Nowadays, the spa industries are becoming more aware of environmental issues and because consumers are focusing more on environmental traits of goods and services, the industry are therefore willing to change their services by moving towards a more sustainable approach. The industry has evolved and is now moving towards a new direction. Their main concern is to be able to satisfy the green consumers’ demands since people are becoming more eco-conscious and they do not opt for “pampering” treatments now but rather expect services like wellness education and lifestyle programs in an “eco-friendly” environment.
Spas industries who carry out green practices are now trying to look for ways to reduce the impacts on the environment as well as to create awareness among their customers. Consumers who value “green” are now only willing to purchase organic spa meals and will only purchase the products and services only if they are practicing recycling,waste minimization and other eco-friendly activities. In addition to monitoring traditional variables such as price, quality and convenience, spa goers are now searching for more affordability but also for spas that are environmentally conscious.
As per the article Spas see greener days ahead, one main disadvantage is as follows:
Lack of promotion strategies and therefore the spa industry needs to promote more their green activities in regards to green consumers’ demands.
A definition of consumer behaviour, used by Arnould et al. (2004: 9), defines consumer behaviour as “individuals or groups acquiring, using, and disposing of products, services, ideas, or experiences.”
Green consumer behaviour can also include purchase and consumption avoidance.” (Peattie 1995: 84) Hence, green consumer behaviour can be defined as ‘the purchasing and non-purchasing decisions made by consumers, based at least partly on environmental or social criteria’. (Peattie 1995: 84)
To further specify who and what a green consumer is, a definition of green consumption is appropriate. “In response to the environmental concern of the early 1970s, concepts such as Fisk’s (1973) theory of ‘responsible consumption’ and Mead’s (1970) concept of ‘responsible simplification’ reflected the concern about limits to growth with calls for a decrease in consumption. At the same time, the social pressure on business was reflected in studies of the ‘socially conscious consumer’ (Anderson and Cunningham 1972). Environmental marketing involves providing consumers with more sustainable and socially acceptable products; therefore green consumption must involve consuming in a more sustainable and socially responsible way.” (Peattie 1995: 83)
Elkington and Hailes (1989: 5) define green consumers as people who in general avoid products which are likely to:
endanger the health of the consumer or of others
cause significant damage to the environment during manufacture, use or disposal
consume a disproportionate amount of energy during manufacture, use or disposal
cause unnecessary waste, either because of over packaging or because of an unduly short useful life
use materials derived from threatened species or from threatened environments
involve the unnecessary use – or cruelty to – animals, whether this be for toxicity testing or for other purposes
adversely affect other countries, particularly in the Third World
As per the article many disadvantages have been found and which are as follows:
There is a gap between home and hotel behavior
According to Baker and Davis, consumers are compelled to act as being more eco conscious in their local community than at a tourist destination
There is a strong trade off between contribution and the sacrifice of comfort and luxury as some consumers believe that engaging in green practices may affect their experience and stay at hotels.
Lack of educational programmes on environmental issues for consumers by the hotel industry
A key element of green consumption is the desire for more information about the
relationship between products and the environment. (Peattie 1995: 87)
As per Swarbrooke and Horner (2007), green tourists are considered as those who refuse or prohibit tourism services which are not eco-friendly and those who make sacrifices because of views and benefits in environmental matters. As per the article, on the other hand, green tourists, can be defined as those who hold a particular interest about the environmental traits of the tourist destinations they visit. Eco-tourists will choose a destination based on its environmental condition and the type of experiences which they may expect there
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It is foreseen that green consumers who are aware of environmental issues would not visit a destination if it is experiencing environmental problems. As such Swarbrooke and Horner put emphasis that tourists’ behavior should be established not only by examining their attitude towards environmental problems in everyday life but as well as by getting information about the environmental situations at different tourist destinations.
Thirdly, motivations that influence green tourists include not only self-interest but also self-sacrifice. Cornes and Sandler (1994), Andreoni (1989), and Kotcen (2005, 2007)
It is difficult to tell whether a visitor is an eco-tourist as visiting a destination involves spending on tourism services, including attractions, accommodation and hotels.
Eco-tourists as green consumers versus non eco-tourists or dirty tourists
Tourists may show a mix of behaviors
the green consumer
To further specify who and what a green consumer is, a definition of green consumption isappropriate. “In response to the environmental concern of the early 1970s, concepts such as Fisk’s(1973) theory of ‘responsible consumption’ and Mead’s (1970) concept of ‘responsiblesimplification’ reflected the concern about limits to growth with calls for a decrease inconsumption. At the same time, the social pressure on business was reflected in studies of the’socially conscious consumer’ (Anderson and Cunningham 1972). Environmental marketinginvolves providing consumers with more sustainable and socially acceptable products; thereforegreen consumption must involve consuming in a more sustainable and socially responsible way.”(Peattie 1995: 83)Even though green consumption, as described by Peattie above, seems only to incorporate positivevalues from an environmental point of view, there was and is still much debate about the role andimportance of green consumption and green consumerism. Critics argue that green consumption isonly a way of slowing world degradation, and not a tool to end it. Durning (1992) argued that: “Atits best green consumerism is a potent new tactic for environmental advocates, allowing them tobypass the halls of parliaments and send their message directly to boardrooms. At its worst, greenconsumerism is a palliative for the conscience of the consumer class, allowing us to continuebusiness as usual while feeling like we are doing our part.” (Peattie 1995: 83)However, even though the critic appear sound it is important to realise that green consumption isonly one part of a greater effort needed to steer industrialised countries towards sustainability.Peattie (1995) argues that green consumption will have an effect only as part of a wider process of change, but that wider change process will not be able to happen without the focus on greenconsumption.
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