Sustainable Travel on YouTube: Discussion and Perception : How do YouTube travel vlogs discuss sustainable travel? How are they perceived?

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för organisation och entreprenörskap (OE)

Abstract: The objective of this study is to explore how YouTube travel vlogs discuss sustainable travel and how they are perceived. By using framing analysis, the research codes are based on the three pillars of sustainability; economic, environmental, and social. Specifically, in the tourism contexts, this research seeks to identify narratives referring to local accommodations, restaurants, and shops, cultural, historical, and interactions with local communities, and finally, nature appreciation, use of environmental materials, and transportation. To understand perception 20 interviews are completed with an even split of female and male millennials. This paper concludes YouTube travel vlogs discuss sustainable travel indirectly and minimally. Economic and environmental codes were relatively easiest to identify in comparison to social codes. The varying definitions of social sustainability prove challenging to pinpoint in the coding process. Although there is a growing awareness of sustainable travel, ‘popular’ YouTube influencers are slow to adapt and add elements of sustainability to their messaging, yet perception levels were higher than expected. It proves important to increase sustainable travel messages among ‘popular’ social media influencers.

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