Matching Items (10)

132497-Thumbnail Image.png

An Overview of Sustainability in the Hotel Industry: How the World’s Largest Brands are Practicing Sustainability

Description

This study aims to identify the self-reported sustainability goals, practices, and results of the five largest hotel companies that are headquartered in the United States through a comprehensive content analysis

This study aims to identify the self-reported sustainability goals, practices, and results of the five largest hotel companies that are headquartered in the United States through a comprehensive content analysis of each of their websites. The five companies included in the study are Best Western International, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, and Marriott International. The main focus centered on the qualitative information they shared about their goals and implemented practices across the hotels owned and operated by each company. In addition, the published qualitative data was analyzed to look at the reported results of their implemented practices. The results showed a large variety in the level of information that was shared by each of the five companies.
Information was examined using thirteen indicators of sustainability. Eight indicators were chosen that represented environmental sustainability, plus five indicators that represent social and economic sustainability. Based on the information analyzed, each company received a score for each indicator according to the level of information disclosed. This created a sustainability scorecard, with Marriott and Hilton scoring the highest, Wyndham and Best Western scoring the lowest, and Choice Hotels falling in the middle .In summary, it was determined that Hilton is reporting at the highest level, based on the measured indicators in addition to receiving external assurance on their disclosed results from implemented practices, The other four companies have further steps they should take to better communicate their sustainable practices and overall commitment to sustainability.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

134342-Thumbnail Image.png

Millennials' Views of Terror Impacted Tourist Destinations

Description

Throughout history, terrorism has had major effects on tourists and tourism destinations that are targeted. When terrorists execute an attack in order to communicate a message, resulting impacts go far

Throughout history, terrorism has had major effects on tourists and tourism destinations that are targeted. When terrorists execute an attack in order to communicate a message, resulting impacts go far beyond lives lost. Included in these impacts is the fear that terror attacks leave on tourists, sometimes creating such an impression that tourists change travel plans as a result. Although there are many studies on destination image, risk perception, and decision-making, very few focus specifically on the millennial generation. Because millennials are changing the travel and tourism scene - as they now make up the largest percentage of the population \u2014 it is important for stakeholders in the tourism industry and DMOs to understand this shift and the implications that come with these changes. This study provides a qualitative analysis of millennials' views, attitudes, and beliefs regarding terror impacted tourist destinations. Specifically, it will explore how millennials develop their destination images, if millennials view international travel to be risky, and if millennials are willing to travel to terror impacted tourist destinations. Using focus group methodology, this study gathered data from students from a number of disciplines, genders, and travel experience, in order to understand the themes listed above. Analysis of the findings and implications for officials and DMOs follow, as well as a conclusion including limitations and recommendations for future studies.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

131936-Thumbnail Image.png

Voluntourism Participants' Attitude Toward the Environment, Culture, and Community

Description

Volunteering can lead to many positive outcomes on individuals in terms of social, psychological, and professional development. This study sought to understand the process and mindset of volunteers and how

Volunteering can lead to many positive outcomes on individuals in terms of social, psychological, and professional development. This study sought to understand the process and mindset of volunteers and how their experience affects attitudes towards environment. The purpose of this study is to analyze the attitude change of volunteers toward the environment, culture, and community after volunteering at a community of a background different than theirs. In this study, the volunteer setting is in Shonto, a Native American community in the Navajo Nation, Arizona. This study utilized a qualitative research approach. A total of 12 participants were interviewed in this study. All participants were members of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Arizona State University and have traveled to Shonto. Questions were asked to participants about their experiences with EWB and their volunteering experiences in Shonto. The main findings were categorized into four themes: 1) motivations; 2) preconceived perceptions and exposure; 3) collaboration and connection; and 4) commonality and reflection. The findings can be described as a process that participants go through in their entire volunteering experience. The first two themes occur before individuals volunteer and the last two themes occur after. First, individuals develop certain motivations to volunteer. Then, the preconceived perceptions of individuals were analyzed, and it was presumed that these perceptions were a result of their upbringing and exposure, or lack thereof, to the community they volunteer at. The last two themes occur after the individuals have volunteered. Individuals are able to collaborate and form a connection with the community, which influences their awareness and their ability to reflect on their experiences. These last two themes are important because they indicate the change of perceptions that volunteers perceive. These findings connect the motivations that volunteers have all the way to their attitude changes after volunteering. Further, findings demonstrate that the preconceived perceptions are influenced by an individual’s upbringing or exposure, but these misconceptions are changed after volunteering experience, which supports contact theory. Through these findings the study contributes to the existing literature on voluntourism. This study is applicable to organizations and tour operators who offer volunteer tourism programs and work with communities of different backgrounds. It can provide individuals an insight to other volunteering experiences.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

