Back in Early June, Andrew Hares was awarded his PhD due to some minor changes. His examiners commended Andrew on his research and were impressed by the quality of the thesis.
Andrew’s thesis was titled “Tourist understanding of and engagement with the climate change impacts of holidays” and a brief description is included below:
The research study examined tourists’ understanding of and engagement with climate change. Holidays were treated as a social practice, in which the type of holiday, destination and transport mode are considered integral to the holiday package. The aim of the study was to analyse the role that the climate change impacts of holidays play in the decisions of tourists in order to develop a conceptual framework of the barriers to behavioural change. A mixed methods strategy was employed, based on a sequential exploratory design. The results of focus group research in the initial qualitative stage of data collection and analysis were used in the formulation of a questionnaire survey adopted in the second quantitative stage of the study.
The findings of the research indicate that levels of awareness of the impacts of air travel on climate change are high, but awareness and understanding of other ways that holidays contribute to climate change is low. Climate change impacts do not feature in the thoughts of the vast majority of tourists when they are planning their holidays, and only a very small minority of respondents in the questionnaire survey said that they think about the impacts their holidays have on climate change. Although there were high levels of awareness of the impacts of air travel on climate change, this did not manifest in tourists’ attitudes towards behavioural change. The majority of tourists were strongly resistant to changing their holiday and travel behaviour for climate change reasons. A number of barriers to action are prevalent which lock tourists in to current hypermobile holiday lifestyles and prevent them from adopting less carbon-intensive holiday practices. The research discovered that the most salient barriers to behavioural change in a holiday context are a combination of internal, external and structural constraints.
Andrew commented on the experience “The PhD was a very challenging journey, but the satisfaction at the end is huge. To have a successful and enjoyable viva, and for the examiners to compliment me on both the quality of my written thesis and oral defence, makes the whole experience worthwhile.”
Congratulations to Andrew on this achievement.