School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal Studies, MSc in Environmental Management and Sustainability
This dissertation was written as part of the MSc in Sustainable Development at the International Hellenic University. The thesis examines the concept of seasonality in tourism, focusing on Greece, its drivers and its impacts on the accommodation sector and local communities. Furthermore, methods/actions that can be applied to prolong the high-demand period are proposed. Also, stakeholders’ perception towards the implementation of “green policies” and eco-businesses is analyzed.
A mixed-method approach was chosen, which combines qualitative and quantitative data. First, interviews from owners/managers were taken, and then a questionnaire, based on their answers, was designed to capture residents’ opinions towards this phenomenon. The results showed that weather is believed to be the main driver of seasonality, as the country offers mainly 3S (sea, sand and sun) experience. Moreover, negative changes in the average weather conditions have been noticed. With respect to actions, the majority of hotels use the method of the package offer for business and leisure travelers to extend the season and attract travelers, while local authorities are not active in promoting their regions. Another interesting finding is that all businesses claim that are environmentally sensitive and apply “green policies”, but they are not interested in being certified, thus no clear relationship between attitudes and actions was found. On the other hand, responders demand more sustainable operations and agree that they prefer eco-businesses. Consequently the study shows that establishments must be informed about the benefits they can acquire if they decide to certify their business, and that public and private sector must combine their forces to reduce seasonality.