157029-Thumbnail Image.png

Image based social media and the tourist gaze: a phenomenological approach

Description

The emergence of social media in concert with improved camera and cell phone technologies has helped usher in an age of unprecedented visual communication which has radically changed the tourism

The emergence of social media in concert with improved camera and cell phone technologies has helped usher in an age of unprecedented visual communication which has radically changed the tourism industry worldwide. Serving as an important pillar of tourism and leisure studies, the concept of the tourist gaze has been left relatively unexamined within the context of this new visual world and more specifically image based social media. This phenomenological inquiry sought to explore how image based social media impacts the concept of the tourist gaze and furthermore to discover how the democratization of the gaze in concert with specific features of image based social media applications impacts the hermeneutic circle of the tourist gaze. This in-depth analysis of the user experience within the context of travel consisted of 19 semi-structured photo elicitation interviews and incorporated 57 participant generated photos. Six salient themes emerged from the study of this phenomenon; 1) sphere of influence, 2) exchange of information, 3) connections manifested, 4) impression management and content curation, 5) replicated travel photography, and 6) expectations. Analysis of these themes in conjunction with examples from the lived user experience demonstrate that the tourist gaze is being accelerated and expanded by image based social media in a rapid manner. Furthermore, democratization of the gaze as enabled by technological developments and specialized social media platforms is actively shifting the power role away from a small number of mass media influencers towards a larger number of branded individuals and social media influencers. Results of this inquiry support the theoretical assertions that the tourist gaze adapts to social and technological developments and demonstrates that the concept of the tourist gaze is increasingly important within tourism studies. Practical implications regarding the prevalence of real-time information, site visitation, and “taking only pictures” as sustainable touristic behavior are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

153075-Thumbnail Image.png

Production, transmission, and consumption of Red Tourism in China: a model of the circuit of red heritage and tourism

Description

Because of its ability to harbor social values, norms, and beliefs, heritage has always been utilized as an ideological vehicle. One prominent example of politicizing heritage is Chinese red tourism,

Because of its ability to harbor social values, norms, and beliefs, heritage has always been utilized as an ideological vehicle. One prominent example of politicizing heritage is Chinese red tourism, comprised of state-promoted tours to revolutionary memorial sites. It is expected to generate political, economic, and social benefits, particularly to reinforce the legitimate leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. Statistics show that dramatic market growth in red tourism has occurred over the past decade. Yet it is still heavily driven by the government and thus whether long-term sustainability can be achieved is still questionable.

This dissertation explores the dynamics of red tourism from the perspective of a meaning-making process, where tourism discourses circulate among the processes of production, transmission, and consumption. The results reveal that higher-level government primarily assumes the leading role, whereas local government is largely excluded from strategy making processes and primarily responsible for implementation and operation. Some dissonance exists between higher and lower-level governments in their goals and involvement in red tourism development. Second, intermediaries are not altruistic and attempt to maximize their own benefits. While site interpreters may provide officially authorized narratives, their primary focus is hosting higher-up administrative visitors. On the contrary, tour guides are more customer-oriented, which may lead to officially undesirable interpretations. Third, driven by multiple motives, tourists have increasingly diverse attitudes towards red heritage and participate in various political and non-political activities. A considerable degree of congruence was found between tourists' participation, motivation, memories, and perception. Quantitative results indicate that the majority of tourists have learned about the political significance and/or content of red heritage, and developed more positive attitudes towards, and support for, the CCP and the government, to a certain extent.

