Royal Anthropological Institute / Development Studies Association Tourism Research Seminars
SEMINAR SERIES AT THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
Marketing sustainability: greenwashing or greenhushing?
Prof Xavier Font, University of Surrey
Monday 16 January 2016 at 5.30 pm
Tourism and hospitality businesses do not communicate persuasive sustainability messages to their potential clients, because their messages are half hearted legitimisation attempts that lack substance and do not use compelling communication methods, for two main reasons: greenwashing resulting from overclaiming their sustainability practices, and greenhushing from deliberately playing down their achievements for fear that customers will react negatively. This presentation will use evidence from hotels, cruise lines and tour operations to discuss why the tourism industry struggles so much to engage with their customer base and what can be done about it.
Dr Xavier Font is professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey. He develops methods of sustainable tourism production and consumption for the tourism and hospitality industries. He has conducted around 100 courses for more than 1500 businesses on how to market and communicate sustainability, see www.travindy.com. He is the most published academic in the world in sustainable tourism certification, having consulted on this subject for UNEP, UNCTAD, UNWTO, IFC, EC, VisitEngland, Fáilte Ireland, WWF and the Travel Foundation amongst others.