Is Green Marketing a Label for Ecotourism? The Romanian Experience
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The focus on sustainability represents the key to the tourism industry today. Green marketing was constantly on the agenda of local authorities and started to be a subject of interest for Academia too, but it was very little approached in the Eastern European
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The focus on sustainability represents the key to the tourism industry today. Green marketing was constantly on the agenda of local authorities and started to be a subject of interest for Academia too, but it was very little approached in the Eastern European countries, especially in the tourism studies. This article describes the presence of green marketing in Romanian ecotourism and its impact on tourist’s perception. Due to its natural landscapes and tourist attractions, Romanian ecotourism can take advantage of green marketing practices and promote tourism products based on the new preference of the tourists for sustainable activities. However, there is a lack of legislative framework regarding green labeling that can effect in the long term the destination brand. The main objective of the present article is to give an overview image of the online presence of the Romanian ecotourist accommodation units that applied for the Eco-label provided by the ECO-Romania Association. The study describes how these establishments use green marketing practices and if their guests perceive the green image too. The methodology of the study consists of a qualitative analysis of the primary data obtained by the authors from the websites of ECO Romania Association, TripAdvisor platform and accommodation units. The results show a high interest of the accommodation units from the ecotourism field for green marketing practices which is also perceived by tourists. The tendency of tourism stakeholders to apply for an accreditation system provided by non-governmental organization instead of choosing a European accreditation shows the impact of such a national initiative and emphasizes the need to develop a legal framework for green ecotourism practices.