An investigation into the attitudes of key tourism providers regarding ‘carbon neutral’ tourism in County Clare, Ireland
O Connor, Noelle
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The global tourism industry is inextricably linked with climate change, and, faced with a ‘climate emergency’, there is an increasing emphasis on finding environmentally sustainable tourism models. One such model is ‘carbon-neutral tourism (CNT)’. This paper investigates attitudes towards CNT in County Clare (Ireland), focusing on tourism providers. By reviewing and evaluating key relevant academic sources, clarification is given about climate change, and the tourism industry’s relationship with it. The concept of sustainable tourism is explored, leading to an understanding of the meaning of CNT, and the various steps taken to create it. Following this, semi-structured interviews are conducted with selected tourism providers in County Clare. Using purposive sampling, a selection of tourism providers covering key elements of the tourism product are interviewed. These interviews are of a semi-structured format, allowing for some generic investigation, but also permitting an exploration of each provider’s contribution to the tourism product. The analysis concludes that tourism providers in Clare hold generally positive attitudes towards CNT. All respondents currently carry out at least some elements of CNT and all respondents express an enthusiasm to be more involved. However, certain barriers to fuller participation are identified.
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