Does eco certification sell tourism services? Evidence from a quasi-experimental observation study in Iceland

Karlsson, Logi and Dolnicar, Sara (2016) Does eco certification sell tourism services? Evidence from a quasi-experimental observation study in Iceland. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24 5: 694-714. doi:10.1080/09669582.2015.1088859


Author Karlsson, Logi
Dolnicar, Sara
Title Does eco certification sell tourism services? Evidence from a quasi-experimental observation study in Iceland
Journal name Journal of Sustainable Tourism   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1747-7646
0966-9582
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09669582.2015.1088859
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 24
Issue 5
Start page 694
End page 714
Total pages 21
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 3305 Geography, Planning and Development
1409 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
Abstract Eco labelling of tourism services has been studied extensively in the past. Yet, there is no agreement on two key points: (1) whether or not eco certification increases tourist demand for a product among the general tourist population, and (2) whether or not there is a specific market segment whose purchase decisions are influenced by eco labels. Lack of agreement is partially due to the wide variety of different research approaches used. Most studies have in common, however, that they rely solely on tourist self reports of either behavioural intentions or past behaviour. The present study re-investigates these two questions using a quasi-experimental design based on actual observed behaviour and objective knowledge testing. Results indicate that (1) eco labelling does not have a big impact on general tourist demand, but (2) a niche market exists which is influenced by eco labelling when choosing among alternative tourist providers. The research design used in the present study offers a useful alternative for investigations of tourist purchase decisions. It leads to more reliable results because it is based on the observation of actual displayed behaviour, thus avoiding a range of answer biases. Other eco-certified products now need research on similar lines.
Keyword Eco certification
Eco label
Whale watching
Quasi-experiment
Intention-behaviour gap
Tourist behaviour
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
 
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