable practices? Why?
6.5 How do you think we should act? (what we should take care in our actions)
6.6 Which are some specific contradictions you notice in your behaviour?
6.7 What does it mean pursuing a sustainable lifestyle for you? Why?
6.8 Do you follow the same patterns of behavior (principles) in your daily life and while on vacation? Why?
6.9 Do you consider yourself a person with a sustainable lifestyle? Why?
6.10 In which occasion did you think you behave sustainably the most?
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
46
7. Conclusion
7.1 Is there something else you would like to add regarding this topic?
7.2 Do you know any other interesting people to recommend me to interview about this topic?
7.3 Do you want to receive a copy of the research report since you have taken part of it?
Thank you very much for your participation!
Appendix 6 Table considered for the analysis of travellers’ interviews
Why travellers choose to stay in sustainable accommodation? (Reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation)
Literature Review
Topics and
Propositions
Interview questions
Relation to Literature Review Information
Investigation Questions
1. Break the Ice
1.1 Could you introduce yourself?
1.2 Tell me who you are, your age, where do you come from, what is
your present occupation?
1.3 How do you normally travel and who do you usually travel with?
Why?
1.4 Have you chosen sustainable accommodation only once or do you
often travel like that? Why?
-To identify the person and understanding the kind of
traveller he/she is.
2. Sustainability and
sustainable
accommodation
definition
2.1 What does sustainability mean for you?
2.2 What do you consider as sustainable?
2.3 Do you consider the social sustainability as relevant as the
environmental sustainability? Why?
2.4 Which are for you the central themes of environmental and social
sustainability?
-Sustainability Definition (If it is considered the TBL
approach or not)
2.5 What does sustainable tourism mean for you?
-Sustainable Tourism Definition
2.6 What represents for you a sustainable accommodation? How would
you define it?
-Sustainable Accommodation Definition
3. Traveller’s
attitudes toward
sustainability
3.1 While travelling, how often do you stay in sustainable
establishments? Why?
3.2 How much is sustainability important to you?
3.3 Which are the main factors you consider when you travel? And
while choosing the place to stay during your vacations? Why?
3.4 Which are the main attributes you consider relevant to a
sustainable accommodation? Why?
-Degree of positive attitudes toward sustainability
-Attitude-behaviour gap
3.5 Could you tell some examples of good and bad things you noticed
during your travel experiences?
3.6 How did you choose the place where to stay? In case of WOM,
Social Media…What did convince you the most?
3.7 What is important to look for when you travel and you choose an
accommodation?
3.8 What can you not accept?
-What are considered good and bad attitudes toward
sustainability
3.9 How do you think you could make a difference? What did you do
when you travel? Could you tell some examples of some of your
practices?
3.10 In which way do you think your efforts for sustainability should
go? (Environment, Social)
-Sustainable behaviour
-Attitude towards a behaviour may not be necessarily
related to other behaviours
-Sustainably-minded consumers but necessarily are
sustainably-minded travellers.
4. Tourist motivations
taking into account
sustainability issues
4.1 What is the most important thing that motivates you to travel?
4.2 Why did you choose to stay in a sustainable accommodation when
you planned your trip?
4.3 Which are the main reasons and motivations for choosing this type
of accommodation? Why?
-Sustainable tourism combines altruistic motivations
with travel concept
-To interpret tourist behaviour it is important to analyze
tourist motivations and needs
-Tourist motives: personal growth, holiday with a
difference, contributing to local community
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
47
4.4 When did you start to take into account sustainability issues while
travelling in your life? How did it come up?
4.5 Did you change your travel habits after past experiences? Why?
-Travel motivation changes under travel experience
4.6 In which aspects about sustainability are you interested the most?
4.7 How much are you interested in nature topics?
4.8 How much are you interested in social issues?
-Sustainable tourists are generally defined considering
their interest in nature-based activities
-Climate change perception affects travel motivation
4.9 When you travel do you feel any motivational conflict? (What to do
and what should be done instead)
-Motivational complexity and motivational conflicts
(What to do and what should be done instead)
5.Sustainability
concern (Values)
5.1 Which are the values you give more importance in your life in
general?
