The Role of Green Marketing and its effect on Consumer and Corporation Behaviour in Scottish Tourism
 

The Role of Green Marketing and its effect on Consumer and Corporation Behaviour in Scottish Tourism

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This document addresses the key perceptions of tourism consumers concerning ethical purchasing and responsible consuming so that it may be used by tourism organisations to; firstly, gain insight into ...

This document addresses the key perceptions of tourism consumers concerning ethical purchasing and responsible consuming so that it may be used by tourism organisations to; firstly, gain insight into ethical consumers, and furthermore, instigate behavioural changes through effective ‘green’ social marketing.

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The Role of Green Marketing and its effect on Consumer and Corporation Behaviour in Scottish Tourism The Role of Green Marketing and its effect on Consumer and Corporation Behaviour in Scottish Tourism Document Transcript

  • Tourism is the most competitive industry in the world. (Word Trade Organisation, 2009) For Scotland, tourism is a vital source of income for the Scottish economy, and a healthy and strong tourism industry is considered essential for the country’s future (VisitScotland, 2007). New destinations are continually emerging, making the tourism market extremely competitive. There has also been a development in the social thinking of ethical purchasing and responsible consumption over the last decade (Green and Ethical Consumers Report, 2007) raising the issue of sustainable tourism (Wheeler, 1995). This dissertation addresses the key perceptions of tourism consumers concerning ethical purchasing and responsible consuming so that it may be used by tourism organisations to; firstly, gain insight into ethical consumers, and furthermore, instigate behavioural changes through effective ‘green’ social marketing (Cohen, 2001). In relation to these aims a conceptual framework (Miles & Huberman, 1994) was developed covering six key areas: 1) Development of green thinking (Peattie, 2008); 2) Sustainable tourism (Wheeler, 1995; )3) Corporate Social Responsibility (Crane & Matten, 2006); 4) Services Marketing (Ryan, 1991), 5) Green Marketing (Wasik, 1996) and 6) Relationship Marketing (Gordon, 1991). Qualitative and quantitative views differ in terms of ontology, epistemology and methodology and so the researcher committed to a mixed method approach (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2003) and follow a largely pragmatic paradigm, so the research strategy could be flexible as it was a learning process (Easterby-Smith et al, 1997). However an interpretivist approach (Patton, 2002) was taken in order to collect data on participant’s experiences, emotions and decision making processes, which led to a more phenomenological paradigm in this instance. The chosen research methods were focus groups (Krueger, 1998), surveys and semi structured interviews (Jones & Stopher, 2003). The combination of these methods generated rich, comprehensive, quantitative and qualitative findings making the approach successful. This dissertation indicates that there is not enough being done to promote the awareness of sustainable tourism in Scotland, a new finding. Consumers do not associate ethical purchasing with tourism services, and so building awareness of sustainable tourism should be first and foremost applied, to bring the concept of sustainable tourism into mainstream culture. Therefore furthering the work of Wheeler (1995) and Ginsberg & Bloom (2004). Signed:_________________________ Date: _______________ Page | 2
  • Thank you to: Liz Logie-MacIver: For your continual support, knowledge and patience throughout the planning and completion of this dissertation. VisitScotland: For providing excellent contacts in order to seek the background information required for this dissertation. Page | 3
  • Abstract ............................................................................................................................................. 2 Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................................... 3 1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 8 1.1 Proposal ................................................................................................................................. 8 1.2 Background ............................................................................................................................ 8 1.3 Topic........................................................................................................................................ 8 1.4 Chapter Summary ................................................................................................................. 9 1.5 Time Plan .............................................................................................................................. 10 1.6 Diary / Blog ........................................................................................................................... 10 2. Context ........................................................................................................................................ 11 2.1 VisitScotland ........................................................................................................................ 11 2.2 Tourism ................................................................................................................................ 12 2.3 Importance of Tourism for Scotland ................................................................................ 12 2.3 Ethical Consumers .............................................................................................................. 12 2.4 Green Trends ....................................................................................................................... 13 2.5 Marketing Communication Tools ...................................................................................... 13 2.6 Green Wash ......................................................................................................................... 13 2.7 PESTEL .................................................................................................................................. 14 2.7.1 Political Factors ................................................................................................................ 14 2.7.2 Economic Factors ............................................................................................................. 15 Page | 4
  • 2.7.3 Social Factors .................................................................................................................... 15 2.7.4 Technological Factors ...................................................................................................... 16 3. Literature Review ....................................................................................................................... 17 3.1 Development of Green Thinking ....................................................................................... 17 3.2 Sustainable Tourism ........................................................................................................... 18 3.3 Corporate Social Responsibility ........................................................................................ 19 3.4 Services Marketing .............................................................................................................. 20 3.5 Green Marketing ................................................................................................................. 20 3.6 Relationship Marketing ...................................................................................................... 21 3.7 Conclusion............................................................................................................................ 22 4. Methodology .............................................................................................................................. 23 4.1 Aims ...................................................................................................................................... 23 4.2 Primary and Secondary Research ..................................................................................... 23 4.3 Theoretical Frameworks / Approaches ............................................................................ 24 4.3 Research Objectives............................................................................................................ 24 4.4 Research Strategy ............................................................................................................... 24 4.5 Research Philosophy .......................................................................................................... 25 4.6 Research Techniques .......................................................................................................... 26 4.7 Research Methods .............................................................................................................. 27 4.7.1 Focus Groups .................................................................................................................... 27 4.7.2 Hybrid Semi Structured Interview / Survey .................................................................. 28 4.8 Method Development ........................................................................................................ 28 Page | 5
  • 4.8.1 Target Group .................................................................................................................... 29 4.8.2 Sampling ........................................................................................................................... 29 4.8.3 Developing the Focus Group and Hybrid Questionnaire ........................................... 30 4.8.4 Recruitment ...................................................................................................................... 31 4.9 Ethics ..................................................................................................................................... 31 5. Analysis ....................................................................................................................................... 31 5.1 Data Analysis Methodology ............................................................................................... 31 5.1.1 Raw Data ........................................................................................................................... 32 5.1.2 Description ........................................................................................................................ 32 5.1.3 Interpretation ................................................................................................................... 32 5.2 Summary .............................................................................................................................. 32 5.3 Ethical Consumers .............................................................................................................. 33 5.4 Environmental Issues ......................................................................................................... 35 5.5 Development of Green Thinking ....................................................................................... 37 5.6 Responsibility ....................................................................................................................... 39 5.7 Relationship Marketing ...................................................................................................... 40 5.8 Green Washing .................................................................................................................... 41 5.9 Conclusion............................................................................................................................ 43 6. Conclusions and Recommendations....................................................................................... 44 6.1 Central Aim .......................................................................................................................... 44 6.2 The G.R.R.E.E.D Framework ............................................................................................... 44 6.3 Methodology used .............................................................................................................. 46 Page | 6
  • 6.4 Recommendations .............................................................................................................. 46 Bibliography .................................................................................................................................... 48 Page | 7
  • 1.1 Proposal This dissertation aims to explore the impact of all green policies and practices on marketing and Tourism in Scotland. It will also analyse the affect that green marketing can have on a company, with particular focus on the Scottish Tourist Board – VisitScotland. As marketing is a consumer led management process (Peattie, 1992), it is important to consider the influence that consumers have on both marketing practice and corporate behaviour. These will be referred to as consumer behaviour and business ethics/ corporate social responsibility. In line with Miles and Huberman (1994) the approach required to complete this dissertation involves data collection, suggested themes, and groupings. The dissertation will describe what responsibilities the marketing team within VisitScotland have, towards the main environmental issues such as recycling, use of environmental products; less use of plastic and paper. Furthermore the dissertation will uncover the potential role that VisitScotland has in helping with Scotland’s environmental policies, through marketing and influencing consumers of Scottish tourism. 1.2 Background Background on the key themes identified from the conceptual framework can be found in Appendix 4. This gives a brief outline of each concept as well as a short summary of what VisitScotland do. 1.3 Topic In particular the dissertation will look to answer the following key questions relating to the role of green marketing in Scottish Tourism: What are green issues? What do green issues mean for a business? Can all businesses adopt green issues? What do VisitScotland do to combat green issues? Page | 8
