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Cross-cultural analysis of the ecological behavior of Chilean and Spanish ecotourists: a structural model

Carlota Lorenzo-Romero, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
María-del-Carmen Alarcón-del-Amo, University of Murcia, Spain
Jose-Alberto Crespo-Jareño, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain


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Citizen concern for the environment in light of problems such as freshwater shortages, deforestation, and climate change has been steadily increasing in postmodern societies since the mid-20th century. Ecotourists and their proenvironmental or proecological behavior are still areas of opportunity for research in order to understand the factors, whether economic, cultural, social, demographic, or psychographic, that determine this behavior.
This research uses the value-belief-norm (VBN) theory and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to analyze the intention to practice ecotourism among ecotourists from two countries with different cultures and customs. Based on these premises, the objective of this work is to create a new model that facilitates the understanding of the intention to practice ecotourism, as well as the intention to pay more for it, by comparing ecotourists from two different cultures, Chilean and Spanish, in which the importance of ecotourism is similar.
The data were obtained from a panel of 809 ecotourists (406 Chileans and 403 Spaniards) through partial least squares-structural equation modeling.
The results indicate that the model is a good fit to the data; therefore, the hypotheses were confirmed. Specifically, the construct of conscience in consequences and the construct of personal norms have a strong influence on the intention to practice ecotourism.
The results suggest that the proposed model is a useful framework for understanding the behavioral intention of ecotourists from different countries and their intention to pay more for ecotourism. The cultural differences between the two countries did not affect the causal relations established in the model in any way.

Key words

causal relationships; Chile vs. Spain; cross-cultural studies; ecological behavior; ecotourism; PLS®

Copyright © 2019 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087