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The Efficacy of Sustainability Values in Predicting Travelers' Choices for Sustainable Hospitality Businesses

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Published online on


Sustainability studies suggest that travelers’ decisions to support sustainable production and to consume sustainable hospitality and tourism services are functions of those travelers’ values. This study examined the efficacy of the sustainability value (SV) scale in predicting potential travelers’ choices for sustainable hospitality businesses using a partially mediated structural equation model. Data from a panel of 1,202 recent travelers in North America suggest that SVs predict an individual’s choice for sustainable hospitality businesses. The effect of those values, however, is partially mediated by the travelers’ environmental behaviors. Based on the respondents’ attitudes and behavior, they were grouped into an environment-supporting group called "strong-sustainers" and an environment-neutral group termed "centrists-sustainers." Extending these findings to the market, hoteliers could offer targeted sustainability messages for the proposed "strong-sustainer" traveler, who would be more likely to purchase a "green" room, and likewise customize communications to the "centrist-sustainer" travelers, for whom an environmental message carries no weight.