Abstract

Cruise tourism is on its way to becoming the new mass tourism and hospitality product. However, existing research on the sustainability of the cruise industry reveals that negative impacts often outweigh the positive. Criticism includes for example, unequal distribution of economic benefits, environmental pollution and unfair working conditions, the latter being an issue that is also relevant to the wider hospitality industry. While previous research mainly focuses on the economic and environmental impacts of ocean cruising and how these can be managed by the industry and destinations alike, it is not known whether cruise tourists acknowledge any responsibility to maximize the positive impacts and mitigate the negative impacts of their cruise holiday. Based on a blogpost-analysis conducted in a travel blog community of more than 200,000 members, the study sought to understand whether cruise tourists reflect on the sustainability of their holiday. Findings reveal that cruise tourists reflect upon the sustainability of their cruise, but do so unconsciously and largely superficially. However, this article argues that an examination of these limited reflections reveals insight that can be used to develop more effective ways to encourage passengers to be critically aware of industry practices, foster a social conscience and possibly advocate for a more sustainable cruise industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
JournalHospitality and Society
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • blog posts
  • Cruise tourism
  • sustainable tourism
  • othering
  • environmental impact
  • Social Impact
  • discourse
  • Online discourse
  • Tourist reflexivity
  • Social media
  • Blogpost analysis
  • Sustainability
  • Emotional labour
  • 'Othering'

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  • Activities

    • 2 Invited talk

    Benefits and challenges of developing a sustainable cruise destination

    Clare Weeden (Presenter)

    8 Jan 2020

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Ethical issues in the cruise industry: Personal reflections

    Clare Weeden (Presenter)

    15 Feb 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

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