5.2 Which are the values you give more importance when you travel?
5.3 What do you think your main values are related with? Why?
-Different values are linked to different forms of
behaviours
-Values play an important role in understanding
sustainable behaviour
5.4 What do you think is sustainability concern?
-Sustainability concern.
-The more people have a strong sustainable concern,
the more they intend to assume sustainable choices
5.5 Where do you think your behaviour related to sustainability comes
from? Why?
5.6 Do your family or friends travel in the same way as you? Why?
5.7 Did they transmit to you any value related to sustainability? For
example?
-Family is the social factor with the highest impact on
individual
5.8 When you were a child which were your feelings towards nature?
Can you give some examples?
5.9 How do you see the connection between you and the place where
you live?
-People will behave in more sustainable ways if they
identify themselves with the place, they live
-Emotional connection to nature encourages
sustainability concern
5.10 Do you feel responsible for your good or bad actions about
sustainability? Why?
5.11 Are you aware of the consequences of your travels’ actions? How?
5.12 Which sacrifices would you be willing to make to pursue
environmental and social protection?
-Awareness of consequences, responsibility, altruistic
behaviour, moral obligation.
-Awareness of environmental problems of tourism may
not lead to sustainable behaviour
-Positive relationship between sustainability concern in
tourism choices and willingness to accept economic
sacrifices to protect the environment.
5.13 How do you feel in front of making a sustainable accommodation
choice? Why?
5.14 How would you feel not making it? Why?
-Perceiving the importance of behaving sustainably
lead to willingness to stay in sustainable
accommodation.
6. Sustainable
practices
implemented in daily
life and on vacation
6.1 How do you define your way of living?
6.2 Do you think are you implementing enough sustainable practices?
Why?
-Lifestyle definition
-Lifestyle is significant in understanding consumer
behaviour
-The fact of individuals considering themselves as
sustainable people is often related to sustainable
buying behaviour
6.3 What do you usually do when you are at home with regard to
sustainable practices? Practical examples...
6.4 What do you usually do when you are on vacation with regard to
sustainable practices? Practical examples...
-Individuals who demonstrate to behave in sustainable
way in everyday life, not necessarily then behave
sustainably while being on vacation.
-People who assume sustainable practices in their daily
lives are more willing to behave sustainably also on
vacation choosing for instance a sustainable
accommodation.
6.5 How do you think we should act?
6.6 Which are some specific contradictions you notice in your
behaviour?
-Sustainable lifestyle, to pursue a minimal
environmental and social impact
6.7 What does it mean pursuing a sustainable lifestyle for you? Why?
6.8 Do you follow the same patterns of behavior in your daily life and
while on vacation? Why?
6.9 Do you consider yourself a person with a sustainable lifestyle?
Why?
6.10 In which occasion did you think you behave sustainably the most?
-It is problematic to reach a point where it is possible
to affirm to live completely in sustainable way
-Individuals have more than one lifestyle
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
48
Appendix 7 Interview guides with managers for data collection
Interviews guide with sustainable accommodation managers
1.Break the ice and
introduction to the
study
Hi, first of all I would like to thank you for granting me this opportunity to have this talk with you. Let me introduce myself;
I am a student, presently attending the Master’s degree in Marketing in ISEG, Lisbon School of Economics and
Management. I am writing a thesis about the reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation. According to that I
decided to interview you here. All data will be used only for academic purposes.
1.1 Could you introduce yourself?
1.2 Tell me what is your background and where do you come from?
1.3 Which characteristics does your accommodation have regarding sustainability issues? Which are the activities that you
offer?
1.4 How did you learn these sustainable practices you are offering?
1.5 How many years of experience do you have in this field?
1.6 Which are the challenges you face in this field?
1.6.1 What about your relationship with suppliers?
2.Sustainability,
Sustainable Tourism
and Sustainable
accommodation
2.1 What does sustainability mean to you?
2.2 What do you consider as sustainable (People, activities, facilities)?
2.3 Do you consider social sustainability as relevant as environmental sustainability? Why?
2.4 Which are for you the central themes of environmental and social sustainability?
2.5 What does sustainable tourism mean for you?
2.6 What does represent for you a sustainable accommodation? How would you define it?
3. Traveller’s
attitudes toward
sustainability
3.1 Why did you decide to start this activity? Why the focus on sustainability?
3.2 Before starting your activity, did you ever choose to stay in sustainable accommodation while travelling? Which were
your main motivations?
