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The Value of Sustainable Tourism Destinations in the Eyes of Visitors

Annalisa Stacchini 1,* , Andrea Guizzardi 2 and Michele Costa 3
Department of Economics, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Department of Statistical Sciences “Paolo Fortunati” and Center for Advanced Studies on Tourism, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Department of Economics and Center for Advanced Studies on Tourism, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
For correspondence.
Academic Editor: Deborah Edwards
Highlights Sustain. 2022, 1(3), 202–223.
Received: 2 August 2022    Accepted: 7 September 2022    Published: 8 September 2022
The first objective of this study is to analyze visitors’ perceived value of four Italian small areas, that have been granted the European Regional Development Fund’s financing for developing sustainable tourism. The second objective of this work is to investigate the influences of socio-demographic and trip-related characteristics on the tourists’ assessments of the main aspects of such destinations, for detecting variables useful for market segmentation and for designing better-targeted marketing actions. These areas host protected natural reserves, historical heritage, rural or mountain traditions, and ways of life, the conservation of which is combined with local economic growth through the development of green, cultural, and slow tourism. Thus, insights on how visitors’ perceived value is configured there might provide hints useful for upgrading the local tourism supply consistently with the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the European Green Deal Strategy. Results confirm that the perceived value is a fundamental construct, as it strongly and positively influences satisfaction, intention to recommend, and destination image. The value of sustainable destinations, as perceived by visitors, is mainly based on the affective benefits that sustainable experiences provide, starting from positive social interactions making tourists feel welcomed. The tourist segment valorizing sustainable destinations is mostly composed of old people and low-income travelers, who seek basic services and facilities, as their satisfaction depends mainly on relaxing immersed in pristine nature.
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Copyright © 2022 Stacchini et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use and distribution provided that the original work is properly cited.
This work was supported by the European Regional Development Fund under Grant Rep.10 Prot.n.52.
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ACS Style
Stacchini, A.; Guizzardi, A.; Costa, M. The Value of Sustainable Tourism Destinations in the Eyes of Visitors. Highlights Sustain. 2022, 1, 202–223. https://doi.org/10.54175/hsustain1030015
APA Style
Stacchini, A., Guizzardi, A., & Costa, M. (2022). The Value of Sustainable Tourism Destinations in the Eyes of Visitors. Highlights of Sustainability, 1(3), 202–223. https://doi.org/10.54175/hsustain1030015
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