  • What effects have green issues had on consumer behaviour, in terms of buying and decision making? Do ethical tourists exist? What are the green implications for VisitScotland and tourism in Scotland? What can VisitScotland do to incorporate green marketing? 1.4 Chapter Summary Context - The context describes the size, and growth of tourism as an industry. It also outlines key trends in terms of ethical consumers. The rise in profile of green marketing and the social issues raised for VisitScotland will be presented in the form of a PEST analysis Literature Review – The literature review focuses on existing theory of the six key concepts of the dissertation, these were based on an initial conceptual framework found in appendix 1 and then a revised framework (appendix 2) as more themes were developed from literature (Miles and Huberman, 1994). These themes are: Development of Green Thinking (Peattie, 1992) Sustainable Tourism (Wheeler, 1995) Corporate Social Responsibility (Crane & Matten, 2006) Services Marketing (Chung-Herrera, 2007) Green Marketing (Wasik, 1996) Relationship Marketing (Gordon, 1991) Within each concept, the quintessential themes and theories will be outlined and compared. Each concept will be critically reviewed. Methodology – The dissertation aims to provide new knowledge which can develop further understanding of the key concepts identified. The Methodology describes and justifies the practical methods and approaches used in collecting this primary research. Page | 9
  • 1.5 Time Plan The time scale for this dissertation covered the period from October 2008 to April 2009. For the dissertation, an initial time plan was made, with guide dates for completing each stage/chapter of the dissertation. As work on the dissertation continued these guidelines were revised as the learning process (Easterby-Smith et al, 1997) had changed. The time plan can be seen in appendix 3. 1.6 Diary / Blog As part of the dissertation a monthly diary was kept as a tool to show the learning development of the author. The diary offers information on progress through the dissertation as well as outlining any challenges faced. These monthly extracts will be handed in together with the dissertation and are evidence of reflective learning (Boyd & Fayles, 1983) throughout the previously identified time frame. Page | 10
  • The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the key concepts of tourism and ethical consumers, which gives a context to the dissertation. 2.1 VisitScotland VisitScotland is a publicly funded body, accountable to the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism. (VisitScotland, 2007) The Scottish Tourist Board was established under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. The Board’s principal functions under the 1969 Act were to encourage British people to take holidays in Scotland, to encourage the provision and improvement of tourist facilities and amenities in Scotland, and to advise Government and public bodies on matters relating to tourism in Scotland (Jeffs, 2008). In 2001, the ‘Scottish Tourist Board’ became ‘VisitScotland’. (www.visitscotland.org [15/04/2009]) As the national tourism organisation, they have 1000 members of staff based in offices and Tourism Information Centres (TICs) around the country. (www.visitscotland.org, [15/04/2009]) Their key function is ‘to help deliver sustainable economic growth by maximising the economic benefits of tourism to Scotland. ‘ (VisitScotland, 2007, pg 3) VisitScotland work closely with private businesses, public agencies and local authorities. At the heart of this collaboration is the need to ensure that both the business and leisure visitors experience the very best of Scotland. VisitScotland also act as a national coordinator to ensure that Scotland makes the most of its outstanding tourism assets and realises its potential. (Jeffs, 2008, pg 5) Essentially the aim is to inspire and encourage people to Visit Scotland. VisitScotland.com is the trading name for eTourism Ltd, the private public partnership formed in 2002 to deliver tourism bookings for Scotland. The company works in partnership with VisitScotland to provide comprehensive information on accommodation, visitor attractions and local information. (www.visitscotland.org, [15/04/2009]) The company formed as a PPP, is owned by VisitScotland (36%) Atos Origin Ltd, a global technology company (7%), Tiscover, the world’s leading provider of tourism website and destination management technology (35%) and Partnerships UK (22%). VisitScotland.com works with over 9,000 accommodation suppliers across the country to help visitors find and book a place to stay. Hoteliers wishing to market their properties via the website and contact centre can provide the company with an allocation of rooms to sell to the market. (Jeffs, 2008, pg 5) VisitScotland.com has sold over £60 million of bookings in total since launching in November 2002. (www.visitscotland.org, [15/04/2009]) Page | 11
  • Details of VisitScotland’s brand values can be found on appendix 5. 2.2 Tourism The World Tourism Organisation (2009) attribute tourism as ”an Economic and Social Phenomenon” (World Tourism Organisation, 2009, pg 7). Tourism concerns any set of actvities that involve a consumer travelling outside their regular environment for less than a year. (Smith, 1997) 2.3 Importance of Tourism for Scotland Detailing tourism further, the World Tourism Organisation states that as an industry, tourism is one of the fastest growing in the world. For many countries, modern tourism is closely linked to their economic development. (www.UNTWO.org, [17/04/2009]) This viewpoint is also evident from writers such as Wheeler (1995); Haywood (1990); Middleton (1988) who describe tourism and the marketing of tourism as a phenomena. Scotland is no exception to this and tourism is fundamental to the Scottish economy, with the Scottish Executive viewing tourism as a key contributor to the country’s future economic success (VisitScotland, 2007). In 2006, Scotland achieved over 16 million visitors (VisitScotland Tourism Prospectus, 2007). The Scottish tourism industry in 2006 accounted for 9% of the overall employment in Scotland (National Statistics, 2006). “UK consumers represent 83% of volume and 65% of value to Scottish tourism, delivering £2.7 billion to the economy” (UKTS 2006, pg 9). The international tourism industry has grown substantially in the last 50 years, from 25 million consumers in 1950 to 803 million in 2005 (Yeoman, 2008). It is predicted that this figure could reach 1.9 billion in the next 25 years (Yeoman 2008), which correlates with the attributed rapid growth of the world tourism industry (World Tourism Organisation, 2009). This growth can be attributed to new tourist destinations that are constantly emerging, and so Scotland as a tourism product faces ever-increasing competition as both traditional and emerging destinations increase their offerings. (VisitScotland, 2007) Smith (1997, pg 1) states how “tourism is a major force in global trade” and certainly the above figures would strengthen this statement. By its nature, tourism can be attributed as having social, cultural and economic roles for individual countries (World Trade Organisation, 2009), again this is evident in the case of Scottish tourism. 2.3 Ethical Consumers In 2005 the Ethical Consumerism Report from the Co-op showed that UK ethical consumerism was worth £29.3 billion. Travel and transport accounted for around £1.8billion of this, showing what “a dominant industry it is” (Green and Ethical Consumers, Mintel, 2007, pg 17). Page | 12
  • Purchasing goods and or services is necessary. (Brassington & Pettitt, 2003) However, it is widely reported through government legislation, newspapers, magazines and the internet that purchase decisions don’t only affect us ourselves. The processes and operations used by a company when producing can greatly affect its surrounding environment. (Green and Ethical Consumers, 2007) Therefore an ethical consumer can be defined as a consumer who seeks to actively purchase products and services that minimise both social and environmental damage. An ethical consumer should also seek to avoid products which would have negative ramifications on the environment. (Carrigan & Atalla, 2001) 2.4 Green Trends Sustainability and green issues are at the forefront of mainstream culture (Harris et al, 2002) with governments, businesses and individuals all involved (www.green-business.co.uk, [14/04/2009]). In line with this, there has been an increase in consumer demand and therefore an increase in the supply of ethical products in the UK marketplace (Francis J & Goodwin H, 2003). In relation to green consumers, research is beginning to indicate that green and ethical issues are becoming more important in consumer purchasing. According to the Green and Ethical Consumer Market Assessment (2002, pg 6) “only one in five consumers would buy any product with no reference to ethical or green issues”. 2.5 Marketing Communication Tools It is true that online marketing is an ever growing force (Brassington & Pettitt, 2003). As users understand more and more about how to use different medias, marketers are given more opportunities to interact with these consumers and ultimately reach consumers in an increasing number of ways. Online techniques such as search engine optimization, viral marketing and e-direct mail show the flexibility and power of the internet for marketers, which are clear developments of ‘old’ marketing techniques – yellow pages, advertisement, mail (Grant, 2008). These are changing the context of tourism marketing. (Wheeler, 1995) 2.6 Green Wash “Nearly everything we buy these days seems to be "sustainably sourced" or "environmentally friendly".” (Pearce, 2008, pg 2) It is this ‘generalisation’ of green marketing that Fred Pearce (2008) refers to as the Green Wash, which exists commonly in marketing. Page | 13
  • Shell, have emissions from factories contributing to pollution, yet advertise trying to influence consumers to change bad habits, displaying their factory fumes as flowers. (Please see Appendix 6) Toyota, despite advertising the ‘Prius’ as an environmentally friendly car; still produce the high polluting series of 4x4 vehicles. (Please see Appendix 6) In VisitScotland’s case there is one main example of ethical tourism in practice: Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) (please see appendix 7) The GTBS focuses on providing the tourism consumer with information on how ‘green’ each component of a Scottish holiday is. This scheme also acts as a tool for businesses to display their ‘green credentials’ through a national sustainable tourism certificate and rating. The ratings are bronze (green), silver (greener) and gold (greenest). Despite on face value the GTBS seeming to be an authentic effort towards sustainable tourism, its relevance may be lost amongst the aforementioned increase in ‘green communications’ and green washing (Pearce, 2008), as false promises over green credentials affect the amount of trust that consumers are willing to give a company. Currently the scheme is not actively marketed by VisitScotland – it does not appear on campaign or product websites and it is not used in any of VisitScotland’s top line advertising. 2.7 PESTEL Please turn to Appendix 8 for the full PESTEL framework for VisitScotland. Political, economic, social and technological points will be discussed here; 2.7.1 Political Factors Politically, the environment is high on the agenda for VisitScotland. Both central and local governing bodies over the last decade have introduced many new initiatives aimed at achieving ‘sustainable living’ (Green and Ethical Consumers Report, 2007) and offered support in the form of funding, campaigns and media attention. (www.scotexchange.net, [accessed 21/04/2009]) With these developments in legislation, companies have started a ‘green war’ attempting to display both commitments to the environment and “to doing business in an ethical manner” (Green and Ethical Consumers, 2007, pg 2) As a politically led company VisitScotland have the pressure of being field leaders within the Scottish tourism industry, and so have the responsibility to be seen to be responding to political developments with haste, this can be seen through its environmental policy in appendix 10. Page | 14
  • 2.7.2 Economic Factors Tourism as an industry is growing rapidly, and together with this more money is both being spent on marketing tourism (Wheeler, 1995) and is being made from tourism related services which can be seen in the growth of international tourism (Yeoman, 2008). However, based upon the current credit crunch, spending has been restricted for VisitScotland through reducing government support funds from Scottish Executive. This is also in line with a reduction in consumer spending on Scottish tourism, despite it being cheaper than many other European destinations. 2.7.3 Social Factors A trend has emerged giving companies who implement green policies and procedures in their marketing plans significant competitive advantage (Ashley et al, 2004). This is a result of increased consumer awareness of environment and ethical issues (Harris et al, 2002). As companies have ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ (Kippenberger, 1996) in an effort to gain competitive edge, there has also been an increase in the number of negative media which suggests that some green communications are not as trustworthy as they may seem. (Green and Ethical Consumers, 2007) With this in mind, it appears to be a difficult juggling act for businesses and VisitScotland in particular over adopting a green startegy. Whilst, it can be associated with competitive advantage, it also appears to be high risk in terms of negative media. (VisitScotland, 2007) Other social factors that affect Scottish tourism are demographics. It is predicted that by 2020 over 50’s will out number the younger generation in Scotland. (Muirden & Martin, 2004) The current state of the economy has led to a new trend in style of holiday. Consumers find it more cost effective to have ‘nano-breaks’ instead of the traditional fortnight. (World Travel Guide, 2009) Other social trends relevant to VisitScotland include the holiday booking process, many people choose to book online through price comparison websites and consumers have as great an access than ever before to information on destinations – maps, directions, things to do. (VisitScotland, 2007) Consumers increased health knowledge (Brassington & Pettitt, 2003) also makes them adapt holidays into spa breaks, sometimes activity breaks, so it important to monitor consumers preferences in order to sell Scotland effectively. Page | 15
