University of Oulu

“The best solution would probably be to never travel anywhere” : exploring consumers’ perceptions of low-carbon holiday travel

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Author: Heinonen, Roosa1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Pages: 70
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : R. Heinonen, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-21
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Komulainen, Hanna
Reviewer: Nätti, Satu
Komulainen, Hanna


More ecological, low-carbon holiday transport modes can offer a more sustainable option to conventional tourism travel such as airplane travel. This thesis aims to map out the overall perceptions as well as the enablers and barriers that consumers attach to low-carbon modes of holiday travel in the age of growing climate concern and “flight shame”. It does this by way of qualitative focus group interviews, where 15 Finnish individuals between the ages 23 and 38 are interviewed. The research draws from sustainable consumer behavior literature and sustainable holiday travel research as well as research concerned with the “intention-behavior gap” that is recognized in consumer behavior research related to pro-environmental consumption. Based on the previous literature and the findings of the qualitative interviews, an abductive approach is utilized in combining them to formulate a low-carbon travel perception framework.

Based on the research, while low-carbon travel and its environmental impact are regarded positively, it is not seen as a form of holiday travel that would fit all needs and contexts. Low-carbon travel is regarded as having future potential but is deemed unfitting for certain situations and groups, such as inexperienced travelers. The experience-related aspects of such travel are appreciated but the perceived unattainability and other reportedly inferior qualities in comparison to airplane travel are not appreciated. The findings offer new insights for academic research in that they illustrate how consumers view low-carbon modes of holiday travel and by proposing a framework that illustrates factors that affect these perceptions. For managers and practitioners, the findings offer information about how consumers view different modes of transport and their potential in holiday travel now and in the future.

The generalizability of the findings of this research is limited due to the somewhat homogenous nature of the interviewed population, all of whom are Finnish and represent a narrow age range. In future studies interviewees from different backgrounds could offer new insights. In the future, research that would focus on differences between avid holiday plane travelers and engaged low-carbon travelers could illustrate how different groups view such alternative forms of holiday transport.

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Copyright information: © Roosa Heinonen, 2021. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.