Inducing behavioral change with pro-environmental messaging: improve the message or change the messenger?

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Environmental degradation is a major threat for sustainable tourism development. While being significant polluters, tourists may not have strong incentives to maintain the local environment. How to motivate tourists to act responsibly during their stay is an important question. Environmental campaigns have been widely used for promoting behavior changes. Most studies focus on the messages, but effects of the massagers are understudied. We propose a study examining the role of the messengers in promoting pro-environmental behavior among tourists. We conduct a field experiment in hotels in a Vietnamese tourist resort. The experimental interventions are pro-environmental messaging by messengers with different levels of expertise and credibility delivering messages of different nature. By observing room-level behavior on a daily basis across a tourist season, we examine the effectiveness of different messengers in inducing pro-environmental behavioral changes and the heterogeneity effects based on different contents.

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Environment for Development initiative
Project | 6 December 2023