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The attitude–behaviour gap in sustainable tourism


  • Juvan, Emil
  • Dolnicar, Sara


This study investigates why people who actively engage in environmental protection at home engage in vacation behaviour which has negative environmental consequences, albeit unintentionally. The environmental activists participating in the study were highly aware of the negative environmental consequences of tourism in general, but all displayed an attitude–behaviour gap which made them feel uncomfortable. Participants did not report changing their behaviour; instead, they offered a wide range of explanations justifying their tourist activities. Gaining insight into these explanations contributes to our understanding of why it is so difficult to motivate people to minimize the negative environmental impacts of their vacations, and represents a promising starting point for new interventions to reduce environmentally unsustainable tourism behaviours.

Suggested Citation

  • Juvan, Emil & Dolnicar, Sara, 2014. "The attitude–behaviour gap in sustainable tourism," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 76-95.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:anture:v:48:y:2014:i:c:p:76-95
    DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2014.05.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geoffrey N. Soutar & Jillian C. Sweeney, 2003. "Are There Cognitive Dissonance Segments?," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 28(3), pages 227-249, December.
    2. Fisher, Robert J, 1993. "Social Desirability Bias and the Validity of Indirect Questioning," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 303-315, September.
    3. Hares, Andrew & Dickinson, Janet & Wilkes, Keith, 2010. "Climate change and the air travel decisions of UK tourists," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 466-473.
    4. Prillwitz, Jan & Barr, Stewart, 2011. "Moving towards sustainability? Mobility styles, attitudes and individual travel behaviour," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1590-1600.
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