The values of ethical and responsible tourists

Weeden, Clare (2008) The values of ethical and responsible tourists. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The aim of this doctoral thesis was to gain insight into ethical and responsible tourists, to understand their motivational values and to reveal the importance of these values in their holiday choice behaviour. This study has more than achieved this aim and makes unique contributions in several areas – not only has it extended what is known and understood about ethical and responsible tourist’s motivation but it has also underlined the utility of the values concept to understand their holiday choice behaviour. Further contribution derives from the application of the conceptual framework of the means-end chain theory (Gutman, 1982), which has enabled this study to explore the linkages between ethical and responsible tourists’ holiday choices, the perceived benefits of these choices and their underpinning values. This study has also found that, although useful, Schwartz’s (1992) value theory needs further modification if used within an ethical consumer context. Most notably, limitations have been found in the value types of power, achievement and hedonism when applied to ethical and responsible tourists’ holiday choice behaviour. Overall, this doctoral thesis has significantly advanced the tourist research agenda, not only by revealing the meaningful associations between ethical and responsible tourists’ values and their holiday choice behaviour, but also by providing crucial information on the specific values that prompt these holiday choices.

From the key findings of this study, ethical and responsible tourists prefer to travel independently, perceive tourism to have the capacity to encourage inequitable relationships and understand how the tourism industry operates. They demonstrate sympathy for the principles of fair trade, with its emphasis on cooperation and partnership, and not only do they take active responsibility for sharing the economic benefits of their holidays they also want to make a lasting contribution to visited communities. Ethical and responsible tourists have a strong belief in their personal ability to facilitate change, not only by sharing their knowledge and experiences with family and friends but also because they believe their behaviour can demonstrate to others how to take an ethical or responsible approach to holiday choice. In addition, ethical and responsible tourists demonstrate a range of deeply held values including respect, responsibility and a duty of care towards both the planet and other people, the importance of sharing the economic benefits of tourism and a preoccupation with making sure their holiday choices are consistent with the values of equity, fairness and social justice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Values, responsibility, ethical consumption, tourists, means end chain theory
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Supervisor's Name: Mountinho, Professor Luiz
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Dr Clare Weeden
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-187
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 May 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:16

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