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Understanding tourists’ reactance to the threat of a loss of freedom to travel due to climate change: a new alternative approach to encouraging nuanced behavioural change.This article proposes that reactance theory can be used to better understand how tourists’ perceptions of climate change affect their travel decisions. Reactance theory explains how individuals value their perceived freedom to make choices, and why they react negatively to any threats to their freedom. We study the psychological consequences of threatening tourist’s freedoms, using a range of projective techniques: directly, using photo expression, and indirectly, through collage, photo-interviewing and scenarios. We find that reactance theory helps to explain the extent of travel to two destinations: Svalbard and Venice, providing a nuanced understanding of how travellers restore their freedom to travel through three incremental stages: denying the climate change threat , reducing tensions arising from travel and heightening demand particularly for the most visibly threatened destinations. The theory suggests a fourth stage, helplessness, reached when consumers dismiss the value of destinations once they can no longer be enjoyed, but for which we, as yet, have no data. Reactance theory questions the validity of awareness raising campaigns as behavioural change vehicles, provides alternative explanations of why the most self-proclaimed, environmentally aware individuals travel frequently, and helps identify nuanced, socially acceptable forms of sustainability marketing, capable of reducing resistance to change.
Values and motivations in tourist perceptions of last-chance tourismTourists’ perceptions of climate change affect decisions and choices to visit destinations, which are disappearing because of climate change impacts. Values and motivations are two of the personal variables underpinning tourists’ decisions. The study addresses both the limited values research in tourism and reveals unconscious motives by using projective techniques. Projective techniques avoid some of the social desirability bias present in much ethical research. Choice ordering technique and the list of values assist by assigning importance, with narrative responses providing meaning. The construction technique builds a story from a stimulus, with photo-elicitation using participants’ personal holiday photographs. A sample of pre, during and post visit tourists to the Arctic and Venice were interviewed. Results, which provide a more nuanced understanding of how the personal variables of values and motivations are underpinned by selfinterest, inform policies and the messages designed to influence pro-sustainability behaviour.