Restaurant Sector’s Approach to Sustainable Tourism : Moving Beyond Compliance
Maria Victoria P. Tibon

Abstract
The tourism industry includes hotels, resorts, other forms of accommodations, restaurants, tour and travel agencies, transport operators and handicraft shops. The threat of environmental damage goes with its growth. Focusing on the small and medium-sized restaurants, this study looks into the efforts exerted by the restaurant sector to reduce the environmental impact of its processes. Two hundred forty (240) small and medium sized restaurants were surveyed to determine their level of implementation of environmental activities. Results show that the level of implementation is high. Their average responses were also subjected to a cluster analysis using Ward’s method, a hierarchical clustering procedure. A four cluster solution was derived, identifying four different groups of small and medium sized restaurants on the basis of environmental strategies. The lowest levels of environmental strategies are to be found in the “active” group followed by the “constructive” group, the “leading edge” and the highest levels are the “environmentally excellent” group. These groups are proactive types. They are proactive, largely because of voluntary environmental responsibility and not because of government regulation. It is evident from the study that the restaurant sector has gone beyond compliance in its approach to sustainability.

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