  • 2.7.4 Technological Factors Technology improvements over the last 50 years have made tourism destinations more accessible than ever before, in terms of travelling and experiences gained. Cars, trains and planes have all been improved in recent years, allowing for simpler, easier traveling options. A good example of this is online check in, removing the wait time at an airport. Transport is a key issue as it is a central service forming part of the tourism experience. If the tourism industry wants to offer visitors around Scotland a better experience then adoptions of new technology will be vital in helping them plan their stay in terms of activities and their journeys on public transport. This brings forward issues of awareness, training and suppliers of technology (www.scotexchange.net, [accessed 21/04/2009]). At a marketing level advances in technology have developed an increase in power for the consumer. The internet offers a convenient source of information for tourists, with pictures and recommendations available for most destinations around the world (VisitScotland, 2007). Increased media can also be attributed to technology, which has allowed a number of new ways to reach consumers through new forms of marketing – search engine optimisation, pay per click, bluetooth and e-newsletters (Grant, 2008). Some of the traditional communication channels are in direct violation of environmental issues through excessive use of paper, or energy and so there is an opportunity for information communication technologies to play a key role in making the advertising and communication of the tourist industry in Scotland more sustainable. (www.scotexchange.net, [accessed 21/04/2009]) Page | 16
  • Now that the author has explained the background of Scottish tourism and trends in ethical consumers, relevant literature will be critically reviewed. In order to develop an understanding of key themes a diagrammatic illustration was used to outline how key concepts related to the focus of the dissertation (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Both electronic and manual searches were conducted in order to find appropriate texts, articles and journals for the literature review. From the literature reviewed, a number of key areas of thought were identified in terms of the implications of environmental issues on tourism. 3.1 Development of Green Thinking The most apparent thing about green thinking is its age. There is little or no literature available before the 1990’s that refers to ‘green’, suggesting that as a concept green marketing is very young. However this does not mean that green thinking has not evolved through time. Green issues are a mixture of different philosophies that have arisen over centuries, (Peattie, 1992, pg 14) and this is certainly shown in the literature, despite not using ‘green’ as a term, there has been work on the development of industries and the pros and cons of this. This relates to Cohen (2001) and ideas that contemporary environmentalism is a result of growing concerns over consumption and production, which began in the 1960’s and 70’s. Wasik (1996) suggests that the early development of green issues are to do with a quiet and yet powerful shift in institutional thinking; a “growing relationship between ecology and economics”. (pg 2) In modern day, green consumption and therefore green marketing is seen as a solution to environmental issues. (Connolly and Prothero, 2008) As organizations like the European Union commission policies in an attempt to reform the environment and raise awareness to consumers that their lifestyle behaviours may be having a detrimental effect on their surroundings. (Buttel, 2003). The awareness of the environment and consumption raises the issue of behavioural change, with consumers taking responsibility for the effect they have on the environment by changing their ways and practicing more environmental lifestyles. (Halkier, 1999) Page | 17
  • 3.2 Sustainable Tourism A term that is consistently mentioned throughout academic journals, books and articles on being green is sustainability. “Sustainable managements are long-range, resource, and societysensitive and seek some balance with nature” (Wasik, 1996, pg 42) Ward (2008) clarifies sustainability as including three things; financial, social and environmental. In order to be sustainable, a company must achieve a balance of these three factors and integrate “social, economic and environmental components of their community” (Annex, 2008, pg114) Put simply, sustainability means making things last. (Pearce, 1988). This sentiment is echoed by Dunckmann (2003, pg 2).and his work on conservationism, focusing on the relationship between humans and their environment. Often, concern for a particular piece of land or building to be looked after provokes conversationalist attitudes. Peattie (1992) suggests that a view of stewardship is the basis of sustainable development. This is the idea that we have the desire & responsibility to pass down a healthy environment for future generations. (Worrell, 2000, pg 263). It appears as though sustainable tourism falls between these two areas of thought. (Hall & Lew, 1998) There are those (Nelson 1973; Butler 1998) who argue that sustainable tourism despite being a new term is directly linked to theory of conservation, although there are also writers (CQ Researcher, no author, 2006) that suggest ecotourism and therefore sustainable tourism intend to pass on the advantages of tourism to communities, which displays characteristics of stewardship. (Peattie, 1992) By nature, tourism should be seen as an opportunity to create wealth for a country’s economy. As outlined in the context chapter, tourism has social, cultural and economic roles, (World Tourism Organisation, 2009) which are important to the Scottish Economy. (VisitScotland, 2007, pg 4) However the act of tourism itself carries traces of unsustainable development (Butler, 1992), in that tourism actively goes against the theories of conservationism (Dunckmann, 2003) and stewardship (Peattie, 1992) through exploiting land and buildings. According to Hultsman (1995) locals are not in favour of tourism, “generally…local residents hold negative perceptions about the real and potential impacts of tourism on the physical environment” (pg 557) which displays just what an uncertain concept sustainable tourism is. (Butler, 1998, pg 25) Butler (1998) continues by suggesting that despite sustainable tourism being well defined in the public lexicon, actually implementing a sustainable tourism framework has not been successful. Implementation however, may not be required. Smith and Mitchell (1990) argue that there has not been a significant tradition of investigating actual impacts of tourism on the environment, and with this thought in mind Hultsman (1995) draws attention to the fact that while a number of articles and studies exist analysing the impact of tourism. Very few of these studies have actually made an effort to address the ethical issues. (pg 557). Exceptions to this rule do include Krohn and Ahmed (1992) and D’amore’s (1993) call for a code of conduct concerning ethics. Page | 18
  • 3.3 Corporate Social Responsibility Krohn and Ahmed (1992) suggested that a ground work or ‘set of rules’ should be used as a guide to achieving good operational ethics within tourism, which would then guide an organisation to the desired sustainable target. Johnson (1974) states that this ‘ethical framework’ could act as an underlying principle, and set industry standards. This would give a measure for organisations like VisitScotland to evaluate their tourism service in terms of ethics. There are a number of key areas of thought relating ethics to tourism which Hultsman (1995) refers to as ethical paradigms. A key thought linked with tourism is ‘the land ethic’ (Leopold, 1949), put simply the land ethic relates to conservationism, (Peattie, 1992) don’t do anything to the land which is not deemed right. Peattie (1992) also highlights other key areas of thought related to environmental ethics, in particular humanism. This sits at the opposing end of the argument, stating that humans should be able to reach their potential through freedom, although it is unclear whether this means exploiting resources. (pg 14) Despite literature suggesting that ethics can and should exist within tourism, more recent literature suggests that an ethical grounding is not a reality, which confirms the lack of addressing ethics (Hultsman, 1995). Crane & Matten (2006, pg 6) argue that a grey area exists in the application of morals. Business ethics is split into laws and morals. It is this subjective nature that prompts Bowman (1991) to suggest that ethics resides between the ‘is’ and the ‘ought’, and so there is no definite answer to what is ethical. (Crane & Matten, 2006, pg 7) Leopold’s theory assumes that a moral consumer will know what is and what is not acceptable, and this may not be the case. (Hultsman, 1995) This does strengthen the argument of unsuccessful implementation. (Butler, 1998, pg 25) Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept that has developed from the themes of business ethics. (May et al, 2007, pg 15) Despite businesses historically dealing in ‘financial and human capital’ there is now a requirement to deal with social capital. (Putman, 2000). This, as a philosophical practice (Raphael, 1981) appears to be a job that corporations both never wanted and have never signed on for. (Marchand, 1998). Milton Friedman (1970) consistently argues against corporate social responsibility, which would appear to draw parallels with Marchand’s suggestion. Friedman (1970) argues that first and foremost organisations must think of their shareholders, stating that it would be wrong and would affect growth by using resources to manage social interest. However high profile businessmen, such as John Mackay (2009) disagree with Friedman’s arguments and in stead take the view that a truly enlightened company understands the significance of corporate social responsibility. This style of thought can be labelled as enlightened self interest. (Peattie, 1992) Page | 19
  • Wheeler (1995, pg 38) outlines the importance of relating ethics to tourism, also stating that despite interesting work on both ethics and tourism, there hasn’t been an effective relation of the effects of tourism marketing and ethics. 3.4 Services Marketing VisitScotland, are a marketing service. (Campbell, 2008, pg 6). Whilst they do have products in the form of souvenirs at Visitor Information Centres, their essential aim is to sell the experience of Scotland. (www.visitscotland.org, [08/04/2009]) As a service, they need to meet the psychological needs of a consumer (Chung-Herrera, 2007) because by definition services are intangible (Logie-MacIver, 2008, s3) a link can be made from corporate social responsibility (May et al, 2007) to both the personality of service (Harris and Fleming, 2005) and brand personality scale (Aaker, 1997). Tourism is intangible as the production of the tourism product (experience) occurs at the same time the experience is consumed. (Wheeler, 1995, pg 41) This makes tourism as a service perishable in aspects of time and space. In relation to the personality of service model, it seems important to be enlightened (Peattie, 1992, pg 71) and recognise the importance of social capital (May et al, 2007, pg 16) in order to create a positive corporate personality and therefore meet consumer’s psychological needs. As essentially, tourism is a blend of accommodation, travel and attractions (Wheeler, 1995, pg 41) this affects the marketing process. Where a product may be able to remain the same over a long period of time, tourism is an amalgam of many services which can and arguably should change over time. (Ryan, 1991). This makes tourism marketing different from most other services marketing. It is an experience based on expectation (psychological needs) and so the aim for tourism marketing is to create awareness and present this experience. (Wheeler, 1995) 3.5 Green Marketing Green marketing as a concept involves: Corporate social responsibility, innovation and company ethos. (Ward, 2008) As a tool, those that market in a green manner such as promoting recycling are attempting to practice as a sustainable company. (Annex, 2008). As outlined by Davis (1992) a regular theme to be drawn from marketing and ethics is the concept of truth. This truth element is labelled as green washing (John Grant, 2008), which is a term coined as a result of the confusion between green marketing and corporate social responsibility. Page | 20
  • There are examples of companies promoting green credentials, when in fact they are in violation of good ethics. These violations can have a detrimental long-term effect on a company. (Wheeler, 1995) Apparent from the literature is that there is no clear definition of green marketing. Wheeler (1995) describes green marketing as the claims of a company implying that their product is better for the consumer and the environment. However, there is a lack of standards as to what constitutes as green marketing (John Grant, 2008), and furthermore whether green marketing itself is ethical (Pearce, 2008). With this in mind it seems that there is a need for clearer claims from companies, using precise language. Similar to the concepts of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, there are a number of terms which are used referring to marketing and green thinking. It is not clear; however, which one of these terms is the correct one. (Craig-Smith, 1988; Wheeler, 1995) Ginsberg & Bloom (2004, pg 80) point out that green marketing is not the solution as suggested by Connolly and Prothero (2008), but the tool towards building awareness of the solution. 3.6 Relationship Marketing With the aim of the dissertation to understand the role of green marketing for Scottish tourism, it is appropriate to discuss an emerging trend within marketing – relationship marketing (Gordon, 1998), which also draws from the same social context as green marketing. The characteristics of relationship marketing relates to the transactive model of communication as outline by Foulger (2008). Communication is a constant flow, two way process, literally a continual relationship between company and consumer. Relationship marketing then is a method of connecting with consumers. (Payne et al, 2005, pg 856) The development of relationship marketing is similar to the development of corporate social responsibility, and the idea of ‘social capital’ developing into a business as global markets have expanded. (Putman, 2000; Payne et al, 2005) Its focus is in contrast to arguments of Milton Friedman (1970) in that organisations must be aware of stakeholders, rather than simply shareholders. (Payne et al, 2005, pg 855) As with the previously identified literature relating to this dissertation, a paradox also exists within relationship marketing as to who a company should consider a stakeholder. (Harrison & Freeman, 1999) In this respect it appears to show a similar lack of standards as with green marketing. (Grant, 2008) Page | 21
