PhD - Closing the Consumer Intention-Behaviour Gap in the Context of Sustainable Tourism Consumption

Job Description

Project Description Sustainable tourism has been identified as a key business and societal priority for the Irish tourism industry as a whole, and key stakeholders such as the Irish government, Fáilte Ireland, the UN Environment Program, and the World Tourism Organisation.

The design and implementation of sustainable tourism is underpinned by the need to monitor and regulate the current and future impacts of tourism (i.e., environmental, social, and economic). A commitment to sustainability therefore requires ‘buy-in’ from both the tourism provider as well as the consumer, e.g., willingness to change or amend behaviours in areas such as recycling, energy usage, water conservation, avoidance of destinations suffering from ‘over-tourism’.

However, an Intention-Behaviour Gap (IBG) continues to prevail in terms of consumption of the tourism experience. The IBG refers to the gap between consumers’ intentions to behave in a certain way, and their actual consumption behaviour. Fáilte Ireland (2022) refers to this gap as the ‘say-do’ gap. There have been recent calls in the literature for research to investigate the presence of the IBG in the tourism sector, as well as the reasons and possible solutions to the IBG. For example, Tolkes (2020) calls for research which identifies and explores actual sustainable behaviour in tourism and how consumers’ perceptions of their own responsibility in this area can lead to behavioural changes. Equally, the World Economic Forum (2022: para. 6) highlights that consumers would prefer tourist providers to provide sustainable offerings that are more “transparent, intuitive and easy to access”.

This PhD study proposes an interpretivist, qualitative methodology with the aim of exploring tourists’ perspectives on the intention-behaviour gap in the context of their own consumption of tourism experiences and how that gap can be lessened.

Student Requirements for this Project Minimum 2.1 Honours Undergraduate Degree in an appropriate area e.g., Marketing, Business, Tourism Excellent communication, writing and project management skills Proven ability to engage in self-directed learning Evidence of prior substantive writing required (e.g., dissertation; research paper) Applicant may be called for interview

Deadline to submit an application 14/07/2023

Funding Agency TU Dublin Tourism and Hospitality Management Scholarship Scheme 2023 Student Stipend per annum €18,500 Materials & Travel Budget per annum €2,000 Fees covered by the funding per annum Covered by funding Duration of Funding 48 months

If you are interested in submitting an application for this project, please complete an Expression of Interest.