Dr. Eslam Ahmed Fathy Fathy

Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt.




Purpose: The current study aims to investigate the internal and external barriers of environmental practices.

Design/methodology/approach: It has employed a mixed method approach with the choice of semi-structured interviewees and questionnaires to collect the main research data. Firstly, a total of 42 interviews were analyzed to explore the main internal and external barriers to environmental practices application. Secondly, the questionnaire has been developed based on the qualitative' findings and literature, and a total of 255 valid questionnaires were analyzed by SEM distributed among hotel managers in four and five-star hotels in Egypt.

Findings: Results of the path analysis indicated that barriers of the internal barriers (staff capabilities SC, attitude of top management ATM and cost consideration CC respectively and external barriers (Guest attitude GA) have a positive impact on environmental practices application intention EPAint. Also, the EPAint significant mediate the relationship among SC, ATM , CC, GA and environmental practices Adoption EPA.




Also, this study provides an inclusive investigation of environmental practices barriers in hotel industry. Also, it offers strategies to overcome these barriers.

Theoretical implications:

The SC, ATM, CC and GA can limit the environmental practice applications. Also, the EPAint can enhance the SC, ATM , CC, and GA affects on EPA.

Practical Implications:

The study suggested practical implications to enable them to cope the environmental practices barriers, such as incorporate environmental and rewarding organizational culture in hotel operating strategies and philosophies, hiring eco employees, theoretical and practical training by using smart phone applications and social media should conduct to employees and guests. Also, the government authorities should offers incentive to environmental hotel such as free customs of environmental devices and marketing environmental hotels.

Research limitations and future researches: The future comparative studies can be conducted between the hospitality sectors, grades and management style.

Keywords: internal barriers, external barriers, Hotel, environmental practices application.



There has been a growing global trend over the recent decades concerning implementing sustainability in order to preserve the environment (Hauschild, Jeswiet and Alting 2005). A concern for the environmental problems has been progressively escalated. Customers, as well as hotels, are recognizing the seriousness of facing the ecological environment degradation and its consequences. Thus, the hospitality business adopts the environmental practices to limit the negative effects of hospitality activities to conserve the natural resources which are a vital asset of hospitality industry development, success and survival. In addition, the hospitality sector consumes a large quantity of natural resources such as water and energy. On the other hand, it generates large quantities of waste that negatively affects the natural resources (Erdogan and Baris, 2007; Rahman, Reynolds, and Svaren, 2012; de Burgos-Jimenez, Cano-Guillen and Cespedes-Lorenter, 2002).


Moreover, hotels are concerned to balance between the environmental issues and customer service regarding the consumption of natural resources such as water and energy (Hsieh, 2012; Jones, Hillier, and Comfort, 2014). Peny (2007) also stated that many hospitality businesses that have sought to apply green practices are not actually motivated by environmental ethics, concern to environmental issues, but for their selfish purposes such as cost-cutting, and profit which hinders the hotel from reaching the ideal level of environmental performance. Moreover, many hotels describe themselves as GREEN as a cynical trick to gain competitive advantages, and improve their corporate image. The hotel managers focus their priorities on profit disregarding environmental concerns (Chen et al. 2009). Han and Kim (2010) agreed there is a difficulty to balance between environmental practices and guest experience since a hotel consumes large amount of natural resources to comfort and enhance the guest experience. This creates obstacles, particularly in developed countries such as Egypt.

The priorities of sustainable development are globally increasing especially in the tourism and hospitality fields to meet the tourists' and host communities' needs (Lu and Nepal, 2009). The hotel industry has benefited from environmental initiatives either by utilizing resources efficiently, saving energy, reducing costs, improving the image of social responsibility (Hsiao and Chung, 2016). All the above, attract researchers to conduct researches on environmental practices to provide a valuable contribution to hospitality industry.