  • Christopher et al (1991) six markets model is argued as being most appropriate in line with relationship marketing. (Payne et al, 2005) The model identifies six main markets that can have a significant impact on an organisation: customers, referrals, influencers, employees, suppliers and internals. (Christopher et al, 1991) However, this framework is not specific for tourism, nor is it specific for green markets. Ginsberg & Bloom (2004) identify five key markets regarding green consumers; these can be found in appendix 9. These consumers differ in terms of beliefs relating to the environment, ranging from true blue greens to basic browns. It is with the identification of these segments that it is suggested that green marketing in the same way as relationship marketing cannot be a one-size fits all solution. (Ginsberg & Bloom, 2004, pg 80) 3.7 Conclusion The over-riding theme which has developed throughout the literature review is that the social concepts of sustainable development and ethics are grey areas. John Grant (2008, pg 59) describes green marketing as ‘in’, despite not knowing what it is, and it would appear that despite heavy literature covering both the topics of sustainability and ethics from a tourism perspective that, this is the case for sustainable tourism and tourism ethics. Whilst writers Crane & Matten (2006) recognise the grey area between ethics and morals, so too does Butler (1992) in relation to sustainable tourism. Writers including Wheeler (1995) and Ryan (1991) draw attention to the paradox within tourism; other writers Wasik (1996), Peattie (1992) and Grant (2008) identify paradoxes in the concept of green marketing. Marketing by nature encourages more consumption, whilst green thinking encourages moderate consumption. (Grant, 2008) Tourism marketing encourages mass tourism, while sustainable tourism promotes conservation (Wheeler, 1995), these factors lead to general confusion over tourism marketing ethics and create these paradigms. As identified by Ginsberg and Bloom (2004) these paradoxes could have been created through misconceptions that consumers will compromise convenience, availability, price, quality and performance to support environmental products. (pg 80) Despite, clear and concise literature regarding each individual topic, there appears to be little literature on how to adopt green marketing (Wasik, 1996) into relationship marketing (Payne et al, 2005) and how to apply both techniques within tourism. Page | 22
  • In this chapter, the chosen methodology applied in order to research the key themes will be described and justified. The methodology will also include how these methods have developed over time, and how effective application will produce valid and appropriate findings. Firstly the aims and objectives of the methodology will be mentioned. 4.1 Aims The methodology aims to uncover public perception of environmental and ethical issues in tourism. The level of importance of these issues will identify the role of green marketing, business ethics and marketing communications for tourism organisations in Scotland in terms of satisfying their consumers, linking back to the principle aim of this dissertation – to identify the potential role of green marketing for tourism in Scotland. On a large scale the research should seek to better inform those that intend to apply initiatives and policies to counter perceptions and attitudes relating to green marketing, corporate social responsibility & marketing communications for the Scottish tourism industry. 4.2 Primary and Secondary Research In order to complete the dissertation thoroughly, secondary research is required in order to establish a firm background and context of the topics before planning the required primary research. The electronic searches looked for literature in the form of books, journals and articles which combined the key themes outlined from the objectives of this dissertation, using terms such as ‘tourism and green marketing’, ‘tourism and ethics’, ‘tourism and ethical consumers’ and ‘ethical communications’. The manual searches mainly involved books and reports on existing theory and figures/ findings from previous research into the topics. Secondary research carried out was also used in order to build an effective research technique. Page | 23
  • 4.3 Theoretical Frameworks / Approaches Teddlie & Tashakkori (2003) identify 3 main groups of researchers in social and behavioural studies: qualitative, quantitative and mixed method. Qualitative researchers can be associated with Easterby-Smith et al’s (1997) identified phenomenology paradigm. Whereby researchers focus on meanings and narrative, and believe the world is socially constructed and subjective. Quantitative researchers can have characteristics associated with Easterby-Smith et al’s (1997) positivist paradigm. This leans towards numerical analysis and focuses on facts, positivists believe the world is external and objective. A mixed methods approach is interested in both quantitative and qualitative data. This is associated with the pragmatic paradigm. Pragmatist researchers are focused on the 'what' and 'how' of the research problem, and do not commit to any other belief. (Creswell, 2003) It is worth noting that a mixed methods approach can be used, despite a quantitative or a qualitative approach being used during data collection. (Creswell, 2003) 4.3 Research Objectives Discover people’s feelings and beliefs towards environmental issues. Uncover the stereotype of ethical consumers. Discover differing opinions of environmental issues in terms of gender & age. Find out if people consider themselves as an ethical consumer. Discover the people’s opinion of how environmental issues relate to tourism. 4.4 Research Strategy From the literature review, business ethics and environmental issues can be identified as being social marketing practices. In line with this as the topic is socially orientated, information on attitudes and behaviours are predominantly required. The researcher identified that qualitative methods were appropriate in order to seek participant perceptions of green issues in tourism. A qualitative approach seeks to display an environment (world), where reality is socially constructed, multifaceted and continually evolving. (Glesne, 1999). Therefore, a qualitative methodological approach is appropriate as Page | 24
  • it focuses on understanding the human environment and experiences that they go through. (Patton, 2002). This is particularly relevant to Scottish tourism, as they seek to understand the human environment for the tourist. (www.visitscotland.org, 2009) ”When research is being conducted as part of a higher degree it is usually best to adopt a flexible strategy, because within any learning process there will be mistakes and false starts.” (EasterbySmith et al, 1997, pg 8) With this in mind, the researcher will aim to be flexible in terms of seeking the answers to the research objectives. Research will be done in line with Easterby-Smith et al’s (1997) identified forms of pure and applied research. With an intended outcome of reflection – that is to say where existing theory (as identified in the literature review) is re examined in a different organisational or social context. In this case how existing trends and theory on environmental issues, ethical consumers and corporate social responsibility affect the products and services that VisitScotland offer. 4.5 Research Philosophy A phenomenological conceptual approach will be undertaken in this dissertation. The research will focus on ‘the different way in which people experience and understand the world and their relations with others and their environment’ (Van Manen, 1996). Within this philosophy, the researcher aims to understand and then attempt to explain why people experience different things. This is opposed to seeking external reasons to quantify their behaviour. (Easterby-Smith et al, 1997). This phenomenological philosophy is shown in the choice of focus groups and interviews, where participants’ experiences of the ‘green and ethical phenomenon’ are examined. (Van Manen, 2002) According to Terre Blanche & Durrheim (2002) research methods can be identified into 3 categories. – Ontology, Epistemology and methodology As the researcher will be using a mainly interpretivist approach (Glesne, 1999) to collect the data, it is assumed that the collected data on participants experiences will be real (relating to ontology) it will be subjective (relating to epistemology) and will be qualitative (relating to methodology). Page | 25
  • 4.6 Research Techniques In terms of qualitative research four main techniques have been considered in line with travel behaviour: (Jones & Stopher, 2003) Diary methods – a reliable approach detailing a tourism consumer’s behaviour and activity. (Richardson et al, 1995). However this approach would be time consuming and expensive to collect. Therefore, it is considered too large scale to complete within the allotted period of time of this dissertation. Gaming and simulation – this technique would enable a simulation of decision making behaviours, whereby preferences are stated. (Jones 1979) This enables an excellent opportunity for observation research (Babbie, 1992). However this approach would require extensive prior research in order to structure the game, there would also be difficulties in terms of ‘seeing’ phenomenology. (Bernard, 1994). Unstructured interviews – as a tool unstructured interviews can be described as ‘guided conversations’. Whilst they will offer depth of information, they can also be time consuming which would restrict use of this technique to a small sample. This approach would hopefully offer private answers as opposed to public answers, that is to say true feelings in the participants own words. (Jones, 1981). Focus groups – A focus group would allow for discussion over consumer attitudes (Krueger, 2000), and can give insight into how a product, service or opportunity is viewed. Despite also being time consuming and so only allowing for small samples, this would offer an opportunity of comparison between public and private answers (groups and individuals). From the analysis of appropriate methods used for tourism based research – it was decided that the techniques most suited for the purpose of the dissertation were interviews and focus groups. The over-riding reason for adopting these techniques is to encourage and allow for the aforementioned flexibility (Easterby-Smith et al, 1997). From the identified methods – focus groups and interviews show the most ability to change, that is to say, the researcher will have the largest opportunity to adapt to each participant or group in terms of structure. Whilst the flexibility of a participant diary is great, the time scale of completing this technique does not fit with the outlined time plan (shown in appendix 3). If a diary method was used then research would not be completed in time. This brings forward consumer behaviour theory which should be reflected through the research: Page | 26
  • The game simulation would give fewer leniencies, in terms of adapting to how a particular participant styles their response, as they would be heavily structured. Where as, the interviews and focus groups whilst being guided (semi-structured) allow for greater freedom and ease of flow for the participant. To gain the greatest insight into the consumer, the researcher should be able to adapt and satisfy the needs of the participant. That is to say, provide the environment whereby the participant is going to feel most comfortable, and the researcher is going to gain depth of insight (Krueger, 1993). This can be linked to Evans et al (2006) and the requirement for a compromise between organisational goals and consumer needs. In this instance, organisational goals are replaced with research objectives. 4.7 Research Methods Qualitative methods would be used in order to meet the aims of the research. The primary data will be supplied in the form of focus groups (Krueger, 1993) and interviews (Jones and Stopher, 2003) which will involve members of the targeted population. 4.7.1 Focus Groups A focus group can be defined as “a small gathering of individuals who have a common interest or characteristic, assembled by a moderator, who uses the group and its interactions as a way to gain information about a particular issue.” (Williams & Katz, 2001, pg 61) As a tool of research the focus group should “generate a rich understanding of participants experience and beliefs” (Morgan, 1998, pg11) The information obtained from a focus group should generate this rich understanding by creating a comfortable atmosphere where participants can share their feelings, experiences and beliefs. (Williams & Katz, 2001) Participants within the focus group both influence and are influenced by the other participants, for the researcher, it is necessary to be a moderator, listener, observer and ultimately an analyst. (Krueger and Casey, 2000) The focus group is appropriate for the purpose of this dissertation, as it will offer both individual and group responses. It also presents a social situation for the researcher to observe, this is ideal considering the social context of the subject at hand. Page | 27
  • The weaknesses of focus groups come with its definitive qualitative nature; it cannot be used to project figures, or indeed to produce a definitive answer. (Morgan & Krueger, 1993) However, the information obtained from a focus group can be instrumental in the later decision making process. (Krueger & Casey, 2000) There is also a danger that participants may be embarrassed to fully participate within a group setting relating to peer pressure, and so answers may not be entirely truthful. “For some self disclosure comes easily…but for others it is difficult” (Krueger & Casey, 2000, pg 8) 4.7.2 Hybrid Semi Structured Interview / Survey With a limited time scale to complete the dissertation it was felt that interviews would be appropriate to try and access participants true feelings, which they would not share when part of a focus group. By nature interviews ‘induce respondents to reveal sensitive information’ (Zikmund, 2000, p202) and so it was felt that ‘real’ data would be obtained. The interviews however would likely take just as much time to complete as a focus group, but without the richness of understanding. The researcher therefore decided to adopt a hybrid semi structured interview and survey. The use of similar approaches of theory and methodology will provide strong validity and justification for the research (Hudson & Ozanne, 2001). Both the interview and the survey would carry the same open ended questions, as the focus groups and so the same subject matter would be covered, however this would allow for three different aspects of the data which would mirror that of Patton’s (2002) methodological triangulation. The combined data from interviews / survey and focus groups can “strengthen a study”. This would then mean that “a higher quality of findings…can be achieved” (Wong, 2006, pg 254) The hybrid development of the interview / survey would give three types of responses: Anonymous (survey), individual (interview) and group (focus group). 4.8 Method Development In order for research to be successful and relevant, the methods chosen to obtain data must be organised and carefully planned. (Krueger & Casey, 2000) This involves; targeting a group, sampling, developing the focus group and hybrid interview / survey, recruiting participants and finally collecting the data. Page | 28