3.3 Which are the main attributes you consider relevant in this type of accommodation? Why? What about your guests?
3.4 In general, which is the travellers’ target who stay at your sustainable accommodation? What are they looking for?
3.5 How do you reach your desired target?
3.6 How do you communicate to attract your desired target?
3.6.1 Specifically, what did you consider the most important things concerning your communication?
3.7 In case they come because of WOM, do you know what were they told it?
3.8 Which experiences were specifically highlighted? Why?
3.9 According to your experience, what can you not accept when you travel? Could you give me some examples of good and
bad practices you noticed during some previous trips you did?
3.10 How do you think you can make the difference? Could you tell some examples of some of your practices?
3.11 In which way do you think your efforts for sustainability should go? (Environment, Social)
4. Tourist
motivations taking
into account
sustainability issues
4.1 Which are the main reasons your guests express for choosing this type of accommodation? Why?
4.2 What is the most important thing that motivates your guests to come?
4.3 In which aspects about sustainability are you interested the most?
4.4 In which aspects about sustainability do you think your guests are interested the most?
4.5 How much are you interested in nature topics?
4.6 How much are you interested in social issues?
5.Sustainability
concern (Values)
5.1 What do you think your primary values are related to?
5.2 In general, which are the values you give more importance in your life?
5.3 Which are the values you give more importance to when you travel?
5.4 Where do you think your behaviour related to sustainability comes from? Why?
5.5 What do you think is sustainability concern”?
5.6 Do your family or friends travel in the same way as you? Why?
5.7 Did they transmit to you any value related to sustainability? For example?
5.8 What do they think of your choice to create this sustainable accommodation? Why?
5.9 How do you feel making this choice?
5.10 How would you feel not making it?
6. Sustainable
practices
implemented in
daily life and on
vacation
6.1 How do you define your way of living?
6.2 What do you usually do about sustainable tourism practices?
6.3 What do you usually do about sustainable practices when you are at home? Practical examples...
6.4 What do you usually do about sustainable practices while on vacation? Practical examples
6.5 Do you notice any relevant difference between these practices at home and on vacation?
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
49
6.6 Do you follow the same patterns of behavior in your daily life as while being on vacation? Why? What about your
guests?
6.7 Do you think you are implementing enough sustainable practices in your establishment? Why?
6.8 How do you think people should act?
6.9 What does it mean pursuing a sustainable lifestyle for you? Why?
6.10 Do you think you are following a sustainable lifestyle? Why?
7. Conclusion
7.1 Is there something else you would like to add regarding this topic?
7.2 Do you know any other interesting people to recommend me to interview about this topic?
7.3 Do you want to receive a copy of the research report since you have taken part of it?
Thank you very much for your participation!
Appendix 8 Table considered for the analysis of managers’ interviews
Why travellers choose to stay in sustainable accommodation? (Reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation)
Literature Review
Topics and
Propositions
Interview questions
Relation to Literature Review Information
Investigation Questions
1.Break the Ice
1.1 Could you introduce yourself?
1.2 Tell me what is your background and where do you come from?
1.3 Which characteristics has your accommodation regarding
sustainability issues? Which are the activities that you offer?
1.4 How did you learn these sustainable practices you are offering?
1.5 How many years of experience do you have in this field?
1.6 Which are the challenges you face in this field?
1.6.1 What about your relation with suppliers?
-To identify the person and understanding the
accommodation characteristics.
2. Sustainability and
sustainable
accommodation
definition
2.1 What does sustainability mean for you?
2.2 What do you consider as sustainable?
2.3 Do you consider the social sustainability as relevant as the
environmental sustainability? Why?
2.4 Which are for you the central themes of environmental and social
sustainability?
-Sustainability Definition (If it is considered the TBL
approach or not)
2.5 What does sustainable tourism mean for you?
-Sustainable Tourism Definition
2.6 What represents for you a sustainable accommodation? How
would you define it?
