Impact of sustainability labels in the tourism sector on consumers' perception and their travel behavior

[Speaker] Penz, Elfriede:1
[Co-author] Hofmann, Eva:2, Hartl, Barbara:2
1:WU Vienna (Austria), 2:University of Vienna (Austria)

Sustainable certification in the tourism sector is still under-researched, as is consumers' awareness of respective labels and the impact on travel behavior. By employing eye-tracking techniques and surveys, this research aimed at linking information about sustainable tourist offers, perception of them and decision-making. In study one, six hotels with sustainability certification (three different certificates) were selected and their websites (showing the offer and a certificate) presented to participants, whose eye movements were tracked while browsing through the websites. After looking at each website, they rated the overall appearance of the website and evaluated the offer of the hotel. Based on the results, in the second study participants' awareness of labels, their values and attitudes regarding sustainable behavior were found to influence sustainable travel behavior. This research proposes implementing appropriate sustainable labelling in the tourism industry to increase awareness about sustainability among travelers and subsequently increase sustainable travel behavior.
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