Tourism makes a significant contribution to climate change and without any action the negative effects will keep growing. Tour operators can play a substantial role in climate change mitigation. While tour operators consider to offer carbon-reduced holidays, little is known about the consumer response to those holidays. Therefore, this thesis aims to explore the consumer reaction to carbon-reduced holidays. An experimental design explored the role of carbon footprint, a carbon label and price in the booking experience. The results indicate that the carbon footprint of a holiday does not have an effect on consumer’s attitudes and booking intentions. Individually the carbon-label and price do not have an effect either, but in combination they have a significant effect: a higher price is less accepted when there is a carbon label alongside the holidays than when there is no label. This research shows that consumers accept carbon-reduced holidays like they accept normal holidays. Therefore, tour operators can include carbon-reduced holidays in their offer. Using a carbon-label should be done with caution, since its use can be counterproductive. This thesis contributes to the literature on the consumer-side of carbon-reduced holidays by providing new insights into their attitudes and booking intentions of such holidays.
Author: F. Jansen (2017)