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  • 1.
    Nowak, Marie
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Heldt, Tobias
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Lexhagen, Maria
    Nordström, Jonas
    Boosting Sustainable Food Choice with Carbon Labels in Tourism Destination Restaurants - A Field Experiment2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Proposal and OriginalityFood consumption in tourism is a key contributor to the tourism industry’s carbon footprint. Yet, empirically tested interventions aimed at nudging tourists towards more sustainable food choices are lacking. 

    By conducting a field experiment in a restaurant at a major Swedish winter destination, we study how food service providers in tourism can boost the sustainable food choices of consumers via carbon labels. Our findings contribute to knowledge on the drivers of sustainable tourist behaviour. This has practical implications for providers aiming to trigger sustainable behaviour.

    Methodology We ran two workshops with restaurant staff to design an intervention (CO2e labels) aimed at triggering sustainable food choices of consumers. A field experiment tested the intervention over 6 weeks using an A-B-A experimental design. In the analysis, 9 menu items and 1449 data cases were used.

    Results and ImplicationsTheoretical implications concern the advancement of knowledge on the behavioural factors that drive sustainable food choices of tourists and the challenges and opportunities tourism providers face in facilitating more sustainable food choices. Practical implications concern new knowledge on the design of effective interventions and how these can reduce providers’ carbon footprint with sustained or increased profitability. Methodologically, we contribute with new understandings of field experiments designed in collaboration with restaurant managers and staff.

    Research Limitations The study was conducted in only one restaurant. Other factors that might influence consumers’ food choices (price, taste, personal disposition etc) were not measured. 

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  • 2.
    Nowak, Marie
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies. Mid Sweden University, Östersund.
    Heldt, Tobias
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Financing recreational trails through donations: Testing behavioural theory in mountain biking context2023In: Journal of Outdoor Recreation, ISSN 2213-0780, E-ISSN 2213-0799, Vol. 42, article id 100603Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The funding of recreational trails in publicly accessible nature areas is a prevailing challenge for the development of tourism destinations. In some cases, mandatory fees are neither ideologically nor legally supported, meaning that local stakeholders are reliant on the voluntary contributions of trail users. In light of the motivational barriers and uncertainties that hinder recreationists from donating, we tested behaviourally informed interventions to enhance cooperation in such settings. Specifically, we examined the effect of normative social cues on the share and amount of donations for mountain biking trails by conducting a field experiment in a rural destination in Sweden. Consistent with our predictions and previous studies, we found an increase in both the donation amount and share of donators after the intervention. Additionally, our research shows that the change in behaviour seems to be related to the belief about the donation behaviour of others, which can easily be targeted in policies. These findings imply that voluntary contribution schemes enhanced with normative messages can provide effective funding strategies for recreational nature-based trails. The importance of developing these strategies with regard to the local context is highlighted. Management implications: • Mountain bikers are, to a large extent, willing to contribute financially to the upkeep of trails through donations. Proving information about previous contributions and framing techniques to highlight this norm can further increase the share of contributions. • Contributions of approximately SEK100–120 (€9–11) per visit seem to be the norm for mountain bikers in Rörbäcksnäs. • Stakeholders involved in the management of recreational trails might benefit from making more effort to raise awareness about the possibilities to donate, for example through more channels and displays, and by testing different placements and designs. © 2023 The Authors

