Ethical Consumers’ Vacation-specific Personas: Marketing Perspectives for Ethical Tourism Service Providers

Sahm, Steffen (2022) Ethical Consumers’ Vacation-specific Personas: Marketing Perspectives for Ethical Tourism Service Providers. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/HA59YE41

Text (Final thesis)
11599_Sahm, S_(2022)_Ethical Consumers’ Vacation-specific Personas Marketing Perspectives for Ethical Tourism Service Providers_DBA Thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (206MB) | Preview


The tourism industry faces increased consumer awareness and interest in social, environmental, and/or animal issues. At the same time, there is still an ample gap between consumers’ stated “ethical” concerns for other humans or the environment, and consumers’ actual behaviours, particularly in the realm of private vacations. This discrepancy in ethical concerns among tourism consumers, in particular German consumers, is accentuated by an increased heterogeneity among consumers regarding the strength, consistency and direction of ethical considerations. This research addressed the challenge of marketing ethical tourism services emanating from increased heterogeneity among ethical consumers and the need to explore their stable vacation motivations. This study investigated how the personal values of self-declared ethical consumers influenced their vacation motivations and choices across two vacations. By embedding two in-depth interviews and a diary per participant in the case study research design, the personal values relevant for ethical consumers and how they prioritised specific values in their values hierarchy were explored. Studying those differences in ethical consumers’ value hierarchies and their stability over time and across consumption domains yielded nuanced insights into heterogeneity among ethical consumers. Beyond that, those different value hierarchies built the foundation in this study to develop ethical consumer personas, i.e., archetypes of consumers with a clear profile. Those personas allow ethical tourism providers to tailor their services and communication to better accommodate the values and needs of a certain persona. In a similar vein, the developed personas in this study allow ethical tourism providers to target one or more specific personas with a similar ethical mindset as the company, its management and employees. From a theoretical perspective, this research empirically and theoretically contributes to the understanding of the stable and motivating nature of ethical consumers’ personal value hierarchies over time and across consumption domains, as well as their influence on personal encounters in the realm of tourism. This study is the first academic endeavour to research ethical consumers’ value hierarchies in the domain of tourism, and the findings identify specific values and value combinations to explain heterogeneity among ethical consumers’ vacation motivations and patterns.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethical tourism;
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G154.9 Travel and State. Tourism
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5387 Business Ethics
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Gloucestershire Business School
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 08:54
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2022 10:02

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.