  • 4.8.1 Target Group The target group for the research are VisitScotland employees, and people who have had a holiday in Scotland in the last 5 years. There will be an intended balance between VisitScotland employees and Scottish tourism consumers. This is based on gathering findings from both perspectives in order to gain a full understanding of stakeholders’ views. Participants recruited will not be exclusively male or female, nor will particular age groups be excluded from the research. 4.8.2 Sampling The use of sampling in primary research is in order generalise the findings from the sample and apply them to the population. (Graziano & Raulin, 2007) Purposeful sampling (Patton, 2002, pg 45) is based on recruiting participants which will provide the greatest discussion. (Morgan, 1998, p56). Ideally, sample participants will have an interest in the topic being researched in order to produce a valuable discussion. (Birley & Moreland, 1998, p51) However, due to both time and cost restrictions of the dissertation, a form of convenience sampling (Leary, 2008, p124) will have to take place in order to achieve findings. A balance of the two approaches will have to be achieved in order to complete the research, some compromises may be made in order to achieve the six members (Zikmund, 2000) of the focus group but also achieve a valuable discussion. (Birley & Moreland, 1998) Page | 29
  • 4.8.3 Developing the Focus Group and Hybrid Questionnaire The Components of a Questionnaire Associated with quantitative studies Questionnaire length is fixed. The session length is determined by the questionnaire Standard ways are used to collect information, e.g. neutral questions, scales, show cards Questions should be posed in order, but filters may mean the questions asked vary Question wording is carefully formulated before the session and should not be modified Answers are recorded on the questionnaire either by pen or via keyboard Well-worded questions (Taken from Bradley, N. 2007. Page 201) Bradley’s (2007) recommendations for a suitable questionnaire are relevant due to the qualitative nature of the planned mixed method approach. (Patton, 2002). In order to generalise findings and apply data from the sample to the population it is necessary to have consistent questions throughout each research approach. Therefore for the semi-structured interview will be based on a two way, transactive communication process (Foulger, 2004) relating to relationship marketing (Gordon, 1998). Information offered by the participant will not be dismissed at any level; however conversation will be guided using the questionnaire questions as a guide for the interviewer. A similar approach will be maintained for the focus group, however based on a larger number of participants, discussions could evolve which creates the potential to travel away from the six main themes focused on (see appendix 2, conceptual framework). To counteract this, a more detailed focus group plan will be used as outlined in appendix 11 this plan is based on the recommendations of Krueger (1993). This plan was then used to develop the questions outlined in appendix 12. Initial questions for the interview/focus group are designed from literature only, before applying using the above research categories. (Tesch, 1990) Page | 30
  • 4.8.4 Recruitment Recruitment was conducted through personal relationships and contacts. The researcher had the benefit of previously working at VisitScotland, which meant the research would benefit from a mix of internal and external stakeholders (Christopher, 1991). Contact with prospective participants was made via email, phone and face to face. Recruitment was able to give a mix of male and female participants ranging from aged 18 – 50+. All participants recruited were English, Scottish or Irish. 4.9 Ethics This methodology was planned in line with ‘Edinburgh Napier University Code of Practice on Research Ethics January 2009’. In this chapter, the data collected will be analysed, reduced, interpreted and compared to existing theory, relating back to the dissertation aim; This dissertation aims to explore the impact of all green policies and practices on marketing and Tourism in Scotland. It will also analyse the affect that green marketing can have on a company, with particular focus on the Scottish Tourist Board – VisitScotland. 5.1 Data Analysis Methodology In terms of analysis, the researcher will follow the recommendations of Miles & Huberman (1984) for analysing structured interviews and questionnaire’s. The researcher will also adopt a ‘grounded theory’ approach (Easterby-Smith et al, 1997, pg 108) as there will be relatively large amounts of none standard data, it will need to be systematically analysed. The analysis will also display characteristics of an inductive analysis; there will be an “immersion in the details and specifics of the data in order to discover patterns, themes and inter relationships” (Patton, 2002, pg 41). The findings from the semi structured interview / survey will be broken down to individual questions, assessing the responses and relating them to key theory from the literature review. Page | 31
  • Patton (2002, pg 438) identifies four key areas for the analysis of data: Raw data, description, interpretation and recommendation. Raw Data Description Interpretation Recommendation Source: Krueger, 1998, p27 5.1.1 Raw Data Raw data handling should ensure that the raw information is directly and accurately transcribed through use of ‘words, body language, gestures and tones of voice’ (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2007). In order to achieve this for the focus group the researcher recruited a scribe in order to be able to focus on delivering the discussion topic, without compromising the raw data. 5.1.2 Description During the description stage the data will be simplified in order to draw out themes and summarise the findings. (Saunders, 2007, pg 493) Themes can be identified as those which occur most frequently, and which are relevant to the research topic. (Krueger, 1998b, p36) 5.1.3 Interpretation Interpretation is the process whereby the primary data is combined with appropriate secondary research, (Patton, 2002) in order to relate the findings back to the dissertation aim. 5.2 Summary In total, one focus group was conducted and 37 responses were collected from the hybrid questionnaire/ interview. Participants 1-6 completed the focus group; whilst participants 737 completed the survey either through a semi structured interview, or anonymous questionnaire. The focus group consisted of six participants, 3 male and 3 female with an age range of 20 – 50+ years. Of the six participants, two currently work for VisitScotland. The focus group participants were numbered one to six, by the moderator and scribe, and quotations from each participant are displayed using their number. E.g. P1 = participant 1 Page | 32
  • Of the 37 survey responses, 19 were collected using the semi structured interview technique and 18 were collected through asking participants to fill out the questionnaire individually. Key themes developed from the research and these themes will be described and interpreted question by question, relating to appropriate literature. Despite three different forms of primary research being carried out, findings will be combined based upon multiple perspectives yielding a more comprehensive view of phenomena. (Gioia and Pitre, 1990) 5.3 Ethical Consumers The first key theme identified from the research was that of ethical consumers. Q. Would you describe yourself as an ethical consumer of tourism? The survey responses showed that participants didn’t consider themselves to be ethical consumers of tourism, with only one person considering themselves an ethical tourism consumer. Would you describe yourself as an ethical consumer of tourism? 40 30 20 10 0 yes no The perceptions of ethical consumers didn’t necessarily relate to tourism, these findings were mirrored in the focus groups where despite people stating they behaved ethically, they didn’t associate these behaviours with tourism. “Not relating to tourism” (P4, aged 18-25) Another focus group participant suggested a similar view; “I’m ethical when it comes to recycling, but I don’t really think about it when I’m booking a holiday” (P1, aged 36-50) Page | 33
  • These findings support those of Wheeler (1995, pg 45) who suggested that green tourism awareness has increased but only in industry and academic circles. Q. Please outline the characteristics of an ethical consumer. Findings from the survey indicated that participants had good awareness of ethical consumers, all data collected displayed some level of understanding of how ethical consumers behave, however some descriptions of ethical consumers seemed confused when compared to the literature. Participants outlined individual characteristics, but also generalised. “interest and consideration in the environmental impact of their purchases and lifestyle choices” (P7, aged 26-35) One participant in the semi structured interview related the role of ethics in tourism solely to transport. “Finding the greenest way from A to B” (P9, aged 18-25) While another participant offered a slightly different perspective, focusing on products and accommodation: “Ethical consumers specifically look for ethical places to stay, products to buy” (P18, aged 18-25) Both of these quotes display an understanding of ethical consumers in terms of characteristics, and a questionnaire participant gave good insight linking to theories of stewardship (Peattie, 1992) “A truly ethical consumer would do his best to look after the world for the future, by causing little harm to his or her environment” (P25, aged 26-35) However, generally questionnaire and interview participants did not associate ethical consumers with tourism services, a new finding separate from existing literature. Focus group participants did show signs of recognising ethics within tourism consumers; however this could be due to their involvement in the tourism sector. “I am aware of the link between tourism and ethical consumers, but mainly because of my workplace (VisitScotland). I don’t know anyone who consciously evaluates the environment when planning a short or a long break.” (P2, aged 36-50) This comment triggered other focus group members to disagree: “I think we do evaluate the environment, when I go abroad I always search for the best suited facilities, if you’re paying a lot of money you want to be comfortable.” (P6, aged 26-35) Page | 34
  • “I like to know what to expect when I’m going away, knowing the place is going to suit us.” (P5, aged 18-25) This view draws back to outlined theory on green tourism by Wheeler (1995) and mass tourism forcing unspoiled areas to offer home comforts. Whilst it also displays slight confusion over the definition of environmental issues, relating back to Grant (2008). Another participant offered an interesting perspective, that there wasn’t currently a requirement for people to be concerned over ethical tourism; “There isn’t currently the demand to be ethical when booking holidays, but there is the demand to recycle through the local councils.” (P3, aged 50+) Combined with aforementioned views of being unaware of ethics in tourism, this perspective suggests that tourism organisations aren’t marketing sustainable tourism. Despite government bodies offering policy and guidance papers (Department of the Environment, 2007) this response could be seen as evidence that they are failing in terms of Wheeler’s (1995) suggestion of protecting the interest of communities. This is in line with Grant’s (2008) view that it is the responsibility of marketers to raise awareness of environmental issues for consumers. 5.4 Environmental Issues The second key theme which developed from the research was concerning environmental issues. Q. What are the most important environmental / green issues to you? The findings from this question showed that sustainable tourism was generally not as high up on the radar in terms of being an environmental issue, which furthers previous perception research from Mintel (Green and Ethical Consumers, 2007). Recycling and over use of plastic bags were considered to be more important to people achieving 27% and 18% of the votes respectively. Sustainable tourism didn’t feature as important with the lowest percentage of votes (4%). Page | 35
  • Most Important Environmental Issues 12 Carbon foot print 10 Ethical sourcing 8 Fair Trade CO2 Emissions 6 Recycling 4 Renewable energy 2 Over use of plastic bags 0 Sustainable tourism 1 “I’m not sure what that (sustainable tourism) is” (P6, aged 26-35) Participants being unaware of sustainable tourism and rating it as least important, contradicts the works of Butler (1998) who described the term sustainable tourism as common in public language. Upon explaining the concept of sustainable tourism (Wheeler, 1995) most focus group and interview participants accepted that perhaps there was a need for visitors to be green, despite it not existing currently. This strengthens the work of Wheeler (1995) suggesting that the awareness of ethics in tourism is only evident in industry circles and academics. “Visiting a place shouldn’t damage it; however things do wear out over time” (P3, aged 50+) “Natural destinations like Loch Ness should be looked after.” (P38, aged 26-35) Other participants mentioned points which suggested that it wasn’t a consumer’s responsibility to be ethical, which links back to theory of corporate social responsibility (May et al, 2007) and also the paradox of green marketing (Grant, 2008), consumers show signs of being encouraged to take holidays. “the public are sold holidays, so it’s not really our fault” (P5, aged 18-25) “I trust in the travel agents…. it’s impossible to check what damage you might cause to a country if you’ve never been there!” (P31, aged 18-25) Page | 36
  • “It’s the responsibility of the service provider to assess the impact of the service.” (P42, aged 2635) Links can also be made here to VisitScotland’s personality of service (Harris and Fleming, 2005), they sell the holidays in Scotland, and so if they are not sustainable, it could reflect badly on VisitScotland’s corporate persona. However this research has identified that at present VisitScotland are not alone; responsibility also lies with travel agents and tour providers. A consistent view proposed in all three forms of research was that people didn’t feel their behaviours would significantly change anything. Participants rationalised their behaviours to everyday occurrences: “Bags and recycling are closer to me – I feel I can make a difference, I can’t affect co2 emissions. I wouldn’t sacrifice my holiday for the environment, I’d always choose a hotel over a tent.” (P12, aged 18-25) “Plastic bags is something I feel I have most control over, as it is an everyday way of making a difference.” (P20, aged 18-25) Similarly, a questionnaire participant offered insight into behaviour justification: “I think climate change is already past the point of no return, so me not going to Greece in the summer won’t make a difference” (P10, aged 18 – 25) These quotes show a direct contrast with the work of Halkier (1999), with behaviours not changing despite the awareness of ethical issues. This shows no correlation with Peattie (1992) stewardship or Dunckmann (2003) conservationism and instead displays a dismissive attitude similar to that of humanism (Edwords, 1989) and exploiting the environment for human benefit. 5.5 Development of Green Thinking The third key theme proposed from the findings of the research was regarding the time scale of awareness, which can be correlated to theory around the development of green thinking (Peattie, 1992) Q. How long have you been aware of environmental issues concerning tourism? Participants in all methods of primary research showed an awareness of environmental issues; however participants struggled to connect environmental issues with tourism – a key finding from the research. Therefore, insight into this question can be regarded as slightly unreliable, as some participants responses were not concerning tourism but environmental issues in general. Page | 37
