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Climate Change And The Air Travel Decisions Of UK Tourists

Andrew Hares, J. Dickinson, K. Wilkes
Published 2010 · Sociology

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Whilst much effort has been made to communicate to the public the importance of reducing carbon footprints in the home, one area where emissions are growing rapidly and little attempt has been made to increase consumer understanding of the impacts is holidays, particularly those involving air travel. Using focus group research, this paper explores tourists’ awareness of the impacts of travel on climate change, examines the extent to which climate change features in holiday travel decisions and identifies some of the barriers to the adoption of less carbon-intensive tourism practices. The findings suggest that many tourists do not consider climate change when planning their holidays. The failure of tourists to engage with the climate change impact of holidays, combined with significant barriers to behavioural change, presents a considerable challenge in moving the tourism industry onto a sustainable emissions path. The findings are discussed in relation to theoretical perspectives from psychology and sociology.
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