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  • 3.
    Nowak, Marie
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies. Mid Sweden University, Östersund.
    Alnyme, Omar
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Heldt, Tobias
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Testing the effectiveness of increased frequency of norm-nudges in encouraging sustainable tourist behaviour: a field experiment using actual and self-reported behavioural data2023In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ISSN 0966-9582, E-ISSN 1747-7646Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Norm-nudges are effective in encouraging sustainable consumer behaviour in various settings, by raising the salience of the target behaviour via social norms. Tourism presents a highly hedonic context, in which behaviour is primarily framed by self-oriented goals as opposed to normative ones related to the good of the environment and society. While the existing literature provides insights on the appropriate content of norm-nudges to raise the salience of normative goals, less is known about an appropriate frequency of nudges. It is important to address this gap in tourism because tourists need to be aware of desired sustainable behaviours, while overly obtrusive nudges may backfire. A field experiment was conducted to test the extent to which an increased frequency of norm-nudges has a backfiring effect on sustainable tourist behaviour, using donations for mountain-biking trails as the target behaviour. Results show that increasing the frequency of norm-nudges does not diminish their positive uptake, which suggests that they can be used more to encourage sustainable behaviour and enhance tourists’ experiences. Using actual and self-reported behavioural data, this study provides new empirical evidence on the effectiveness of increased frequency of norm-nudges in a real tourism setting, contributing to knowledge on norm-nudges and backfiring effects. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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  • 4.
    Nowak, Marie
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Book Review: Handbook of Social Tourism2022In: Tourism, Culture & Communication, ISSN 1098-304X, E-ISSN 1943-4146, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 101-103Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Nowak, Marie
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Book review of Çakmak, E., Tucker, H., & Hollinshead, K. (Eds.) (2021). Tourism Paradoxes: Contradictions, Controversies and Challenges. Channel View Publications. ISBN: 9781845418144, 192 pp.2022In: European Journal of Tourism Research, ISSN 1994-7658, E-ISSN 1314-0817, Vol. 30, p. 3017-3017Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 6.
    Nowak, Marie
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Lexhagen, Maria
    MidSweden University.
    Heldt, Tobias
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Engaging workshops as a method in design of field experiments and behavioural interventions: The case of climate-friendly food choices at a Swedish mountain tourism destination2022In: / [ed] Anatoly Lvov, Raija Komppula and Jarmo Ritalahti, 2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely recognized that food consumption is a key contributor to climate change, making up around a third of emissions in developed countries. Tourism and hospitality, which accounts to around 8% of global greenhouse gas emission, is of high relevance in food consumption. Nudging or “boosting” consumers to choose more sustainable food and beverage options would be one way to reduce the industry's overall climate footprint. Field experiments in a natural setting provide the ultimate test to examine if such interventions could have the intended “boosting” effect. However, conducting a successful field experiment involves several challenges. Engaging the company partner is one key challenge where scientific quality criteria as well as practical and business-related issues in the implementation of the experiment must be understood and negotiated.  Through two initial workshops using Open Space and Design Thinking as facilitating workshop methods, more methodologically valid and practically effective behavioural interventions have been identified. Two restaurants serve as case in our study and restaurant staff, managers and researchers participated in the workshops.  Our findings so far, show that staff knowledge on sustainable food as well as on guest satisfaction are key factors for the implementation of the field experiments. Results from this study will have practical implications for tourism providers aiming to trigger more sustainable behaviour. Further, this study advances knowledge on the challenges and opportunities food service providers in tourism face in offering more climate-friendly choices to their customers. 

  • 7.
    Nowak, Marie
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies. Mid Sweden University.
    Tourism Paradoxes: Contradictions, Controversies and Challenges2022In: European Journal of Tourism Research, ISSN 1994-7658, E-ISSN 1314-0817, Vol. 30Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 8.
    Nowak, Marie
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies. Mittuniversitetet.
    Heldt, Tobias
    Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies.
    Financing recreational trails through donations: Management challenges, visitor experiences and behavioural theory in a mountain biking context2021In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas (MMV10), Lillehammer, 2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Extended abstract

     

    The demand for outdoor recreation has significantly increased over the last decade, and along with this the pressure on financial resources required to develop recreational infrastructure in nature areas. Fiscal and regulatory policies to generate the necessary funding are often neither ideologically nor legally accepted in countries where the right of public access applies, which is particularly broad in scope in the Nordics. Local stakeholders are thus reliant on voluntary contributions of visitors as one funding source (Sandell & Fredman, 2010). However, since these are often insufficient to cover the costs of infrastructure development, new strategies are called for to realise the benefits of trail-based recreation in the Nordics, without impeding the right to roam and the welfare of the natural environment (Sandell & Fredman, 2010). 