  • The most frequent answer relating to this question was that participants had been aware of environmental issues for between 1 and 3 years. Participants in the focus group sighted two main contributors to their awareness of environmental issues; Q. Was there a defining moment (e.g. event, news story) which developed your awareness of environmentally friendly behaviours in tourism? Mirroring answers from the previous question, participants did not show signs of defining moments relating to tourism, instead examples were used which showed a clear relationship to everyday life and correlated with other environmental issues of recycling and fair trade. “I became aware from the film by Al Gore; it made me pay attention because he is a trusted public figure.” (P2, aged 36-50) “When local councils introduced recycling bins a couple of years ago.” (P1, aged 26-50) Interestingly, it was evident that a correlation existed between where participants were from and how long they had been aware of environmental issues. Scottish participants commonly cited the introduction of wheelie bins 2 years ago as a catalyst for awareness. In comparison English participants mentioned awareness beginning when local councils introduced recycling 3 years ago. This suggests what an important role government has to play in raising the awareness for consumers, which relates back to the context chapter of the dissertation and political factors. This point is further strengthened by the effect of individual politicians, raising the public profile of environmental issues. This proposes that through the correct media tool, awareness of environmental issues can be created through marketing and so should be seen as inspiration for tourism marketers and academics in order to use these tools to create awareness of sustainable tourism. This draws on theory of Grant (2008) who outlined the responsibility of green marketing to raise awareness. The film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was mentioned frequently as a source to create awareness. People also identified supermarkets as having a huge impact on awareness of ethical and environmental issues; “I started to see fair trade logos in the supermarket.” (P23, aged 36-50) This proposes that green marketing is successful – consumers identifying logos and brands are fundamental concepts to marketing, and so it would appear that in terms of fair trade, green marketing has been successful. This suggests that green marketing can also work for sustainable tourism. Younger participants also identified the role of mass media such as television, newspapers and cinema using examples from different industries. Page | 38
  • “I’ve seen the Toyota Prius in loads of movies and on TV, so that’s kind of in trend, it makes it look cooler to own one.” (P5, aged 18-25) “The Guardian also ran a feature on the effect of tourism” (P10, aged 18-25) This shows that with the right exposure environmental beliefs can be created through indirect awareness – watching films as opposed to advertisements and reading newspapers as opposed to government reports. This supports literature on the promotional mix. (Brassington & Pettit, 2003) 5.6 Responsibility The development of the questionnaire (Bradley, 2007), enabled findings to emerge from the key theme of corporate social responsibility (May et al, 2007) in relation to consumer reactions to corporations. This theme was discussed in detail in the focus groups (Krueger, 1993) which gives the findings a concise, reliable result. Q. Do you actively seek out and use travel and tourism products/services which share the same issues as you? Findings displayed a clear majority; participants generally did not seek out travel and tourism products and services which shared beliefs on environmental issues. With the basis of findings from previous questions, it can be identified that participant’s responses could be unreliable bearing in mind they were generally not ethical consumers and didn’t have high awareness of sustainable tourism. Do you actively seel out and use tourism products which share the same issues as you? 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 yes no Page | 39
  • From the focus group and interviews participants were able to give insight into why consumers didn’t search for companies which shared environmental beliefs. “If I like something and it shares the same environmental issues as me then it would heighten my enjoyment, but if it doesn’t share my ‘issues’ it doesn’t bother me.” (P18, aged 18-25) Similar to this, the survey produced findings that generally people don’t become affected by organisational ethics. Those that did search for tourism products that shared issues displayed understanding and knowledge of where to find this information.Which suggests that low level awareness does exist for sustainable tourism. “The Telegraph & Argus newspaper publication produces a feature every Wednesday called Planet, focusing on ‘green’ issues including travel, holidays, homes and houses and general day to day living.” (P10, aged 18-25) However, the same particpant also stated that when booking a holiday, she did not make use of these facilities, stating that price was the main determint factor when booking a holiday. This was proposed frequently in the focus groups and semi structured interviews: “I just go for cheapest flight” (P13, aged 26-35) “My decision is price dependant not ethics dependant” (P15, aged 18-25) It is worth pointing out that there has been a difference between consumer beliefs according to age, despite not being an aim of the research. Younger participants seemed to be more aware of environmental issues, which could likely be to do with the last decade of development in green thinking (Peattie, 1992), and older participants seemed to be less aware of environmental issues. Ironically, and in line with the paradoxes outlined in the literature review findings from the research indicate a paradox. Older participants were more prepared to change behaviours despite reduced awareness, yet young participants who benefitted from increased awareness were dismissive of changing behaviours. 5.7 Relationship Marketing This shows a definite insight that there is a role of relationship marketing within ethical marketing and marketing of sustainable tourism. From observing both the focus group and interviews consumers showed differing opinions of environmental issues similar to that of Ginsberg & Bloom‘s (2004) identified green segments (see appendix 9). This suggests that if sustainable tourism was to be marketed it should be approached through different segments taking into account the differign levels of awareness and acceptance. Q. Does an organisation’s stance on green issues affect whether you consume their product and/or service? Page | 40
  • Findings from this question defied the existing literature on corporate social responsibility and agreed with the work of Ginsberg & Bloom (2004) which suggested that consumer’s behaviour would not be compromised in terms of what they expected from a product or service. Survey findings produced definitive answers, 62% stated that an organisation’s stance on green issues does not affect consumption. The focus groups and interview responses were more balanced and participants seemed confused as to their actions which showed a degree of behavioural change (Helkier, 1999) and also the potential existence of peer pressure within the group discussion process. “If there was evidence that they actually harmed the environment, then I would stop consuming a product, for example Primark and child labour makes me feel guilty.” (P19, aged 26-35) This is despite participants originally stating that they were not ethical consumers earlier in the research process. One thing that particularly stood out was the lack of tourism based examples used by participants. Only one participant mentioned an example of tourism: “The Guardian reported in Asia, Africa and South America…locals are becoming more resentful of the natural environment being compromised by tourism.” (P10, aged 18-25) But, despite examples like this there was a sense of reluctance to accept responsibility for the negative effects of tourism. “We’re giving their economy money, so we shouldn’t feel guilty about it” (P39, aged 50+) 5.8 Green Washing Q. Has there been an occasion where negative press of a company has made you stop consuming their products and/or service? The finding to this based on all three research techniques was no. Consumers will not sacrifice their own needs for the sake of ethical purchases (Ginsberg and Bloom, 2004). 58% of participants stated there had not been an occasion where negative press had affected their decision process. With this in mind it would appear that the risk of greenwashing holidays in Scotland is a slim one, especially considering the trust that is associated with government organisations. Of the minortiy that did mention examples, most of these were to do with smaller purchases such as food or clothes items, again there was no link to Tourism. “Primark and GAP with child labour” (P18, aged 18-25) Page | 41
  • “I woud never wear fur, knowing how it is obtained” (P26, aged 26-35) “Fair trade - coffee, farmers” (P39, aged 36-50) “I watched the programme by Jamie Oliver, and haven’t bought ASDA chicken ever since” (P31, aged 36 – 50) In the focus group insight was obtained into why people didn’t see tourism as being affected by negative press. “Everyone is different and so some people enjoy a destination more than others, not everything can be liked by everyone. Tourist boards give you the information to make a judgement about a place.” (P2, aged 26-50) “Holidays are not an everyday occurrence, and so people should look towards everyday things in order to make environmental decisions” (P1, aged 36-50) “It’s a combination of experiences – you’re flight, you’re hotel and the activities you do, but a travel agent can’t be responsible for how a hotel or a cabin crew operate.” (P17, aged 26-35) Generally, participants saw companies within the tourism sector as reliable. Travel agents and tourist boards are viewed as essentially providing a service of information, which links back to Wheeler (1995) and the intangible combination of services. Participants demonstrated trust towards companies like VisitScotland, citing that if a holiday goes wrong it is usually a bad experience at one of the services – accommodation, attractions, and travel operators. Q. Please give an example of a company who you believe has strong environmental ethics, and why you believe them to be an environmentally friendly company. The most frequently mentioned companies were supermarkets; “The Co-op, marketed as a fair trade company, but more to do with how they market themselves – I don’t see them as going out of their way to be ethical.” (P18, aged 18-25) “Sainsbury’s seems to consistently offer solutions to most of the green/ethical issues that face consumers, making it easier (and just nicer) to do your everyday shopping there with a semi-clear conscience” (P7, aged 26-35) Frequently mentioned was the fact that people recognise if a company tries too hard, which relates back to literature on trust (Crane & Matten, 2006). The quotes above demonstrate a relationship between company and consumer. Participants showed feelings of being attached to companies that didn’t try too hard as they related this to honesty and their own consumer behaviours of not trying too hard. This is evidence of the potential of relationship Page | 42
  • marketing (Gordon, 1998), with consumers identifying their own behaviours in an organisations behaviour. “Companies who don’t promote green credentials – matches my thought process ‘I don’t think about it’.” (P17, aged 18-25) 5.9 Conclusion This description and interpretation analysis of the findings has highlighted some important factors made in the perceptions of green marketing and ethics for the tourism industry. With more time and in depth research, findings could be developed into specific task to be undertaken in order to increase the awareness of sustainable tourism. These relate to the implementation of green marketing and ethics for VisitScotland, with this in mind the research has been successful in terms of outlining beliefs and existing awareness of sustainable tourism and therefore the role of green marketing for VisitScotland. Page | 43
  • 6.1 Central Aim The aim of this dissertation was to explore the impact of green policies and practices on marketing and tourism in Scotland. Through appropriate planned research, the dissertation has generated valid information relating to how VisitScotland could and should market their service regarding the six key themes. The six themes identified from the research are: Ethical consumers Development of green thinking Environmental issues Responsibility Green wash Relationships 6.2 The G.R.R.E.E.D Framework These six themes can be formulated into a new G.R.R.E.E.D framework, outlining the affects of these themes for tourism information services and how tourism organisations can apply these themes. G - Green wash This research has found that tourism organisations should be aware of how they intend to be green. If they have not been established as a green tourism company then they shouldn’t try to pass themselves off as having a green ethos. This is a new finding, furthering work of Ginsberg and Bloom (2004). This research identified that consumers have more respect for tourism companies who are not afraid to show their true colours, and findings from the research also supported previous work of Ginsberg and Bloom (2004) that consumer purchases will not be sacrificed in order to be ethical. Therefore it can be concluded that tourism companies should not sacrifice their profits to try and seem ethical as ultimately this will have an adverse effect. Page | 44
