Habit Drives Sustainable Tourist Behaviour

Sarah MacInnes, Bettina Grün, Sara Dolnicar

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Most practical interventions the tourism industry deploys to make tourists behave in more environmentally sustainable ways when they are at their premises or destination – such as the request to reuse towels to protect the environment – rely on attention and cognitive processing. We propose that focusing instead on habit, as the key construct, will be more effective in achieving behavioural change. This study discusses the – largely neglected – role of habit in our understanding of tourist behaviour and provides initial empirical proof of concept of the explanatory power of habit. Findings suggest that entirely new types of behavioural interventions should be developed, which aim at breaking bad vacation habits through disrupting automaticity, such as reducing plate size to prevent overfilling of plates at the buffets, and re-establishing good habits people enact at home, such as by asking people to treat the hotel the same way they do their own home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 10
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number10332
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 101018 Statistics
  • 502040 Tourism research
  • 509 not use (legacy)

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