National park visitors’ car-use intention: A norm-neutralization model
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Authors: Zhang, H., Chen, W., Zhang, Y., Buhalis, D. and Lu, L.
Journal: Tourism Management
Reducing private car use is an efficient way to promote the sustainable development of national parks. However, many visitors persist in using their cars, even when they are aware of the environmental damage it causes. This study proposed a norm-neutralization model to investigate why national park visitors persist in car-based trips by partially integrating the theory of planned behavior, the norm-activation model, and neutralization theory. The results indicated that neutralization techniques can effectively reduce the effects of social norms and attitudes on car-based trip intention in a conflicting-norm context. The strongest predictors of behavior intention were attitudes toward the behavior while neutralization techniques were the second strongest. The effect of pro-driving norms showed a significant reduction when neutralization techniques were added, but pro-environmental norms did not have a significant effect on behavior intention. Practical and theoretical implications, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.