  • R – Responsibility This research has found that consumers don’t feel responsible for negative effects on the environment and therefore counteracts previous work of Helkier (1999). Consumers want to relax on holiday and not worry about the environment. Quantitaive fidnigns showed that consumers don’t identify this behaviour changing. Equally, consumers do not hold tourism information providers responsible for any negative experiences whilst on holiday. It can therefore be assumed that tourism information providers are not responsible for a consumer’s satisfaction in terms of experience which is a new finding. Instead, tourism organisations are responsible for making consumers aware of the possible tourism experience and whether that is good or bad for the environment. A new finding can therefore be interpreted, different to that of Wheeler (1995). It is the responsibility of the tourism organisations to provide information on sustainable tourism and build awareness of it before trying to change behaviours. R – Relationship Findings from this research indicate that a relationship with the consumer is important for a tourism organisation combining previous work by Ginsberg and Bloom (2004) regarding green consumer segments and Gordon (1998) regarding relationship marketing. The tourism organisation should make efforts to build a relationship with consumers in order to raise this awareness of sustainable tourism. Recognition of these different green consumer segments (Ginsberg and Bloom, 2004) should be used to develop a relationship (Gordon, 1998) whereby green options are available should a consumer need them. E – Ethical Consumers Ethical consumers do exist according to secondary research (Green and Ethical Consumer Report, 2007), however a new finding from this research has shown that tourism consumers do not consider themselves ethical consumers. For tourism consumers it is the individual relationship with tourism organisations that matters, not the tourism companies general ethics. This adds to the work of Gordon (1998). The research found that people generally do not want to be considered as ethical consumers in the context of tourism, which is a new finding for the topic. Furthermore the research contradicts existing literature on corporate social responsibility (May et al, 2007) and ethical consumers (Peattie, 1992). Consumers do not hold it against an organisation if they are not treated like ethical consumers. E – Environmental issues For the environmental issue of sustainable tourism, this research identified that there is not sufficient awareness within the public domain this furthers the work of Wheeler (1995). Until sustainable tourism becomes a mainstream concern there is no need for tourism organisations to market themselves as sustainable. However, based upon secondary research those organisations that have a plan for it will ultimately have an advantage once sustainable tourism does become a mainstream concern. Page | 45
  • D – Development of green thinking A new finding from the research has indicated that it is only once green thinking for tourism has developed further that there will be a need for sustainable tourism frameworks. In the meantime, consideration (and indeed development at a corporate tourism level) should be taken to forward plan how to increase consumer awareness of sustainable tourism. Findings from this research show at present, sustainable tourism is associated with a lower quality of tourism likely to do with the lack of awareness of sustainable tourism supporting the work of Ginsberg and Bloom (2004), once this has developed into a maintained level of quality there will be a need for green tourism marketing. 6.3 Methodology used The mixed methods approach was a success in that it resulted in comprehensive findings. These are a combination of qualitative and quantitative which gives this dissertation rich meaning. This approach allowed the author to see a wide scope of findings making recommendations reliable, and shows that this methodology is appropriate for any future research regarding these social themes. (Hudson & Ozanne, 2001) Surveys achieved a good response rate and encouraged participants to be open and honest with their answers for this subject. This would be an excellent method for any future quantitative research due to the one way communication process. In depth data was gained from the semi-structured interviews, whilst also allowing participants to speak freely without fear of peer pressure. Although this method is more time consuming than surveys it offers extra depth in terms of adding qualitative reasoning to quantitative facts. The focus group method gave greatest depth in terms of qualitative proposals. It was the most time consuming and labour intensive of the three research methods used, but gave the most insight into sustainable tourism and ethical consumers. 6.4 Recommendations The research did not identify many current benefits of green marketing for tourism organisations. It did however establish several new findings relating to sustainable tourism in Scotland. Generally, there is not enough being done to promote consumer awareness of sustainable tourism which has added to the work of Wheeler’s (1995). The author suggests that VisitScotland should begin advertising sustainable tourism directly to consumers through promotion of websites like http://www.greentourism.org.uk/ and the green tourism business scheme. Begin to make tourism consumers aware of the impact of mass tourism. Page | 46
  • Future research should be more direct in terms of outlining how consumers think VisitScotland should market sustainable tourism. Findings from this research would then identify a clear path for VisitScotland to achieve awareness of sustainable toruism and ultimately protect the landscape and scenery which attracts so many tourists. Page | 47
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  • Appendix 1 - Conceptual Framework & Themes December 2008 Adapted from Miles & Huberman (1994) Green Marketing Environment Sustainability Social Marketing Paradox – Environmental issues encourage less consumption, Marketing tries to encourage consumption. Paradox – Businesses can run legally but can have low moral status Conceptual Framework Pressure to use ‘green’ communications Corporate Social Responsibility Business Ethics Morality of a business greatly affects consumer perception of that business The role of green marketing for tourism in Scotland Stewardship Conservationism Pacifism Environmentalism Marketing Communications Internet Consumer Behaviour Animal Welfare Consumer Involvement Theory Motivation Symbolism Page | 55
  • Appendix 2 - Revised Conceptual Framework & Themes February 2009 Adapted from Miles and Huberman (1994) Green Marketing Environment Sustainability Social Marketing Pressure to use ‘green’ communications, and show ethical personality. Caring for the environment Paradox – Environmental issues encourage less consumption, Marketing tries to encourage consumption. Paradox – Businesses can run legally but can have low moral status Conceptual Framework Psychological needs Personality of Service Morality of a business greatly affects consumer perception of that business The role of green marketing for tourism in Scotland Stewardship Conservationism Services Marketing Corporate Social Responsibility Business Ethics Environmental response to effects of mass tourism Relationship Marketing Increased attention of green tourism Sustainable Tourism Ethical Consumers Social Responsibility Page | 56
  • Appendix 3 - Original Time Plan October 2008 Adapted from Gantt (1917) Working Month Introduction Context Literature Review Methodology Research Complete Analysis Conclusion References Final Draft Complete Complete Complete Complete November December January Complete February March Complete April st Hand in Friday 1 May 2009 Page | 57
  • Appendix 4 – Background This is a brief background into the key themes outlined from the refined conceptual framework. VisitScotland VisitScotland is a publicly funded body, accountable to the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism. (www.visitscotland.org, 2008) The Scottish Tourist Board was established under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. The Board’s principal functions under the 1969 Act were to encourage British people to take holidays in Scotland, to encourage the provision and improvement of tourist facilities and amenities in Scotland, and to advise Government and public bodies on matters relating to tourism in Scotland. (www.visitscotland.org 2008) In 2001, the ‘Scottish Tourist Board’ became ‘VisitScotland’. Green Marketing Green Marketing is popular. (John Grant, 2008) However, whilst there are a number of definitions of Green Marketing, (Wheeler, 1995, pg 39) it is still unclear exactly what it is and more poignantly, what it is for. One thing that is certain, ‘being green’ is a term which has developed from marketing. Therefore ‘Green Marketing’ is marketing which has evolved in response to the increasing concern over the global environment and climate change. (Peattie, 1992) Green trends have emerged in the last decade, and environmental issues (or other synonyms) have become common terms (Wasik, 1996, pg 8) amongst the public lexicon. Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility has developed from theory on business ethics. (May et al, 2007, pg 15) It focuses on the concept that corporations must now take account of social capital as well as existing finance and human capital. (Putman, 2002) In other words, it is important to manage a corporate personality. (Harris and Fleming, 2005) This could be done through considering the good of both local and global communities, in terms of economical, legal, ethical and philanthropic factors. (Brassington and Pettitt, 2003) However, a corporation’s responsibility to its surrounding community is somewhat of a grey area. (Evans et al, 2006) This relates to a lack of standards between laws and morals. Companies can operate in a legal manner but can have poor ethics, and so technically a company running illegally could potentially be considered to have good ethics. Sustainable Tourism Page | 58
  • Outlined as an environmental issue (Mintel, 2007), sustainable tourism is heralded as a response to the negative effects that mass tourism and development can have on local communities and the environment. (Wheeler, 1995, pg 45) Consumer Behaviour Consumer Behaviour is the name given to the analysis of individuals and groups and the processes by which they “select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society." (Perner, 2008) Motivation is a key concept in consumer behaviour (Evans et al, 2006), in the case of this dissertation; the researcher seeks to find out whether tourism consumers are ethical consumers and what drives them to be ethical consumers. Services Marketing Tourism is a blend of services - accommodation, travel and attractions. (Wheeler, 1995, pg 41) Services are required to meet the psychological needs of a consumer (Chung –Herrera, 2007), through the experience that is sold. This can be done through creating a personality of service. (Harris and Fleming, 2005) Relationship Marketing Relationship marketing is a trend which has emerged from the growing amount of power that consumers possess. (Gordon, 1998) It uses a continual two way communication flow to nurture a relationship between consumer and organisation. As a concept it aims to understand the different needs of stakeholders and meet these needs. (Christopher et al, 2002) Appendix 5 – VisitScotland Brand Extract taken from VisitScotland brand values From the findings three key words/themes developed. This was based on the idea that Scotland was: Enduring - The buildings and architecture, history, culture and tradition. Dramatic - Dramatic scenery, beautiful light and the drama of the changing weather. Page | 59
  • Human - The Scots are seen as down to earth, innovative, solid and dependable, and full of integrity and pride. The survey showed that people felt they got the genuine article when they came to Scotland and that there was nothing synthetic about Scotland.(VisitScotland, 2002) The consumer branding research also showed that the tourism industry should work towards four core values for a successful future: Integrity - Working together, not over-promising and enforcing quality levels. Pride - Passionate about Scotland, sharing our enthusiasm and delivering the best experience of Scotland. Proficiency - Knowing our customers, dealing with things on the spot, continually improving and learning, and enforcing best practice. Innovation - Open to new ideas, unafraid of change, individually responsive and responsible, providing solutions and doing things better. (VisitScotland, 2002) With these four values in mind, VisitScotland introduced the ‘Live It. Visit Scotland’ tag line and introduced the senses marketing campaign. The campaign took the format of TV, cinema, press and poster advertising. In relation to ‘Brand Scotland’, the 'Live It. Visit Scotland' campaign, (running since spring 2002), aims to capture the true spirit of Scotland: Awe-inspiring rural and urban scenery An ever-present sense of history Welcoming people, passionate about and proud of their country. Source; VisitScotland, 2001, http://www.visitscotland.org/marketing_opportunities_main/vsbranding/branding-promise.htm [date accessed 24/04/2009] Page | 60
  • Appendix 6 – Examples of the Green Wash 1.) Shell Oil, conflicting messages Page | 61
  • 2.) Toyota cars, conflicting messages Page | 62
  • Appendix 7 – Green Tourism Business Scheme Extract from the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which appears on the corporate website, but not at consumer focused marketing. The Green Tourism Business Scheme was developed by VisitScotland, with assistance from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, to help businesses working in the hospitality sector achieve efficiency and marketing benefits by managing their environmental responsibilities. The market place is changing and green conscious customers are on the increase. You could encourage customer loyalty, gain new business and increase your community profile through good environmental management. Even the simplest measures can contribute towards obtaining an award under the Green Tourism Business Scheme – your company may already be undertaking many of the basic practices, giving you a head-start. The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) looks for evidence of positive action in some or all of these nine environmental concerns: Code of Conduct, Management, Communication, Energy, Water, Purchasing, Waste, Transport and Wildlife. Source: http://www.visitscotland.org/marketing_opportunities_main/qa2/green_tourism_business_scheme.htm [date accessed 15/04/2009] Page | 63