This dissertation contributes to current research by adopting a systematic and emic perspective to explore the dynamics of red tourism. Several conceptual frameworks were developed inductively to describe the meaning-making process. Mixed methods were used to learn about tourists' consumption and perceptions of red heritage. Implications regarding enhancing the effectiveness of the meaning-making process, limitations of the study, and potential directions for future research are also discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

158594-Thumbnail Image.png

An Exploration of Educators’ Roles for Building Social Resilience to Natural Disasters in Small Island Developing States

Description

Small island developing states (SIDS) are on the very frontlines of climate change (UNDP, 2017). Increasing attention on the unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities SIDS face has led to

Small island developing states (SIDS) are on the very frontlines of climate change (UNDP, 2017). Increasing attention on the unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities SIDS face has led to the discussion of the overall resilience of this population. Specifically, post-disaster studies of resilience carried out on SIDS have pointed to social resilience and education as two primary indicators of the overall resilience of these vulnerable communities (Aldrich, 2012; Muttarak & Lutz, 2014); yet social aspects of resilience related to SIDS have been underexplored, in comparison to ecological and economic themes (Berkes & Ross, 2013). Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the personal and professional lived-natural disaster experiences of SIDS residents who are educators in order to understand their role in building social resilience within their community. In-depth interviews were conducted with educators employed at public and private schools in the United States Virgin Islands. The findings indicate that residents who are educators conceptualized resilience according to the following themes and sub-themes: (1) Social Process which involves Social Recovery and Community Alliances to ‘bounce back’ to an undefined level of normalcy and (2) Embodied Identity which was described in terms of Community Personifications of resilience as a trait in general citizens and educators. Participants identified internal and external resources as influential in how residents responded to natural disasters, by so doing, significantly contributing to positive post-disaster outcomes; these resources are referred to in the literature as protective factors (Rutter, 1985). The findings also demonstrate that educators had both a personal and professional responsibility to help their community contend with disasters, and this outcome is best explicated through the concept of protective factors. The research findings are significant because they: (1) contribute to the limited body of literature on social resilience in small island developing states, (2) demonstrate the importance of subjective perspectives in the development of disaster preparedness and management strategies for climate-vulnerable island populations, and (3) indicate a need for future research to use terminology which acknowledges the many ways in which disaster-prone communities have historically demonstrated and/or embodied resilience.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

153700-Thumbnail Image.png

The role of environmental education for biodiversity conservation: a case study in the protected areas of Nepal

Description

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore the social and economic challenges faced by people who live adjacent to protected areas when addressing conservation objectives. This dissertation explores the link between biodiversity conservation and environmental education programs (EEPs) administered to residents of buffer zones adjacent to three protected areas in the Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. Using surveys and interviews, this study examined 1) the influence of EEPs on attitudes of local people toward biodiversity conservation; 2) the influence of EEPs on conservation behavior; 3) the responses toward biodiversity conservation of local people residing in buffer zones who have received different levels of EEPs; and 4) the effect of EEPs on wildlife populations within adjacent protected areas. Local people who had participated in EEPs and attended school were more likely to express a positive attitude toward conservation goals than participants who had not participated in EEPs or had the opportunity to attend school. Participation in EEPs and level of education favored expressed behavior toward conservation goals, such as making contributions for conservation or supporting anti-poaching patrols. However, EEP participants and non-participants were equally likely to engage in activities that were at odds with positive conservation behavior, such as collecting fuel wood or killing wildlife to protect their farm or feed their families. A direct comparison of EEPs given by schools versus non-government organizations showed that EEPs were largely ineffective in promoting positive conservation attitudes and behaviors. Despite heavy poaching of charismatic species such as the greater one-horned rhinoceros or tiger over past decades, Nepal recently celebrated ‘zero poaching years’ in 2011 and 2013, largely due to increased anti-poaching enforcement. The relationship between EEPs and the decline in poaching is unclear, although local officials all claimed that EEPs played an important role. These results indicate that current administration of EEPs in Terai buffer zone communities is inadequate, while also providing evidence that properly administrated EEPs may become a valuable investment for these protected areas to achieve long-term success.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

152923-Thumbnail Image.png

Perceptions of international tourism destinations

Description

Destination image has been explored by studying various aspects of the process of forming a perception about an area and choosing to visit or not. This study uses a variety

