DOI: 10.3390/su16031050 ISSN: 2071-1050

Greenwashing Behavior in Hotels Industry: The Role of Green Transparency and Green Authenticity

Mansour Alyahia, Alaa M. S. Azazz, Sameh Fayyad, Ibrahim A. Elshaer, Abuelkassem A. A. Mohammad
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Greenwashing has become a pervasive phenomenon in the tourism and hospitality sector, posing significant challenges and potential reputational damage to green hotels. Despite its prevalence, research on mitigating greenwashing’s influence on guest trust and behavior remains limited. This study addresses this gap by investigating the moderating roles of green authenticity (GA) and green transparency (GTR) in the relationship between greenwashing and guest green trust (GT), ultimately influencing patronage intentions (PI) towards green hotels. Employing a quantitative approach, the study utilized a questionnaire survey administered to 309 participants, capturing their experiences with green hotels. Subsequent structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis in Smart PLS 4 confirmed several key findings. Firstly, hotel greenwashing negatively impacted green trust and subsequent patronage intentions, encompassing both intentions to stay (IS) at green hotels and willingness to pay a premium (WPP) for green hotels. Secondly, the study established green trust as a significant mediator in the greenwashing–patronage relationship. Most importantly, the analysis revealed the crucial moderating roles of both green authenticity and green transparency. Increased perceptions of GA and GTR significantly attenuated the negative influence of greenwashing on green trust and, consequently, strengthened the positive relationship between GT and PI. These findings suggest that fostering genuine environmentally friendly practices and ensuring clear communication of sustainability efforts can effectively counteract the detrimental effects of greenwashing on green-hotel patronage. The study’s implications extend to practical considerations for green-hotel managers, offering insights into preventive measures to diminish the adverse effects of greenwashing, thereby contributing to the long-term sustainability of their operations.

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