University of Oulu

Kaján, E., & Tervo-Kankare, K. (2021). Observing tour operators’ interest in sustainability in Finland. Journal of Qualitative Research in Tourism, 2(2), 129–136.

Observing tour operators’ interest in sustainability in Finland

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Author: Kaján, Eva1; Tervo-Kankare, Kaarina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-05-01


The paper assesses how tour operators (TOs) address sustainability at the early stages of product development. TOs have potentially a large role in providing sustainable options for customers and therefore contribute to sustainable tourism. The research took place during TOs’ familiarisation trip (FAM) to a new destination. Participant observation was used as it allowed researchers with a unique access to participate in the same programme as the TOs. Altogether 14 tourism establishments were visited and they all provided information about sustainability. The TOs’ interest in sustainability was weak, which indicates that sustainability in the early stage is overpowered by other significant factors, e.g. type of product, suitability, seasonality and quality. However, further research in examining when sustainability becomes an issue for TOs would be beneficial for local stakeholders.

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Series: Journal of qualitative research in tourism
ISSN: 2632-9670
ISSN-E: 2632-9689
ISSN-L: 2632-9670
Volume: 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 129 - 136
DOI: 10.4337/jqrt.2021.02.03
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author. This is a draft chapter/article. The final version is available in Journal of Qualitative Research in Tourism, published in 2021, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.