Understanding drivers for, and barriers to green jobs in the tourism sector: a case study of Rafsanjan, Iran

Hoseinifirouzabadi, Elahe (2019) Understanding drivers for, and barriers to green jobs in the tourism sector: a case study of Rafsanjan, Iran. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Jobs have a meaningful role in every economy, and tourism is one of the most significant drivers of economic growth. Although the process of transition to a green economy and green jobs has already started in various industries, participation in this respect among tourism workers and professionals in direct, indirect and induced jobs is comparatively low. To explore the reason for such a low participation rate, this study adopted a qualitative method case study approach. This method facilitated an in-depth investigation of the reasons behind the low participation rate. Specifically, the research methods utilised were semi-structured interviews and self-interviewing. Participants included 21 workers and professionals holding tourism-related jobs in Rafsanjan, Kerman, Iran. The findings suggested that older workers and professionals are more understanding of the environmental effect of their jobs. They more readily complied with environmental rules and educated others as to the importance of applying them. They are willing to participate in greening their current jobs for the benefit of the area in which they live. Younger workers and professionals, however, find it more difficult to alter their job process into a more environmentally-friendly way. Despite these differences, the drivers for participating in greening the jobs were the same: financial opportunities and constraints, and the government’s attitude to supporting environmentally friendly policies and regulations. The lack of knowledge, technology and standards, the lack of management, policies and plans, the lack of support and ignorance are the key barriers for participants to do their jobs sustainably. Participants predominantly highlighted external drivers and barriers as being important. However, internal drivers and barriers were also identified in some of the participants’ responses. These included openness to new ideas, and willingness to adopt sustainable environmental policies. Internal barriers to greening jobs were more prominent. These included inappropriate habits, ignorance, lack of internal motivation, lack of a conscientious attitude among customers, and finally lack of trust in the system. This study also explored the workers’ and professionals’ motivations for working in tourism, which can indicate their mindset about altering their job to be eco-friendlier. The results show that younger people working in this industry chose their job because of personal interest and to be in contact with people. Professional and older workers stated that their main reasons for working in the tourism industry are that they regard it as a valuable job and they like to be in touch with nature. Both groups mentioned that unreasonable criticism, ignorant people and government are their main reasons for resenting tourism-based jobs. The barriers to working in tourism posed by tourism jobs are similar to the barriers of greening such jobs. This suggests that making tourism jobs more eco-friendly may reduce resentment and dissatisfaction among workers in this sector. These results underscore the need for significant changes in policies, rules, regulations, and strategies that benefit workers and the ecology in which they work. As well, there is a need for a change in the mindset of workers and professionals in tourism, such that they are more aware of their role in saving the environment and begin to take steps to contribute to that. Underestimating the jobs and their effects on the environment is one of the main barriers between young workers and professionals. Adding to that, having the mentality that one is unable to make any change without the government’s assistance, can be one of the main reasons for not taking action to improve job strategies. Training, awareness and knowledge would help workers and professionals realise how they can contribute to creating a more sustainable tourism industry in Rafsanjan, Iran.

Additional Information

Master of Business

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/39472
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Business
Keywords tourism; tourists; economy; sustainability; environmentally-friendly; employment; Rafsanjan; Iran
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login