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A cross-cultural study of attitudes towards the natural environment and tourism development - Northern Europe and East Asia.

Hashimoto, Atsuko. (1996) A cross-cultural study of attitudes towards the natural environment and tourism development - Northern Europe and East Asia. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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This study aims to examine if there is any cross-cultural difference in attitudes towards the natural environment and its resources, especially in the context of tourism development. Mainland China, Taiwan and Japan are chosen as East Asian subjects and Germany and the United Kingdom as Northern European subjects in this study because they show not only distinctive traditions and philosophies, but also various stages of national economic development. The first part of the study provides (1) the current situation of environmental awareness in tourism and hospitality industries and (2) information about the cultural values, religions and the philosophies which shape people's attitudes towards the natural environment. The history of environmental awareness and the protective movement started quite differently in western and eastern societies. While Western societies are more concerned about the conservation of the natural resources, delayed industrialisation in East Asia, in contrast, caused more serious and often irreversible damage to the natural environment. The tourism industry in Western societies has recently shown more environmental concern as its survival depends on the quality of the natural environment, but in the East, tourism and environmental management are considered unrelated. East and West also have different religious views, aesthetic values and risk perceptions which determine their values of the natural environment and its resources. The main survey of this study is twofold: investigation of the construction of attitudes towards the natural environment and tourism impacts and their sense of responsibility as an individual for environmental problems. Over 100 respondents from the tourism and hospitality industry, and environmentalists in each region have been sampled. The Multidimensional Scaling procedures in addition to one-way analysis of variance are applied to elicit the underlying structure of attitudes towards environmental issues and tourism development and the respondents' sense of responsibility towards the environmental issues. The data revealed that there are not only East-West differences but also differences between the tourism industry/environmental expert subjects and the university students in the attitudes construct. The cultural differences are observed within the tourism industry/environmental expert groups but the university students show constant across-culture similarities. Contradictory to the empirical evidence, the perception of nature and natural resources turns out to be universal. However, significant cultural differences in the level of authoritarianism and individualism are found both in tourism industry/environmental expert subjects and the university students. The Chinese groups have a stronger authoritarian tendency than the others but also believe more in individual contribution to the environmental management. Although individuals are expected to take a more active stance in environmental management, when it conies to the respondents' own responsibility, the Northern European groups and Japan showed more interests in the quality of personal life than the Chinese groups. The Northern European minds perceive tourism activity and its impacts as being under the control of people but the East Asians consider nature has more control over them.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 1996
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:11
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2018 19:17

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