Impacts of Participation in Socially Responsible Tourism on T ...

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Socially responsible tourism (SRT), a viable alternative to mass tourism, promotes local communities. SRT evolved from sustainable tourism and ecotourism when the original focus on the environment expanded to include a concern for the well-being of local communities. Past studies have shown that ecotourism has the ability to change tourists’ behavior and attitudes, ultimately benefiting endangered ecosystems. Further research has investigated socioeconomic benefits that result from SRT for local communities visited. However, research has yet to examine if SRT has the ability to change tourists’ attitudes and behavior regarding communities they visit. The present case study applies Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to examine change in tourist attitudes and behavior as a result of participating in a socially responsible tour to the Ecuadorian Amazon with Amazon Watch. Social responsibility was implemented into the tour with the intention to create attitudes and behavior in tour participants that would result in advocacy for local communities visited. The study revealed that participation in the socially responsible tour resulted in participants advocating for the communities they visited while on the tour by integrating their insights from the tour into their professional endeavors.