Award Date

5-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Hospitality Administration

Department

Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Seyhmus Baloglu, Chair

Second Committee Member

Karl Mayer

Third Committee Member

Kathryn LaTour

Graduate Faculty Representative

Murray Millar

Number of Pages

190

Abstract

There has been an increase in environmental concern by travelers in the United States (U. S.). As a result, hospitality companies are taking note and have begun to incorporate environmentally friendly or green practices into their operations. What remains relatively unclear, though, is if the increase in environmental consciousness has translated into a demand for environmentally friendly tourism products, such as hotels. There are a few studies related to the demand for environmentally friendly hotel attributes, but none of them have looked at a bundle of environmentally friendly attributes and how customers would react to a hotel room incorporating not one, but several of them.

The purpose of this study, based on bundles of environmentally friendly hotel room attributes, was to identify both the type of environmentally friendly hotel room that business and leisure travelers most prefer, and the characteristics of the traveler who prefers such a room.

This study was designed as a conjoint choice experiment, which measures variation in behavior by presenting customers with hypothetical scenarios that incorporate various product characteristics and asking them to rank each scenario based on their preference. In this study, the scenarios were hypothetical hotel rooms that incorporated various bundles of green attributes. The scenarios, along with demographic and attitude questions, were presented to the survey sample using an online survey company.

The most preferred room was one that incorporated towel and linen policies, a refillable shampoo dispenser, a key card that controls power to the room, energy efficient light bulbs, was green certified, but did not have a recycling bin. Environmental attitudes and the number of environmentally friendly activities the respondents performed at home identified significant differences in the type of traveler that prefers the environmentally friendly room. Other demographic variables were not significant in this study.

Understanding which combination of attributes is preferred over the other gives a clearer picture to hotel managers and developers of what specific combination of green attributes guests would like to see in a hotel room. Hotel managers can use this information to develop specific marketing campaigns geared towards their green consumers. Future research, implications, and limitations of the study are discussed.

Keywords

Conjoint analysis (Marketing); Consumer behavior; Green marketing; Hotel management; Sustainable tourism

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Hospitality Administration and Management | Marketing | Tourism and Travel

Language

English

Comments

Best copy available

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