The majority of environmental studies have been conducted in the Western context (Ayuso, 2007; Chung and Parker, 2008; Tzschentke, Kirk, and Lynch 2008; Sharma, 2009; Baker, Davis, and Weaver, 2014, Chan, Okumus, Chan, 2015), while the hospitality industry in Egypt has a limited number of researches that discuss with the barriers of environmental practices adoption. Due to the different level of cultural and environmental awareness of the parties involved, it was difficult to generalize the results in the Egyptian hospitality industry. Therefore, the researcher is studying the barriers that prevent the adoption of environmental practices in the Egyptian hospitality industry.

The Globe is facing ecological deterioration and lack of natural resources, which are the basic elements of the hotels' product. Moreover, Egypt is suffering water shortage. Also, the hotel environmental practices in Egypt are still limited, due to the diversity of barriers (internal and external) that prevent or restrict hotels to the optimum level of environmental performance. Consequently, hotels do not sufficiently benefit from global environmental initiatives. In order to overcome these obstacles, it is necessary to clearly identify the barriers and develop a plan to overcome them.

The main purpose of this study is to model the barriers of environmental practices implementation in Egyptian hotels. Firstly, identify and recognize the internal, and external barriers related to environmental application. Secondly, develop a conceptual model to assess the relationship between the barriers and environmental practices in hotels. finally, develop implications to overcome the barriers of environmental practices application to improve the environmental practices in Egyptian hospitality industry.

Finally, the discussion will interpret the study findings, offer theoretical and practical implications, and the limitations and suggestions for future researches.


Literature review:

Barriers of environmental practices adoption:

Since the 1990s, the academics and researches have focused on classifying the environmental adaptation barriers in various patterns. Some authors classified the barriers into industry barriers and organizational barriers (Post and Altman, 1994), but the other authors classified the barriers into internal barriers and external barriers (Hillary, 2004; Chan, 2008; Shi et al., 2008), which the current study used and integrated among two classifications.


Internal environmental barriers:

Internal environmental barriers are internal factors (staff capabilities, managers' attitude, owners' attitude, cost consideration, resources, daily operations) which have the most significant role in hindering environmental practices adoption, but can be controlled by assigning the necessary resources, and set action plan to overcome (Chan, 2008, Chan et. al.; 2015).


Staff capabilities SC:

The high cost of training and qualifying employees is one of the most serious hindrances to implement the environmental practices. In addition, the limited training in environmental issues (Penny, 2007) creates distrust among staff, does not motivate to staff desire to implement environmental practices and resistance behavior to environmental behavior, due to requiring extra time and effort to modify additional environmental practices to cope with their normal duties which in return affects staff performance (Yusof and Jamaludin, 2013). Moreover, there are other obstacles reported by Quazi (1999); the whole employees are not involved and environmental responsibilities of staff are not identified. Thus, H1: The staff capabilities affect the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Physical limitations PL:

Chan et al. (2015) believe that the hotel location, building, building age, facilities and available space are barriers, particularly, the old buildings. For example, it's difficult to install solar panels on the hotel roof that may be used for other hotel activities. The adoption of environmental practices may require modifications in hotels' facilities and utilities (Ustad, 2010). Accordingly, the H2: the physical limitation affects the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Attitude of top Management ATM:

There is no doubt that the hotel managers' awareness play a key role on staff commitment in pursuing and adopting environmental practices for long-term success (Stone et al., 2004; Esty and Winston, 2006). Also, there are many reasons to consider top management as a source of obstacles. Firstly, there are some managers are still thinking in traditional ways, (Brown, 1996). Secondly, they don't seek to charge owners other financial burdens, implement low cost environmental initiatives that don't require the owners' approval (Gore, 1992). Thirdly, they do not wish to bear other administrative burdens, and integrate the environmental practices into the hotel strategy (Donovan and McElligott, 2000), requires too much effort to incorporate into their daily tasks (Tzschentke et al. 2008). Fourthly, Brown (1996) pointed out that managers wouldn't have the motivation to implement environmental practices. Finally, Dief and Font (2010) supported that hotel managers' fear of environmental practices that contradict the needs and desires of guests. Thus, H3: The attitude of top management affects the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Cost consideration CC:

