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Reasons for the Choice of Sustainable Accommodation



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 into the hospitality sector to focus better on the services offer and integrated communication strategies.
Reasons for the Choice of
Sustainable Accommodation
Marketing Master's Degree
December 2020
Introduction: Sustainable Tourism Trends
Literature Review: Antecedents towards tourist behaviour
Research Framework and Research Questions
Data Analysis
Discussion of results
Introduction:Sustainable tourism trends
Sustainable tourist behaviour is a growing field of study
(López-Sánchez & Pulido-Fernández, 2016).
Social, cultural and economic considerations affect the implementation of
sustainable tourism practices (Doran & Larsen, 2016).
55% of Global Travelers are more determined to make sustainable travel choices
(, 2019).
Tourism demand is better geared towards environmental protection and benefits to local
communities (UNWTO, 2018).
Consumers values regarding sustainability are increasing
(Deloitte, 2019).
Understanding attitudes towards sustainable accommodation choice;
Identifying motivations that affect sustainable accommodation choice;
Gaining insights into the values of individuals that choose sustainable accommodation;
Understanding the relation between lifestyle and sustainable accommodation choice.
Understanding the travellers' reasons for the choice of sustainable accommodation
Investigation Questions
Why travellers choose to stay in sustainable accommodation?
Q1. How can travellers attitudes influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
Q2. How can travellers motivations influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
Q3. How can travellers values influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
Q4. How can travellers lifestyle influence the choice for sustainable accommodation?
Literature Review
Antecedents of sustainable tourism behaviour
Triple Bottom Line Approach to Sustainability
Triple Bottom Line in Sustainable Tourism
(Elkington, 1997); (Stoddard, Pollard &Evans, 2012)
(Ajzen, 1991); (Fishbein &Ajzen, 1975)
Tourist Motivations
(Deci &Ryan, 1995); (Lee, 2009); (Ooi &Laing, 2010)
(Schwartz, 1977); (Fratu, 2011); (Onwezen, Antonides &Bartels,2013)
Sustainable Lifestyle
(Adler, 1929); (Veal, 1993); (Evans &Abrahmase, 2009)
Research Framework
Semi-structured in-depth Interviews
to Travellers
(n.10 people)
Semi-structured in-depth Interviews
to Sustainable Accommodation Managers
(n.6 people)
Exploratory Study Mono method Qualitative Research Design
Cross Sectional
Lisbon Area -Empirical Context
Interpretative approach
for data analysis
Non-probabilistic for Convenience Sampling
Sample Characterization
Criteria for the selection:
Having stayed
in a Sustainable Accommodation
in Portugal at least once
Sustainable Accommodation
Manager in Portugal
Data Analysis
and Discussion of Results
Decrease of negative effects
Sustainable practices
Having respect
Preservation of Future generations
Travelling with a good purpose
Reducing the negative impact
Buying local
Using public transports
Empowering local people
“It’s the type of tourism that gets into
consideration the local population without
damaging the local environment. The great
thing about Impact House, you go there
and you give something back to the local
communities.” (Harry, UK, traveller)
Sustainability Sustainable Tourism
Data Analysis
“For me sustainability concerns
minimizing our environmental footprint,
maximizing our positive social impact,
and thinking about the long-term
future." (Rita, manager, Impact House)
Run by local people
Located close to nature
Reducing waste
Taking care of the heritage
Focus on environmental and social
“I was volunteering in the youth support
while staying in a sustainable hostel in
Lisbon. We did other activities like beach
clean-up. They were involving the local
community and connecting travellers with
local NGO programs.” (Christian, UK,
Sustainable Accommodation "We aim to invest in renovating abandoned
houses. We have local staff and only
Portuguese stakeholders. We offer local
products, we do recycling, upcycling, and we
take care of leftover food donating it to
people in need.” (Francisco, manager,
Casa do Mercado Lisboa)
Data Analysis
Sustainability is very important To know how the profit is managed
Positive attitudes towards sustainability
“The most important thing is who’s
making the money? Is it staying in the
local community or is it going to abigger
(Maria, USA, traveller)
To spend larger sums to stay in a
sustainable place, even though having
less comfort
Social and environmental
sustainability are both relevant
aspects while travelling
Data Analysis
Factors influencing the choice for
sustainable accommodation
“I will be willing to spend more money to
stay in asustainable place. I am willing to
give up all the comfort to stay in aplace
with positive environmental and social
impact.” (Taimoor, Pakistan, traveller)
Tourist motivations
considering sustainability aspects
To meet different people, to learn about
different ways of living, exploring new
places and engaging with local communities
Learning more sustainable practices
To have a certain mindset
Actions with a positive impact
To respect what surrounds you
To be involved in the local community
Giving back
A place with a bigger purpose
Interest in environmental issues and
social issues
Data Analysis
“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)
To Reach
the Desired Target:
Need for specialised
Data Analysis
Honesty and Respect as fundamental values
in life and while travelling
To try to apply the same values both at
home and while travelling
Central values related tu sustainability
come mainly from the family and education
“I travelled to Egypt and while I was in a shop,
the guy closed it and started to pray in front
of it. I found it weird but I respected it”.
(Patricia, Portugal, traveller)
Sustainability Values applied
at home and while travelling
“I think awareness is a big concern important for
travelling. Since I developed sustainability values I
can say I actually influence my way of travelling
focusing on the destination’s benefits.”
(Maria, USA, traveller)
The awareness of consequences and the
feeling of responsibility
Participants who consider themselves as
sustainable minded also consider
themselves as sustainably-minded
Travellers who choose sustainable
accommodation do not consider
themselves having a sustainable lifestyle
Meaning of sustainable lifestyle:
to be aware of their own choices,
reducing the negative impact,
not buying unnecessary items
Lifestyle and Sustainability in
daily life and on vacation
Participants claimed that the way they
travel is one of the most sustainable
aspects of their lifestyle
“I always try to have a meaningful purpose
and to pursue personal and job objectives
related to sustainability."
(Rita, manager, Impact House)
“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)
Data Analysis
The interviews’ outcome conforms with TBL concept
coined by Elkington (1997) to describe sustainability
The results are consistent with Ajzen (1991)
in tourist attitudes description
In defining sustainable tourism the results are
similar to Stoddard, Pollard and Evans (2012)
In defining sustainable accommodation the results
match with Moscardo et al. (1996)
Discussion of Results
As Evans and Abrahamse (2009), sustainable
lifestyle concerns choosing a way of living with
aminimal environmental and social impact
The results agree with Ooi and Laing (2010)
sustainable tourism combines altruistic reasons
with the travel concept
As Gartersleben et al. (2014), values play
an important role in understanding
sustainable behaviour
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.
Sustainable Accommodation
Q1. Positive attitudes towards sustainability
influence the choice for sustainable accommodation
Q2. Travellers motivations to choose a sustainable
accommodation are closely related to the purpose
of their journey
Q3. Developing sustainability values positively
influences the choice for sustainable accommodation
Q4. Travellers who follow sustainable patterns of
behaviour in daily life tend to behave sustainably
on vacation
Increase the knowledge
about sustainable behaviour
in the tourism field
Better understanding of
sustainable tourism
and accommodation
Individuals who behave sustainably
care both about environmental
and social sustainability
To benefit strategically with
competitive advantages
and profitability
Focus on services
offered and integration of
communication strategies
To increase the acquisition
and retention of the desired
Small sample
Relevant only for
The selection of
participants was limited
due to COVID-19 related
of the study
Suggestions for
future research
The same study in
a different empirical
Quantitative research
to segment travellers
To explore the
social dimension
of sustainability
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