Characterizing environment friendly tourists
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- Master's theses (SV-NHS) 
The central aim of sustainable tourism research today is to find tourists that have a low environmental impact on destinations, which can also be defined as environment friendly tourists. The majority of earlier studies on this topic have focused on characteristics of ecotourists, assuming that these are the only tourists that are environment friendly. Few have tried to identify characteristics of environment friendly tourists using a sample from the general tourist population. This thesis aims at answering the research question “What characterizes environment friendly tourists?” based on a general tourist sample. The research question is approached by using a quantitative method in the form of a questionnaire sent out to 1134 international tourists who visited the Fjord Norway region the summer of 2009, of which 381 responded. Six characteristics of environment friendly tourists; “Age”, “Education level”, “Income level”, “Motivation”, “Activity” and “Attitudes”, are tested. Based on the findings from the statistical analyses environment friendly tourists are found to be characterized by being middle-aged, have high education levels and moderate income levels. Their prime motivation for travelling is to enjoy nature, and they are interested in “Hard nature-based activities” such as hiking, climbing, kayaking, fishing, glacier walking etc. In addition they have positive attitudes towards the natural environment. It is concluded that the six characteristics tested explain about 30-40 % of the variance in “Environment friendly behavior”. The characteristics “Motivation” and “Attitudes” have the highest influence on environment friendly behavior Since the characteristics in this thesis have been found based on a general tourist sample, one can say that these characteristics of environment friendly tourists are generalizable to the whole tourist population. This thesis therefore confirms that environment friendly tourists can belong to all different types of tourism, and not only ecotourism.
Master's thesis in International hotel and tourism management