"There was little research on the perceived benefits and difficulties to adopt sustainable practices among U.S. tourism entities, and no known research so far has tracked the evolution of such attitudes over time. Filling these two knowledge gaps will increase the effectiveness of educational and assistance programs that help tourism entities adopt sustainable practices. To do so, the Tourism Center partnered with Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT), the state‘s tourism promotion agency, to monitor the attitudes towards and implementation of sustainable practices among Minnesota tourism entities.
An online questionnaire was developed and distributed to a database of Minnesota tourism entities maintained by EMT, first in 2007 (n=451), then again in 2010 (n=581) and 2013 (n=426). Data were analyzed using SPSS.
From 2010 to 2013, respondents were much more likely to perceive increased environmental protection as a benefit, which is encouraging, as it may cultivate an intrinsic motivation conducive to actually implement sustainable practices. Meanwhile, respondents were significantly less likely to perceive improved organizational image as a benefit in 2010 than in 2007, which may reflect society‘s increasing expectation of sustainable practices as an integral part of business. From 2007 to 2013, respondents were much less likely to perceive lack of information and lack of interest within the consumer base as difficulties. The former finding indicates at least some information on sustainable tourism practices has been diffused, and the latter indicates tourism businesses‘ recognition of consumer interests. Suggested future research includes assessing attitudes toward specific practices, continual tracking, and cross-state/country comparisons."
Qian, Xinyi; Schneider, Ingrid; Simmons, Pat.
The Benefits and Difficulties of Adopting Sustainable Practices Among the Minnesota Tourism Industry.
University of Minnesota Extension.
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