Tourism’s impact on the environment : a systematic review of energy and water interventions.
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
The purpose of this research was to examine longitudinal assessments of the ways in which behavioural and policy interventions have been used to reduce energy and water use in tourism. Although previous research has used single-shot cases or surveys to study interventions there is little knowledge of the extent to which interventions result in sustainable personal or organisational behaviour over time. Therefore this thesis specifically focuses on identifying those studies in the literature that are longitudinal in nature to gain a better understanding of sustainable behaviour change. A systematic review was conducted to identify relevant studies. The systematic search returned a total of 333 papers relating to energy use, and 430 papers relating to water use. After screening and reviewing those returned papers against a predetermined, and specific criteria, only two papers relating to each topic remained. The two papers for each topic were then analysed and specific factors noted. The most effective outcomes of the energy papers were that of investing in modern, efficient technologies, and that of investing in and managing education of staff. The most effective outcomes of the water papers were again that of upgrading to modern, water-efficient equipment, and effective management of water resources. However, a critical finding was the absence of longitudinal studies of interventions which raises significant questions regarding the helpfulness of previous findings based on one-shot studies alone. The research was also the first of its kind looking at long-term interventions within sustainable tourism, and provides many avenues for future research.