According to a study conducted by Legrand, Winkelmann, Sloan, and Kaufmann (2014), the cost is the first barrier in environmental adoption which is also echoed in a study by (Yusof, Jamaludin 2014). There is no doubt that the comparatively high cost of developing and adopting environmental practices is due to the high cost of equipment, maintenance  and green products (Yusof, Jamaludin 2014; Fathy, 2018) that result in management reluctance towards environmental adoption (Chan, 2008). Thus, H4: The high costs of adopting environmental practices affect the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Lack of Resources LR:

Yusof, Jamaludin (2014) pointed out that there is a shortage in the required resources to implement environmental practices such as trained manpower and environmental equipment. Staff time is regarded as another obstacle to adopt the environmental practices, this is due to the extra time consumed in additional operational procedures, and training time (Ayuso, 2006). Chan (2008) stated that another significant obstacle is the lack of environmental consulting; hotels' managers find a difficulty in finding environmental experts to assist them (Chan, 2008). Thus, H5: The lack of resources affects the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Daily Operations DO:

Kemp, Schot, and Hoogma (1998) noted that the adoption of new environmental practices leads to increasing staff workload that negatively affects performance, system, guests' service. Hence, H6: The daily operation affect the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Attitude of owners:

Tzschentke et al (2008) believe that limited awareness and knowledge amongst hotels' owners of their environmental issues, compounded by a perceived lack of support, resources, and have widely been identified as a major obstacle to adopt the environmental practices. Owners may reject managers' proposal for adopting environmental practices because they are inherently cost-driven and worry about potential guest complaints (Chan et al., 2015). Thus, H7: The attitude of owners affects the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


External environmental barriers:

Hillary (2004) indicated that external barriers are factors out of hotel control, related to environmental regulations, governmental bodies, and guests' attitude cannot be directly controlled by the hotel, and impede directly the implementation of environmental strategies.


Environmental legalization EL:

The absence of the government role and the environmental legislations and their enforcement are obstacles that hinder the implementation of environmental practices in hotels (Wan, Chan and Huang; 2017). The government forces a mechanism that employs pressure on the hotel operation to become an environmental one (Rivera, Oetzel, deLeon, and Starik; 2009). Thus, H8: The environmental legislations affect the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Governmental bodies GB:

The government gives more inducement to hotels to adopt the environmental policies and strategies (Zhu, and Sarkis, 2006; Noor, Siti, Nabsiah, 2013), but in case that the government fails to play its supportive, legislative and regulatory roles in addition to its inability to enforce the environmental laws and regulations, it will be an obstacle to adopt the environmental practices in hotels (Arimura, Hibiki and Katayama, 2008).

1.     Lack of government financial support  and Environmental criteria are not included as a basic legal requirement for hotels appraising (Maasoud, Fayad, El-Fadel and Kamleh 2009),

2.     Lack of government pressure (Delmas and Toffel, 2003),

3.     Non-enforcement of environmental regulations by the government (Rivera et al., 2009),

4.     The complexity of licensing procedures to modify hotel premises to meet environmental standards (Chan, et al., 2015).

Hence, H9: the role of environmental bodies affects the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


Guest attitude GA:

According to Graci  and Dodds (2008), the guest plays a more vital role in adopting the environmental practices than other stakeholders. Chan, et al. (2015) stated that guest may be unconcerned with environmental issues; they may be disturbed by some environmental practices, such as energy saving in air-conditioners sensors, utilizing water-saving shower heads in guest bathrooms, and power saving devices, recycled paper, and soap dispensers. They believe the environmental practices conflict with their comfort and enjoyment, hinder the pampering and luxury experience and decrease quality standard (Bondanowicz and Martinac, 2003). This explains why some hotels don't adopt or delay the adoption of environmental practices to maintain the guest satisfaction, and wait for the increase of the green guests market (Butler 2008). Moreover, Manaktola and Johari (2007) showed that, if the guests accept to stay in eco-friendly hotels, they are not enthusiastic to pay extra fees for environmental practices. The luxury customer market is only willing to pay the value of environmental practices (Wan, Chan and Huang; 2017). Thus, H10: The guest attitude affects the environmental practices application intention EPAint.