    Soft policy approaches enhanced with insights from behavioural economics may offer such alternatives (Heldt, 2005). Recent research in this field provides strong arguments that consideration of social and psychological factors can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of soft policies (Avineri, 2012; Thaler & Sunstein, 2008).  Behavioural theories like the Norm Activation Model (Schwartz, 1977), Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 2002), and Conditional Cooperation (Frey & Meier, 2004) have thus increasingly been used to study different pro-social behaviours and to inform behaviour change policies accordingly (Testa et al., 2018). Despite the success of these in various field, behaviourally informed policies are still rare in the management of nature areas.

    This paper uses a field experiment approach   to test the influence of behaviourally informed messages on the donation behaviour of mountain bike trail users. The context is Sweden, due to the countries’ unique public access rights (Sandell & Fredman, 2010). The practical research implications concern the development of behaviourally informed policies to enhance funding for recreational nature areas in public access settings. We add to the literature by testing behavioural theory to encourage pro-social behaviour in a yet underexplored context of tourism, i.e MTB-cycling. 

    Research design

    The field experiment took place in Rörbäcksnäs, a small village located in the Dalarna county 35km west of Sälen. Renowned for its natural trail qualities, Rörbäcksnäs has experienced significant growth in MTB visitors over the last decade. The trail management is entirely based on the voluntary work of the local sports association, which uses visitor donations to finance the materials for trail upkeep. However, these are insufficient for further development. Currently, a signpost at the trail entrance invites visitors to contribute with basic information about the use of donations.

    The research was conducted over an eight-month period and involved a pre-study and the actual field experiment. The pre-study included interviews and cooperation with the local community group to define their goals and barriers for MTB development. Following this, we developed surveys and counting instruments for the field experiment phases (baseline + treatment phase) which were conducted during MTB high season, between June and August. 

    The baseline condition was the existing signpost with a suggested amount, and some altruistic appeals. Informed by attribution theory, NAM and equity-theory/reciprocity, we hypothesized that activating the pro-social norm to donate in a message, using a descriptive norm, suggested amount and framing increases the share of donations and donation amount. 

    Results

    204 responses entered the analysis stage. 

    Firstly, we found that the bikers donation behaviour was affected by the normative message. A little bit more than 50 percentages  donated (any amount) in the baseline condition. In the treatment condition this increased to roughly 70 percentages.. A chi-square test indicated a significant difference between the share of donators, which demonstrates that the normative message affected the donation behaviour. The amount also increased from an average of 64.71 SEK to 90.50 SEK.

    Results 2: Beliefs about others drive behaviour

    Secondly, running a regression analysis to explain the decision to donate (discrete yes/no decision),  we found the effect of the treatment positively significant at a 10 percent level, even after controlling for several other variables that might influence the behaviour. This indicates that beliefs about others drive the donation behaviour.

    This results support the thesis that normative information increase conformity (Goldstein et al., 2008). A variable capturing personal norm emerged furthermore as significant and adds positively to the likelihood of donating. The responses indicate strong personal norms in favour of donating. Lastly, ‘Kilometres biked’ was found to be another significant variable, meaning the longer the distance biked, the higher the likelihood of donating.

    Implications

    Based on our finding it appears that activation of socials norms to donate for MTB trails encourages higher donation rates and average donation amounts. Normative messages seem to appeal to conditional contributors while not deterring those that already endorse donations. This is consistent with our prediction and findings in other pro-social contexts (Frey & Meier, 2004; Heldt, 2005). Whilst the requirements of recreational infrastructure and existing support varies between destinations, our findings imply that normative messages can provide effective strategies to boost pro-social behaviour in a context where a certain level of social support towards funding already exists. As non-costly and freedom preserving policies, normative interventions can easily be implemented by those involved in the management of recreational trails in such contexts. However, for a managing a sustainable destination in which the recreational trail network is a key driver one needs to recognize the risk of backfiring on the visitor experience if the norm is made too salient. 

    Ourstudy is one of the few that tests normative interventions in a recreational public good context, and the first that is informed by several behavioural theories and links behaviour to the visitor experience. 

1 - 8 of 8
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