Project Description

M. Schiermann

Winner of the TUI Benelux Sustainable Tourism Thesis Award 2016

One of the most important resources in tourism constitutes fresh water. Often accommodations, which are located in water scarce regions claim more water than actually available for both hotel and local population. It is of increasing importance to encourage hotel guests in the water saving process. Limited research exists regarding tourists’ water consumption behaviour. Based on a self-administered online survey of 1035 respondents this research explores the gap between awareness and action-taking. The study reveals that the gap consists of three pillars. The first one claims that tourists have to command over a certain degree of knowledge to be able to reflect and create awareness. However, for action-taking the phase of concern has to be passed first. The second pillar claims that hedonistic thinking, in terms of pleasure seeking, can hinder this process of action-taking. The third pillar addresses the tourist’s attitude towards water saving interventions applied by hotels, such as water saving signs in bathrooms. Even though tourists consider themselves as aware about water related problems, they tend to be more water consuming in hotels than at home. However, as most respondents perceive water saving signs as a helpful reminder, the foundation for action-taking exists. This study also revealed that while the tourist’s education level and net income do not affect their attitude and water saving behaviour, age does have minor effects. Author: M. Schiermann (2015)