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Title: Are tourists animal spirits? Evidence from a field experiment exploring the use of non-market based interventions advocating sustainable tourism
Authors: Araña, Jorge E. 
León González, Carmelo Javier 
UNESCO Clasification: 531290 Economía sectorial: turismo
Keywords: Behavioural change
CO2 emissions
Emotive marketing
Field experiments
Sustainable tourism, et al
Issue Date: 2016
Journal: Journal of Sustainable Tourism 
Abstract: Tourists' travel decisions can be influenced by appropriate policies that seek to encourage them to choose travel plans leading to more sustainable tourism practices. Based on using conventional cognitive decision-making models, most current policy recommendations employ market-based economic incentives (e.g. taxes). This paper employs a dual emotional-cognitive decision-making model to represent tourists' choices. This framework allows comparing the efficacy of taxing emission levels against non-market sustainability policies including: (1) environmental information labelling; (2) emotional communication messages, and (3) limiting time pressure marketing practices. A field experiment (N = 509) was used to test the effectiveness of both market- and non-market-based sustainability policies in reducing overall CO2 emission levels by affecting destination choice. It found that the sensitivity of the choice decision to price is overestimated if and when emotions are not considered in the choice context. Tourists' decisions can not only be guided by rational financial calculations but also by the interplay of their emotions or the “animal spirits” cited by John Maynard Keynes. Therefore, effective policies to change behaviour towards more sustainable practices in tourism can be induced by working through non-market interventions like shaping positive emotional messages (but avoiding negative ones) and limiting time pressure marketing techniques.
ISSN: 0966-9582
DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2015.1101128
Source: Journal of Sustainable Tourism[ISSN 0966-9582],v. 24, p. 430-445
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