Tourism is the fourth largest economic contributor globally and outperforms the growth of the world economy. But tourism also pollutes water and air, depletes natural resources, generates waste and contributes to global warming. Not surprisingly, therefore, tourism is the fifth largest polluting industry, generating five percent of global CO2 emissions with aviation contributing 40 percent, cars 32 percent and accommodation 21 percent. Assuming continuing growth, the UNWTO and United Nations Environment Program predict that CO2 emissions from tourism will more than double from 2005 to 2035. In this seminar, Sara will discuss the results of a number of (successful and unsuccessful) empirical studies which aimed at triggering environmentally friendly behaviours in tourists, including a study on opting out of room cleaning, a study on changing the default serviette option at breakfast buffets and an initial investigation on causes of food waste.
Sara Dolnicar is a Professor of Tourism at The University of Queensland. Her primary research interest is the improvement of market segmentation methodology and of measures used in social science research. She applies her work primarily to tourism, but also social marketing challenges, such as environmental volunteering, foster care and public acceptance of recycled water. Recently, Sara has developed a keen interest in empirically testing approaches to make tourists behave in a more environmentally friendly way.