-Sustainable Accommodation Definition
3. Traveller’s
attitudes toward
sustainability
3.1 Why did you choose to start this activity? Why sustainable?
3.2 Before starting your activity, did you ever choose to stay in
sustainable accommodation while travelling? Which were your
main motivations?
3.3 Which are the main attributes you consider relevant in this type of
accommodation? Why? What about your guests?
3.4In general, which is the travellers’ target who stay at your sustainable
accommodation? What are they looking for?
-Degree of positive attitudes toward sustainability
-Attitude-behaviour gap
3.5 How do you reach your desired target?
3.6 How do you communicate to attract your desired target?
3.6.1 Specifically, what did you consider the most important things
concerning your communication?
3.7 In case they come because of WOM, do you know what were they
told it?
3.8 Which experiences were specifically highlighted? Why?
-Reaching the desired target
3.9According to your experience, what can you not accept when you
travel? Could you give me some examples of good and bad practices you
noticed during some previous trips you did?
-What are considered good and bad attitudes toward
sustainability
3.10 How do you think you can make the difference? Could you tell
some examples of some of your practices?
3.11 In which way do you think your efforts for sustainability should
go? (Environment, Social)
-Sustainable behaviour
4.1 Which are the main reasons your guests express for choosing this
type of accommodation? Why?
-To interpret tourist behaviour it is important to analyze
tourist motivations and needs
Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation
50
4. Tourist motivations
taking into account
sustainability issues
4.2 What is the most important thing that motivates your guests to
come?
-Tourist motives: personal growth, holiday with a
difference, contributing to local community
4.3 In which aspects about sustainability are you interested the most?
4.4 In which aspects about sustainability do you think your guests are
interested the most?
4.5 How much are you interested in nature topics?
4.6 How much are you interested in social issues?
-Sustainable tourists are generally defined considering
their interest in nature-based activities
-Climate change perception affects travel motivation
5.Sustainability
concern (Values)
5.1 What do you think your primary values are related to?
5.2 In general, which are the values you give more importance in your
life?
5.3 Which are the values you give more importance to when you
travel?
-Different values are linked to different forms of
behaviours
-Values play an important role in understanding
sustainable behaviour
5.4 Where do you think your behaviour related to sustainability comes
from? Why?
5.5 What do you think is sustainability concern?
-Sustainability concern.
-The more people have a strong sustainable concern,
the more they intend to assume sustainable choices
5.6 Do your family or friends travel in the same way as you? Why?
5.7 Did they transmit to you any value related to sustainability? For
example?
5.8 What do they think of your choice to create this sustainable
accommodation? Why?
-Family is the social factor with the highest impact on
individual
5.9 How do you feel making this choice?
5.10 How would you feel not making it?
-Awareness of consequences, responsibility, altruistic
behaviour, moral obligation.
-Awareness of environmental problems of tourism may
not lead to sustainable behaviour
6. Sustainable
practices
implemented in daily
life and on vacation
6.1 How do you define your way of living?
6.2 What do you usually do about sustainable tourism practices?
-Lifestyle definition
-Lifestyle is significant in understanding consumer
behaviour
-The fact of individuals considering themselves as
sustainable people is often related to sustainable
buying behaviour
6.3What do you usually do about sustainable practices when you are at
home? Practical examples...
6.4 What do you usually do about sustainable practices while on
vacation? Practical examples...
6.5 Do you follow the same patterns of behavior in your daily life as
while being on vacation? Why? What about your guests?
-Individuals who demonstrate to behave in sustainable
way in everyday life, not necessarily then behave
sustainably while being on vacation.
-People who assume sustainable practices in their daily
lives are more willing to behave sustainably also on
vacation choosing for instance a sustainable
accommodation.
6.6 Do you think you are implementing enough sustainable practices in
your establishment? Why?
6.7 How do you think people should act?
6.8 Do you think you are following a sustainable lifestyle? Why?
6.9 What does it mean pursuing a sustainable lifestyle for you? Why?
-It is problematic to reach a point where it is possible
to affirm to live completely in sustainable way
-Individuals have more than one lifestyle
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