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Chinese Tourists’ Perceptions of Climate Change and Mitigation Behavior: An Application of Norm Activation Theory

Guiqiang Qiao () and Jun Gao ()
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Guiqiang Qiao: Tourism Department, Zhejiang International Studies University, Hangzhou 310012, China
Jun Gao: Waikato Management School, The University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 8, 1-13

Abstract: It is well recognized that tourism development is a prominent contributor to climate change, but is also a “victim” of climate change. Therefore, to mitigate climate change is of great importance for the sustainability of tourism. Yet extant studies regarding tourism and climate change tend to be dominated by a supply-side stance, albeit the core role of the tourist in the tourism industry. While researchers are increasingly adopting a tourist perspective, few seek to understand the linkage between climate change and tourists’ specific mitigation behaviors in a tourism context; this is especially so in China. This study investigates the impact of Chinese tourists’ perceptions of climate change on their mitigation behaviors based on norm activation theory. Drawing on 557 self-administrated questionnaires collected in China, it finds that tourists’ perceptions of climate change and perceived contribution of tourism to climate change both positively affect energy saving and carbon reduction behavior in tourism. Yet, compared with perceived contribution of tourism to climate change, tourists’ perceptions of climate change are found to be a much stronger predictor for energy saving and carbon reduction behavior. Therefore, it suggests that tourists’ perceptions of climate change in a general context is more strongly related to climate change mitigation behavior in tourism, calling for attention to go beyond the tourism context to alleviate the negative impacts of tourism on climate change.

Keywords: climate change; Chinese tourist; energy saving and carbon reduction behavior; norm activation theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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