Destination image has been explored by studying various aspects of the process of forming a perception about an area and choosing to visit or not. This study uses a variety of theories from previous research which has focused on subsets of factors which influence the overall process to create a model to organize the perception formation and decision making progress into one continuous and interrelated progression. Online questionnaires using Likert scale statements and questions were distributed to participants through Facebook in order to measure and test the model. A total of 266 questionnaires were completed and analyzed using t test, ANOVA, regression, factor analysis, and cluster analysis. The original model from the beginning of the study transformed with the removal of some variables and the alteration of others. The factors that were shown to influence perception of the destination were tourist type and knowledge of the country. Tourists who were more likely to seek new environments and had a higher level of knowledge of the country used in the marketing video had a better perception of the destination before and after the video. Obstacles for deciding to visit the destination were found to be long distances traveling and substitution of alternative destinations. The results show that marketing videos do create a positive change in the perception of the destination, but this alone is not likely enough to influence the decision to visit the destination. Marketing agencies should consider more ways of informing consumers of the destination in addition to commercials so that overall knowledge of the area can be improved. In addition, marketing agencies should target consumers that are interested in visiting new environments by using travel magazine subscriptions, international airline agencies and hotels, and social media groups.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

152512-Thumbnail Image.png

Enlightened travelers?: cultural attitudes, cultural competency and study abroad

Description

In this study the impact of outside the classroom activities and experiences of study abroad participants on cultural attitude change and perceived cultural competence was investigated. Motives to participate, expectations

In this study the impact of outside the classroom activities and experiences of study abroad participants on cultural attitude change and perceived cultural competence was investigated. Motives to participate, expectations and outcomes of study abroad programs were also explored. The study used a mixed methods approach and was conducted in three parts including an exploratory sequential component followed by a concurrent embedded component. The exploratory sequential component included a photo elicitation project, the results of which contributed both to the results of the study and the development of the questionnaire used in the concurrent embedded component. The concurrent embedded component used a pre and post-test survey design and included a qualitative writing exercise with select participants between the completion of their pre and post-test questionnaires. The results suggest that study abroad participation does result in changes in both participants' cultural attitudes and cultural competency. It was hypothesized that length of time abroad and the cultural distance of the host country would have an influence on the change in cultural attitudes and cultural competency. As found in previous research, length of time abroad was not found to be a major contributing factor to this change when considering the results of the pre and post-test survey. However, the results of the qualitative studies resulted in many questions about the impact of length abroad. Participants in longer-term programs discussed changes in their cultural attitudes in a more complex way than short-term participants. Longer-term participants expressed changes in their cultural competency differently as well, though not in a way that it can be conclusively said they were more culturally competent. The reverse was the case for cultural distance. Cultural distance was a factor in the changes in cultural competency, however not in cultural attitudes when considering the results of the quantitative component. The qualitative results seem to bring up more questions. While shorter-term participants discussed cultural competency differently than longer-term participants, surprisingly the short-term programs had a higher percentage of participants studying in countries with large cultural distance than did long-term programs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

152812-Thumbnail Image.png

A comparison of two approaches to measuring brand equity in the hotel industry

Description

Branding and brand management have been top management priorities in the hotel industry. Some researchers have concluded that strong branding would be an efficient way for hotels and hotel chains

Branding and brand management have been top management priorities in the hotel industry. Some researchers have concluded that strong branding would be an efficient way for hotels and hotel chains to differentiate themselves from each other. Recent studies have focused on the establishment of a brand equity model and the relevant causal relationships of the model. Most of these studies have used types of desirability scales examining the importance of individual factors in measuring brand equity. However, they ignore the trade-offs that affect and characterize choice. Particularly, the personal decision process implied by the hierarchical brand equity model is absent. This study proposed two alternative measures of brand equity, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and conjoint analysis (CA), to address these limitations. The AHP and the CA were compared using several validity measures to aid in selecting efficient methods. This study examined the validity of AHP and CA under two data collection methods applied to hotel branding: paper-based survey and online survey. Result showed that the AHP data collection methods were easier, as well as with respect to saving time and costs. Results also indicated that the AHP is equivalent to the CA with respect to predictive accuracy. Practical differences for hotel branding in attribute preferences were clearly observed between the AHP and the CA. The AHP results were consistent with previous studies by awarding high importance to perceived quality and brand loyalty and lower importance to brand awareness and brand image. Managerial implications were provided for results. In terms of practicality in data collection, the study results revealed that the data gathered online leads to a slightly lower internal and predictive validity. A limitation of this study was that the two methods were not perfectly comparable. Nevertheless, the validity of both AHP and CA seems satisfactory for both methods. The study results also offer useful perspectives to consider when choosing between the two methods, as well as between AHP and CA.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014