WP9 - Environmental awareness and environmentally friendly behaviour (pdf edition)


WP9 - Environmental awareness and environmentally friendly behaviour (pdf edition)

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Anja Tuohino

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Main Description

Environmental awareness and environmentally friendly behaviour - case Sulkava Rowing Event

 

 

During the past few decades, concern for the environment has increased significantly and, at the same time, people's values and attitudes towards nature have changed substantially. As far as tourists are concerned, however, many research results have shown that environmental awareness has more to do with tourists' aim to collect cultural capital than with their genuine concern for nature. In other words, there is an absence of environmental ethics as tourists do not transfer their environmental beliefs into their consumer behaviour.
 
This paper presents the results of a survey made among tourists (non-rowers) and participants (rowers) in the biggest rowing event in the world, Sulkavan Suursoudut, organized in July 2001 for the 34th time. In the Finnish scale, we can talk about a mass tourism event as during one weekend it gathers over 20,000 people to the small village of 3,500 inhabitants.
 
The purpose of the survey was to find out the environmental images of non-rowers and rowers in this special event. The paper will focus on their attitudes towards environmental sustainability, and on how these attitudes reflect their consumer behaviour. The survey tries to find answers to the following questions: are these images just mental images without no reflections on the behaviour of the respondents, or are they really behaving like they think? The questions of the survey dealt with environmental issues such as nature protection, nuclear power, preservation of meadows, the use of car etc.
 
A random sampling method was used. The data was collected during the rowing event by using a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire contained five parts to clarify different types of research problems. Environmental awareness was one of them consisting of twelve statements concerning environmental attitudes and behaviour. The number of respondents was 375 rowers and 211 non-rowers. The data was processed in statistical groupings.
 
The results of the survey show that the environmental awareness of the two groups, i.e. non-rowers and rowers, was somewhat similar. However, the balance between environmental awareness and environmentally friendly behaviour is far and difficult to attain. Both groups were aware of environmental aspects but not ready to transfer their environmental beliefs into their consumer behaviour.


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