Achieving voluntary reductions in the carbon footprint of tourism and climate change

Robert Douglas McKercher, Bruce Prideaux, Yuk Yim Cheung, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

215 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines attitudes to tourism and climate change among residents of Hong Kong and evaluates their willingness to voluntarily modify travel behaviours to reduce environmental impacts. Previous studies on environmental behavioural change identified a significant gap between awareness and action, with some studies even suggesting that the most aware individuals are unlikely to change their behaviours. Similar findings were noted in this study. Cluster analysis identified four cohorts of tourists, ranging from the regular international tourist to the least travel active. The regular international tourist group was most aware of global warming and climate change, but least willing to alter its travel behaviour. By contrast, less travel active tourists seem most willing to travel less. The paper concludes that government intervention may be required to create meaningful behavioural change in travel patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-317
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Carbon footprint
  • Climate change
  • Tourists' behaviour
  • Voluntary mitigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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