Do birds of a feather flock together? Analyzing environmental performance and tourist behavior using a gravity approach

Muhammad Shafiullah, Usman Khalid, Luke Emeka Okafor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines whether international tourism flows are affected by differences in the environmental performance of origin and destination countries by conducting an empirical analysis with a gravity panel dataset of 169 origin countries and 157 destination countries from 2000 to 2015. Estimated results show that the difference between environmental performance of a country pair adversely affects international tourism flows. This implies that tourist behavior is particularly influenced by familiarity, behavior conformity, and the need for virtue-signaling. Results also suggest that better environmental performance of the destination relative to the origin, as captured by an overall environmental performance index or its sub-indices, lowers international tourism more than vice-versa. This effect potentially hinges on the tradeoff between functionality and the image of the international tourist destination. Policies that create an enabling milieu for sustainable tourism and environmental practices—such as ecolabeling and targeted advertising—would help attract more environmentally conscious tourists.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Economics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Environmental performance
  • consumer behavior
  • gravity model
  • tourism
  • visible green behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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