chapter  6
20 Pages

What values tell us about responsible tourists

Chapter 5 introduced the study at the heart of this book, which was conceived to identify the values of ethical consumers and to understand how they attempt to satisfy these through their holiday choices. From the results it is apparent that ethical consumers can be inconsistent in their holiday decisions, and at times exhibit both confusion and compromise when explaining how they manage their ethics on holiday, as well as before purchase. However, they also share motivations: they prefer to travel independently, buy locally made souvenirs and use locally owned shops and restaurants. They take public transport as much as they can while some avoid air travel, especially on holiday. These people like to be outdoors on holiday, enjoy nature, walking in the countryside and taking part in outdoor activities. As such they exhibit similar motivations with all tourists. When travelling overseas, they try to learn some local phrases and observe

cultural norms, especially with regard to their behaviour and what they wear. They like to stay in locally owned accommodation, usually a family-run hotel, guesthouse, ecocabin or organic farm, purchasing local food, and enjoy holidaying off the beaten track. They take pleasure in being with family and friends but also like meeting new people and particularly enjoy talking to locals. Some travel alone, others travel slowly and a few attend spiritual retreats on holiday. Finally, if they travel with a tour operator, they want it to have a responsible tourism code or they buy directly from a company operating out of their intended destination. This chapter moves on from describing ethical consumers’ holiday preferences

and presents a comprehensive account of their expressed travel aspirations and a discussion of the values they seek to satisfy. The chapter begins with a brief explanation of the framework used to identify the values, before explaining each of them individually and in detail. It continues with a consideration of how these influence respondents’ holiday choices, and concludes by discussing how such knowledge offers insight into the key debates about ethical consumption in tourism – namely, perceived consumer effectiveness, moral selving and complex trade-off behaviour.