Marketing ploy or genuine practice of the principles? How travel companies promote and market responsible travel.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The main aim of the research was to investigate and evaluate how AITO tour operators have adopted the principles of ecotourism and the implementation of eco-labels in an attempt to market themselves to an increasing amount of ethical consumers. This dissertation was separated into six chapters. The first introduces the topic area giving a background to the study and the main concepts, the second critically reviews the literature surrounding the subject area, identifying past studies, main themes and issues. The third chapter provides a description of the research methods to carry out this study and the fourth chapter presents the results and offers a discussion of them identifying relationships with the literature review. Finally, the fifth chapter concludes the study and offers recommendations for future research. To conduct the analysis a qualitative investigation method was employed through a combination of textual analysis methods including content, discourse and semiotic analysis on the marketing materials, in the forms of brochures and websites, of eighteen AITO tour operators. The research was effective in meeting the objectives thus achieving the overall aim of the study. The main findings established that travel companies are increasingly using the internet marketing tool and moving away from traditional forms of marketing such as travel brochures. It also highlighted the tension between companies trying to adhere to the principles of ecotourism as well as meeting customer expectations and an increase in environmentally aware consumers. The research concluded that companies can be classified into cultures based on their commitment to the principles of ecotourism. Many companies adopt the principles of ecotourism to use in their marketing material however, do not necessarily adhere to these principles. It was not possible to give a definitive classification of each company although this has identified an area for further research.
BA (Hons) Tourism Management
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