The power of persuasive communication to influence sustainable holiday choices : appealing to self-benefits and norms

G Hardeman, X Font, J Nawijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Messages with a clear focus on personal benefits and social and personal norms could impact holidaymakers' preferences towards opting for sustainability actions. This argument was explored using a three stage, sequential, mixed methods study. Firstly, analysis of current sustainability messages from three responsible tour operators revealed a low likelihood of them influencingcustomer preferences towards sustainability actions. An online survey of consumer beliefs and values proved that a manipulated message was more persuasive than the real messages used by the tour operators. This informed an experiment in message design that showed preferences for: i) obtaining individual gains from acting pro-sustainability (the importance of self-benefit), ii) doing what others are doing (the appeal of conforming to the descriptive norm), and iii) doing what others think one should do (the appeal of conforming to the injunctive norm). The findings have led the ANVR to relaunch their sustainability programme, focusing on customer benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-493
Number of pages10
JournalTourism Management
Volume59
Issue numberApril
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Benefits
  • Collective self
  • Descriptive norms
  • Individual self
  • Injunctive norms
  • Normative appeals

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