Tourists Becoming Increasingly Aware of Green Tourism: Tourist Intention to Choose Green Hotels in Bangalore, India

Tourists Becoming Increasingly Aware of Green Tourism: Tourist Intention to Choose Green Hotels in Bangalore, India

Nichola A. Ramchurjee (University of Mysore, India) and Esther P. Ramchurjee (Independent Researcher, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5772-2.ch012
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The continual development of the hospitality industry has led to negative impacts on the environment. However, the development of green hotels could be a solution to this problem. As more tourists are becoming gradually concerned about environmentally friendly products and services, it is crucial for the hotel industry to take an interest and participate in the green initiative. A questionnaire method was used to collect data from 209 participants using the intercept approach in several main tourist sites in Bangalore, India. The analysis showed that tourists staying in hotels in Bangalore give substantial influence on their intention to choose green hotels and thus environmentally friendly services and products. Therefore, it is of primary importance for green hotel operators/managers to continuously educate their guests about the importance of being environmentally friendly and the environmental impacts of their behaviors.
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Tourism is considered vital to the world’s economy. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, 2016) the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was US$2.23 trillion (3.0% of total GDP) in 2015 and is forecasted to rise by 3.3% in 2016, and to rise by 4.2% pa, from 2016-2026, to USD3.3 bn (3.4% of total GDP) in 2026. In 2015 Travel and Tourism directly supported 107,833,000 jobs (3.6% of total employment). This is expected to rise by 1.9% in 2016 and rise by 2.1% pa to 135,884,000 jobs (4.0% of total employment) in 2026. Tourism is an activity that has grown by around 25 per cent in the past 10 years. It now accounts for around 10 per cent of the world’s economic activity and is one of the main generators of employment. Tourism, being a main source of income and employment in many countries highly depends on environmental resources that include pristine beaches, warm climate, clean air, landscape formation and others (Kasimu, Zaiton, & Hassan, 2012). Within the tourism sector, economic development and environmental protection should not be seen as opposing forces—they should be pursued hand in hand as aspirations that can and should be mutually reinforcing. Policies and actions must aim to strengthen the benefits and reduce the costs of tourism.

Making tourism more sustainable is not just about controlling and managing the negative impacts of the industry. Tourism is in a very special position to benefit local communities, economically and socially, and to raise awareness and support for conservation of the environment. In the last 20 years, the concept of sustainable development has become widely accepted as the way to a better future, even though its roots go back to the 1980s. According to the World Commission on Environmental Development (1987), sustainable development is defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable development also leads to the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions in decision making without sacrificing the needs of future generations. Harmonizing the development of the business with the natural environment is the key, as well as improving human well-being by lessening the damage to the Earth and its organisms.

Among the various industries in tourism, the hotel industry plays a major part. Traditionally, the operational activities of hotels constituted a threat to the environment due to the high consumption of energy, water (Kasim, 2009) and waste generation. Although, the hotel industry may not be the only one that creates substantial environmental pollution and consumes large amounts of global environmental resources, its primary purposes are providing services (such as food, drinks, hot/cold water, linens, towels, lightning, air conditioning, water and swimming pools) and these activities clearly consume huge amounts of energy, water, non-recyclable goods and natural resources, thus directly or indirectly harming the environment (Han, Hsu, and Sheu, 2010).

In general, the daily operations of hotels create substantial amount of pollution. Public concerns for issues affecting the environment have significantly increased over the past decade, thus, pressuring the hotel industry to become more environmentally sustainable. This saw the emergence of the green tourism concept and it is being introduced in urban facilities and lodges. Green tourism, a form of ecotourism, is low-impact tourism with an eye toward protecting the environment and culture of an area (Lee, Honda, Ren, & Lo, 2016). Therefore, hotels are adopting green practices because they are more aware of their environmental impact and carbon footprint.

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