PERCEPTIONS OF FUTURE EMPLOYEES TOWARD CSR ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES IN TOURISM

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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in tourism, with its central evironmental dimension,
represents an important component for the sustainable growth of the tourism industry. The related
CSR education could prove a major factor for future professional performance in this field of activity.
Thus, this article is aimed at identifying the perceptions of current business students about CSR
(students from study programs dedicated to business administration in tourism) and the importance
they attribute to CSR environmental practices, mainly from their perspective as future employees in
the tourism industry.

We elaborated a research methodology based on the Ecolabelling principles,
designed by the European Union in 2009. Our findings revealed that business tourism students
assign more importance to several specific CSR environmental practices and that the importance of
these CSR practices is statistically significant (we determined this significance by using the Friedman,
Paired-Samples t-, ANOVA, Kruskal–Wallis and Bartlett sphericity statistical tests).

The elaborated research methodology proved to be statistically highly reliable. Results also show the differences
regarding the CSR practices preferred by various categories of students according to their study
levels and gender. Our results pointed out that our third-year bachelor students showed a higher
interest in CSR practices related to their professional training, while students from the master level
degree attached more importance to CSR practices related to the environment. We also confirmed
conclusions of previous studies that female respondents attach more importance to environmental
issues than male respondents. Thus, we can state that a higher level of education is a key factor
that supports CSR development in practice. Also, a significant conclusion of our research is related
to the academic curricula for business faculties which must incorporate solid CSR and business
ethics-dedicated courses and offer the needed support for the development of thematic projects about
CSR Environmental practices in hotels.

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