Lay Beliefs About the World Affect Preferences for Sustainable Hotel Offerings

Publication Name

Australasian Marketing Journal


Prior research has established that consumers with higher levels of biospheric values are more likely to engage in sustainable behaviors. Such findings assume that tourism practitioners should solely focus their marketing efforts on consumers with high levels of biospheric values. The present research reexamines such typical expectations by investigating how lay beliefs about the world elicited by advertising can encourage consumers with low levels of biospheric values to engage in sustainable behaviors. Results of two experimental studies show that, among consumers with low levels of biospheric values, those with a malleable (vs. fixed) lay belief about the world exhibit stronger preferences for sustainable hotels offerings because they are more hopeful that the sustainable efforts from the hotels can create a positive change. These findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating the role of lay beliefs on consumers’ sustainable behaviors and establishing the underlying mechanism. In addition, this research provides a novel insight about how tourism practitioners can appeal to unsustainable consumers, highlighting how the tourism industry can create positive behavior change toward consumers’ sustainable behaviors.

Open Access Status

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