  • Appendix 8 - PEST Analysis The purpose of the PESTEL Framework is to analyse the external environment including Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors. The balance and relevance of each of these factors will vary from time to time. The purpose of the PESTEL Framework is to analyse the external environment including Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors. The balance and relevance of each of these factors will vary from time to time. Political As a government funded, public sector company political factors are a huge influence on VisitScotland’s operations. The funding is set out by the Scottish Executive, which means VisitScotland have a lack of control over money available to them. VisitScotland must justify things like marketing spend each year, and there is no guarantee that the same amount of funding will be available the next year. Also tied in with being a public sector company, VisitScotland have the responsibility to respond to Scottish governments’ goals as shown with the Scottish Executive Tourism Framework for Change. This stipulates a goal of 50% growth by 2015, General political factors such as the political instability of major oil regions can affect the tourism industry as a whole. Similar to this is the development of a possible government restriction on air travel relating to environmentally friendly fuels. Economic As the tourism industry is heavily consumer led, an important economic factor is consumer spend or disposable income. This is particularly relevant at the moment with the current banking crisis and credit crunch, consumers are cutting spend on luxuries like holidays. Similar to this, the price margins of holidays have shifted, and with Scotland already being seen as relatively expensive (VisitScotland.org, 2008) the challenge of cost advantage will become greater for VisitScotland. The strength of the pound is relatively weak at present. 1 pound is currently equivalent to 1.12 Euros (XE.com, 2009) this encourages UK consumers to stay in the UK, as they get less for their money. On the other hand as in the case of Spanish day trips to Gibraltar, European visitors get slightly more for their money. Page | 64
  • “Many head straight for the Gibraltar branch of the supermarket Morrisons, to take advantage of an exchange rate which has shifted dramatically in their favour.” (Kingstone, 2009) On a general level the economic downturn is affecting big companies. This in turn is affecting the employment levels. Recently both M&S and itv have stated intentions to scale back on recruitment and cut costs. In itv’s case this means cutting around 600 jobs across its business. These are examples of a potential increase in unemployment levels, which would affect the Scottish economy. Social The tourism network can be quite volatile, with social trends playing a huge part in the success of tourist boards. A current example of this is the nano-break. ‘A growing number of Brits are booking 'nano breaks' - one-night holidays - in a bid to keep travelling throughout the tough economic times.’ (World Travel Guide, 2009) This is step far from the usual week or fortnight holiday, and indeed a development from the citybreak. As well as tourism specific social changes, it is important to consider general trends such as the growing importance of green issues, as previously touched on in political factors. This is something that VisitScotland are monitoring through the sustainable tourism framework, and also through schemes like the GTBS (see appendix 6). Other social trends relevant to VisitScotland include the holiday booking process, many people choose to book online through price comparison websites and consumers have as great an access than ever before to information on destinations – maps, directions, things to do. Consumers health knowledge also makes them adapt holidays into spa breaks, sometimes activity breaks, so it important to monitor consumers preferences in order to sell Scotland effectively. Technological Technological advancements can both help and hinder VisitScotland’s offerings. With communications channels being exploited across the globe, access of information is easy, as too is travel time. Cars, trains and planes have all been improved in recent years, allowing for simpler, easier traveling options. A good example of this is online check in, removing the wait time at an airport. Page | 65
  • Technology is vital to the tourism industry, from a consumer’s perspective and equally technological advancements can benefit operations at VisitScotland through new media channels. A good example of this is the iPod and Bluetooth generation, offering a new source for marketing Scotland. For this, VisitScotland have in place the new media team. Environmental As previously mentioned environmental issues are particularly relevant in today’s society. Recently the issue has developed from being mainly pressure group orientated to being an active part of everyday life. Linking to political factors - there is the possibility of restricting numbers of flights to protect the environment, which would greatly affect the number of overseas visitors to Scotland. Environmental concerns also affect the way that VisitScotland works as an organisation. Historically, VisitScotland produce thousands of brochures and send thousands of letters each year, what effect does this have on the environment? Equally how does this alter a green consumer’s perception of VisitScotland – and therefore Scotland as a whole? VisitScotland should also be monitoring levels of waste from offices or Information desks. At a different level, VisitScotland’s green reputation may be damaged by which hotels or attractions it partners with. If these hotels or attractions have poor environmental procedures this again may put consumers off visiting Scotland. Legal Legal factors are massive and possibly the factors most directly affected to any organisation. For such a large company (1000+ employees), it is important to be familiar with all employment law, health and safety, data protection, general laws (e.g. smoking ban) and be aware of changes. The law perhaps most relevant to VisitScotland is that under which it was created – the Development of Tourism Act 1969. Page | 66
  • Appendix 9 – Green Consumer Groups True Blue Greens (9%): True Blues have strong environmental values and take it upon themselves to try to effect positive change. They are over four times more likely to avoid products made by companies that are not environmentally conscious. Greenback Greens (6%): Greenbacks differ from True Blues in that they do not take the time to be politically active. But they are more willing than the average consumer to purchase environmentally friendly products. Sprouts (31%): Sprouts believe in environmental causes in theory but not in practice. Sprouts will rarely buy a green product if it means spending more, but they are capable of going either way and can be persuaded to buy green if appealed to appropriately. Grousers (19%): Grousers tend to be uneducated about environmental issues and cynical about their ability to effect change. They believe that green products cost too much and do not perform as well as the competition. Basic Browns (33%): Basic Browns are caught up with day to-day concerns and do not care about environmental and social issues. Source; Ginsberg & Bloom, 2004, ‘Choosing the right green marketing strategy’, MIT Sloan Management Review Page | 67
  • Appendix 10 – VisitScotland Environmental Policy 2007 Our organisation - VisitScotland Carbon Neutral TARGET: a) To establish VisitScotland’s carbon footprint by March 2008. b) To carry out a feasibility study and develop a realistic plan by March 2008 that will progress VisitScotland to become carbon neutral by a date to be defined in the plan. BASELINE: Not applicable Our organisation - VisitScotland Participation in GTBS TARGET: Target (number of VisitScotland sites to be participating in GTBS by March 08) will be agreed by March 2007. BASELINE: 7 main offices and 14 TICs in the scheme in 2006 Energy TARGET: To reduce energy consumption and energy related CO2 emissions by 7% from 2007 to 2011. BASELINE: The energy consumption and energy related CO2 emissions measured between 1st Jan 07 and 31 Dec 07 in VisitScotland sites where we have access to meters will become the baseline. Water TARGET: Page | 68
  • 7.7m3 water usage per person by Mar 09 for all offices with meters. BASELINE: The water usage measured between 1st Jan 07 and 31 Dec 07 for offices with meters will become the baseline. Waste TARGET: 10% reduction in non-recycled waste produced by VisitScotland in the two years from April 2008 to March 2010 BASELINE: The waste measured between 1st Apr 07 and 31 Mar 08 will become the baseline. Transport TARGET: a) Start to measure public transport trips and mileage from hire cars by Apr 07. (Business miles in staff own cars already measured) b) Put in place target for proportion of business miles covered by public transport by Apr 08. c) Reduce business car miles from April 08 to Mar 2011 by 4%. BASELINE: The transport measured between 1st Apr 07 and 31 Mar 08 will become the baseline. Procurement TARGET: Increase percentage of electricity on the Scottish Executive contract Page | 69
  • and therefore on green energy tariffs to 100% by March 08. BASELINE: In 2006 no electricity used by VisitScotland is on green energy tariffs. Biodiversity TARGET: Increase the number of proactive initiatives to promote diversity throughout VisitScotland sites. Number or percentage target to be agreed by Mar 2007. BASELINE: The baseline will be taken from the self-assessment reports for nonseasonal sites, due to be completed by end February 2007. Our business partners TARGET: a) New entry level GTBS scheme developed by March 2007. b) 15% of QA participants participating also in GTBS by December 2008. c) 30% of QA participants participating also in GTBS by 2010 d) All QA participants participating also in GTBS by 2015 BASELINE: In 2006 6.85% of QA participants participate also in GTBS. Source: http://www.visitscotland.org/print/visitscotland_environmental_targets_jan_07.pdf [date accessed 15/04/2009] Page | 70
  • Appendix 11 – Research questions These questions were the basis for the discussion in both focus groups and individual semi structured interviews. The questions were also used as a survey/ questionnaire format which ensured a rounded approach in terms of varied situations used for participants to express opinions. Green Tourism Consumers Questionnaire All data within this questionnaire is strictly confidential and will only be used for the research and analysis of the dissertation paper conducted by Michael Jeffs of Edinburgh Napier University. Unless otherwise stated please indicate your answers by placing a tick or ‘X’ in the appropriate box. General Information Gender: Male [ ] Female [ ] Age: Under 18 [ ] 18-25 [ ] 26-35 [ ] 36-50 [ ] 50+ [ ] Have you ever worked/ do you work for VisitScotland? Yes [ ] No [ ] Green Marketing and Ethical Consumers Would you describe yourself as an ethical consumer of tourism? Yes [ ] No [ ] Please outline the characteristics of an ethical consumer. ……………………………………………… ……………………………………………… What are the most important environmental / green issues to you? (Please rate in order of importance to you: 1 being the most important, and 7 being the least) Carbon foot print [ ] Ethical sourcing [ ] Fair Trade [ ] CO2 emissions [ ] Recycling [ ] Renewable energy [ ] Page | 71
  • Over use of plastic bags [ ] Sustainable Tourism [ ] Other (please state) How long have you been aware of environmental issues concerning tourism? (Please tick) 1 year [ ] 2 years [ ] 3 years [ ] 4 years [ ] 5 years + [ ] Was there a defining moment (e.g. event, news story) which developed your awareness of environmentally friendly behaviours in tourism? Yes [ ] No [ ] (if yes please give some brief information) ……………………………………………………….. Do you actively seek out and use travel and tourism products/services which share the same issues as you? Yes [ ] No [ ] (If yes, why?) ……………………………………………………….. Does an organisation’s stance on green issues affect whether you consume their product and/or service? Yes [ ] No [ ] (If yes, why?) ……………………………………………………….. Has there been an occasion where negative press of a company has made you stop consuming their products and/or service. Yes [ ] No [ ] (If yes, please give some brief information) Please give an example of a company who you believe has strong environmental ethics, and why you believe them to be an environmentally friendly company. ………………………………………………………..……………………………………………………….. Page | 72
  • Appendix 12 – Focus Group Plan Effective group discussions are based on the process of group development (Tuckman 1965): Forming Storming Norming Performing Adjourning The focus group should be planned so that the group does not lose focus of the discussion topics at hand and so that the group can begin discussing interactively. (Ritchie & Lewis, 2003) Krueger’s (1998) questioning route was used to formulate the focus group; this approach takes into account the limited experience of the moderator. This questioning route takes a systematic approach which develops the group and directs a discussion towards the key questions. The sequence of questions was as follows: Opening questions Introduction questions Transition questions Key questions Ending Source: Kreuger, 1998, p22 Page | 73
  • Appendix 13 - Focus Group Questions Opening Questions: to create a comfortable environment. Can you tell us where you work, how long you have been working there? What are you studying? What do you hope to do once you have completed your studies? Where are you from? How long have you lived there? Introduction Questions: to introduce the topics There is a lot of publicity in the news regarding ethical consumption; do you consider yourself as an ethical consumer? Transition Questions: to bring the group focussed on the topic What are characteristics of an ethical consumer? What words do you associate with an ethical consumer? Primary (key) Questions: relating to the aim of the dissertation What are the most important environmental / green issues to you? (Please rate in order of importance to you: 1 being the most important, and 7 being the least) Carbon foot print [ ] Ethical sourcing [ ] Fair Trade [ ] CO2 emissions [ ] Recycling [ ] Renewable energy [ ] Over use of plastic bags [ ] Sustainable Tourism [ ] Other (please state) Why is this most important to you? How long have you been aware of environmental issues concerning tourism? Page | 74
  • Do you actively seek out and use travel and tourism products/services which share the same issues as you? Was there a defining moment (e.g. event, news story) which developed your awareness of environmentally friendly behaviours in tourism? End: to bring the discussion to a close Based upon the things discussed today can you give an example of a company who you believe has strong environmental ethics, and why you believe them to be an environmentally friendly company? Thanks: to show appreciation for participating Page | 75