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Contributing to sustainable tourism models. The feasibility study of the Craik’s ecovillage in Scotland

Cannas, Rita (2012): Contributing to sustainable tourism models. The feasibility study of the Craik’s ecovillage in Scotland.

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Abstract

In the last decades, sustainable tourism models have become a key topic in the academic debate, as well as in policy makers’ strategies. Within the tourism industry, there is an emerging need to match the expectations of a new and consistent niche of tourists, who increasingly demand tourism accommodation facilities with ecological features. The arising of the eco-consumers keeps opening today economic opportunities for businesses. The paper analyses the economic and social feasibility of Craik, an ecovillage project in a remote area of Scotland, which aims to adopt sustainability practices in every aspect of its tourism facilities (e.g. low carbon building; use of green energy; wastewater treatment). The study is divided in three main parts: the first adopt a marketing perspective in order to investigate the demand and the supply of the international ecotourism market; the second analyses the market of high quality lodge accommodation in Scotland and the Borders; the third explores the potential outcomes of the project in terms of revenues, number of employees and partnerships with local businesses. The paper concludes that the Craik’s ecovillage project could represent a challenging opportunity to experiment with a new model of sustainable tourism accommodation in Scotland. However, final recommendations suggest the need to rethink the product in terms of ecolodge design, to provide high quality furnishing products and a detailed profile of potential customers, as well as the need to identify specific marketing strategies that could effectively match tourists’ expectations.

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