Document Type : Original Article
Department of Tourism, Faculty of Human sciences, Science and Arts University, Yazd, Iran
Introduction: The contrast of the organization's environmental performance with the green image presented is examples of greenwashing. Greenwashing in eco-lodges (which were created with the aim of developing sustainable tourism), has wide consequences for the environment, industry, tourists and other stakeholders; Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the factors affecting greenwashing in these eco-lodges in order to control the problem. According to the qualitative research of Doosti-Irani et al. (2022) factors affecting greenwashing into three categories can be divided: 1. causal factors (motivation to take advantage of the short-term benefits of green including image improvement, increasing market share, attracting capital, winning the trust of stakeholders, economic efficiency and competitive advantage), 2. Background (weakness of the internal environment (individual psychological triggers) , the weakness of environmental knowledge) and the weakness of the external environment (weakness of informing relevant departments, the weakness of supervision)), 3. The moderator (tourist's environmental feedback); But due to the limited resources, in order to plan more precisely and control greenwashing, a quantitative test of these relationships is necessary; Therefore, in the current research, the effect of the mentioned factors on green washing in the eco-lodges of Isfahan province was tested.
Methods: The research has a comparative approach, practical orientation, philosophical foundations of positivism, quantitative methodology and survey strategy. Data collection was done in the field and through a closed questionnaire. The conceptual framework and measurement indicators of the research variables are from the qualitative research of Doosti-Irani et al. (2022) was adapted. The formal and content validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by experts. Internal and external validity, and reliability (Cronbach's alpha, composite reliability and factor loadings) of the measuring instrument were also calculated and confirmed. Sampling was also done by a simple random method from the statistical population of managers of eco-lodges in Isfahan province and the data was analyzed using partial least squares structural equations.
Results and discussion: The findings of the research showed that background factors have a direct positive effect and environmental feedback has a direct and indirect negative effect (due to background factors) on greenwashing, but the effect of causal factors and the moderating effect of environmental feedback (on the effect of causal factors on greenwashing) is not significant. Therefore, it is necessary to try to receive environmental feedback from guest tourists in eco-lodges. It is also recommended that tourism planners and officials focus on reducing the background weaknesses. In this regard, the following solutions can be fruitful: increasing supervision, improving information and training of managers of eco-lodges regarding issues such as environmental considerations, the consequences of failure in this field and its effect on the long-term success of the eco-lodge in attracting tourists.
Conclusion: the findings of the research show the fact that eco-lodges do not practice greenwashing in order to take advantage of the green benefits, but the underlying weaknesses cause them to be negligent in fulfilling their environmental obligations. On the other hand, more feedback from tourists makes relevant agencies and environmental activists more aware, as well as managers of eco-lodges, and this sensitivity leads to improving performance and reducing background weaknesses and reducing greenwashing. Therefore, according to the results of the research, were provided some practical suggestions to the officials and planners of the industry. The main axis of these suggestions are: increasing the awareness of the managers of eco-lodges, increasing the environmental monitoring of the activities of these accommodations, encouraging and reminding about the environmental sustainability of eco-lodges, and focusing on strengthening the environmental feedback of tourists (through Encouraging sharing of opinions, rating the green performance of accommodation and adjusting demand again based on environmental performance).