Publication Details

This article was originally published as Dolnicar, S and Leisch, F, Selective marketing for environmentally sustainable tourism, Tourism Management, 29(4), 2008, 672-680.


The natural environment represents the main resource for many tourism destinations and tourists are increasingly interested in spending their vacation in unspoilt natural areas. Consequently, destination managers are under increased pressure to implement ecologically sustainable practices. Selective targeting of tourists has been proposed as one approach to sustainable destination management, but the feasibility of this approach remains untested. Therein lies the contribution of this study. Results from a survey of 1000 Australians indicated that market segments based on past environmentally friendly behaviour at the destination represent distinct groups with respect to psychographic, behavioural and socio-demographic personal characteristics. These explanatory variables contributed substantially to explaining pro-environmental behaviour. It was concluded that selective target marketing represents a feasible complement to current sustainable tourism management techniques which focus on tourists at the destination who may not necessarily be interested in protecting the local environment.

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