Environmentally responsible behavior in nature-based tourism context

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Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, with market size of 1.54 trillion as of 2020 and estimated to increase to 1.7 million USD in 2021 (Statista, 2021). This sector is considered among the fastest growing industries, and its growth contributes significantly to the economics of the tourism destination (Astina et al., 2021; Naja et al., 2021). The tourism sector provides utmost socio-economic benefits certainly the existence of the tourism activities deliver advantages for the societies such as job creation and opportunities, infrastructure (Mangwane et al., 2019; Yfantidou et al., 2017; Galindo and González, 2019). Despite the positive contribution of the tourism industry, this sector caused negative consequences to the environment. The cost of environmental degradation and destruction is unmeasurable.

In recent years, littering and its impact have been widely talked about around the world, which has attracted the attention of various researchers from various backgrounds. Littering has become a major social and environmental and economic problem for the tourist destination (Brown et al., 2010; Eastman et al., 2013), which causes various problems in different forms. Some studies illustrate that littering in nature-based destinations is harmful for the environment in the destination, gives an unattractive image of the destination area, and reflects a negative image of the committee in destination (Ibrahim et al., 2021). Although this problem can be found in every corner of the world, it is a major problem for developing countries, including Indonesia. To address this problem, researchers have sought to promote and understand environmentally responsible behaviors that refer to individual behavior to reduce the potential negative impact of their actions and behaviors on the environment (Panwanitdumrong and Chen, 2021). This research focuses on the intention of tourist behavior to be environmentally responsible for tourists to avoid and reduce littering when traveling to nature-based destinations.

The research used a quantitative approach, where data was collected through questionnaires to respondents. The number of samples collected as many as 204 tourists who visit tourist destinations in Yogyakarta. The study outlines that travelers’ attitudes, perceived behavioral controls, and subjective norms positively influence their behavior. In other words, when travelers feel positive in reducing waste, or they feel they have the ability and control to do so, or also feel pressured by their communities to participate and engage in waste reduction, then their intention to participate in waste reduction will be higher.

These results offer critical insights into tourism research, particularly in environmentally responsible behavior and managers in nature-based destinations, to identify the factors that determine the intention of responsible behavior towards the tourist’s environment, in addition to the theoretical contributions of the current investigation. The findings also have practical implications, suggesting that practitioners should increase these factors to have higher intention behavior.

Author: Prof. Dr. Tanti Handriana, S.E., M.Si.

Source:  Fenitra, R.M., Tanti, H., Gancar, C.P., Indrianawati, U., & Hartini, S. (2021). EXTENDED THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOR TO EXPLAIN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR IN THE CONTEXT OF NATURE-BASED TOURISM. GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites, 39(4spl), 1507–1516. https://doi.org/10.30892/gtg.394spl22-795

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