In this study, we will test the mediation effects of the EPAint between the staff capabilities SC, attitude on top management ATM, cost consideration CC, guest attitude GA and environmental practices adoption EPA. Thus, the proposed model representing the research hypotheses is shown in Figure 1.

H11: The EPAint mediate the relationship between the staff capabilities SC and the environmental practices adoption EPA.

H12: The EPAint mediate the relationship between the attitude on top management ATM and environmental practices adoption EPA.

H13: The EPAint mediate the relationship between guest attitude GA and the environmental practices adoption EPA.

H14: The EPAint mediate the relationship between the cost consideration CC and the environmental practices adoption EPA.



Mixed method:

There are several benefits to use the mixed method, among them is to sequentially generating and testing theory (Greene, Caracelli and Graham, 1989). Thus, the current study applied the Exploratory Sequential design (qual → QUAN’ research design) to study an unknown research problem for the researcher and does not have sufficient information help him to understand the questions should be supposed to assess the variables that should be involved in our investigation, how these variables are related. This is because the field of research is new or has not been investigated in current study sample (Myers and Oetzel, 2003). Therefore, an exploratory study is often preferred to identify such variables, and to gain a better understanding of the questions, factors, theories, and other matters of interest that the researcher may study. After the exploratory study, a quantitative research can be carried out to test what the researcher learned from the previous exploratory phase (descriptive / qualitative) and try to generalize the results (Creswell, 2009). The study also employs both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. Firstly, the study used the qualitative research approach to formulate the questionnaire items and self – in –depth interview with hotel senior managers. Secondly, the quantitative approach is applied by distributing the questionnaire to test the study hypotheses. 


Research approach and sampling method

The objective of this study is to determine the barriers of adoption environmental practices in four and five-star in Egypt. The 330 questionnaires forms were distributed to all senior hotels’ managers and hotel's environmental team,  because they have the power to direct and supervise hotels, they also have a vital role in supporting eco-friendly actions in hotels' strategy (Chan and Hawkins, 2010).

Figure. 1. The Conceptual model and the research hypotheses



Qualitative study:

Firstly, a researcher has explored how sample describe the main environmental barriers by starting with conducting 42 semi-structured questions Interviews with hotels' senior managers.  The qualitative results have identified the ten EPA barriers into seven internal and three external environmental practices barriers. Therefore, it suggest mediation role of EPAint between barriers and EPA can added to current study. Then, the researcher uses interviews' results to develop a questionnaire that is distributed later in the second stage to a study sample.

The interview is composed of three parts. Firstly, to increase the trustful, informal environmental, lead to encourage the participants to answer comfortably, the interview began with warming up section that involves the study aims and demographic data. Moreover, the researcher explained the collected data employed to scientific purposes, ensuring their confidentiality, and anonymity. Secondly, the researcher conducted interviews about environmental implementation barriers in hotel industry. Finally, interviews were closed with appreciative statements that purpose beneficial suggestions. There are factors take in consideration to raise effectiveness such as time control, voice tone, movement, posture, non-bias, Non-bias, and avoid the disapproval of respondents' answers. Besides, the researcher has respondents' permission to record their conversations, to avoid interruption the participants. The researcher has controlled the interviews in current issues and ignored all inappropriate issues in a wisely and courtesy manner. After 42 interviews, the researcher recognized that the data became saturated and that the respondents' answers did not add any valuable contributions to the results. The NVIVO software was used to analysis the recorded conversations and transcription. The interviews were coded from (INT1 till INT42).


Questionnaire development and data collection:

The questionnaire was developed in four phases. Firstly, the researcher conducted 42 in-depth interviews with hotel senior managers to explore and identify the categories of barriers of environmental practices both internal and external barriers, and proposed the internal barriers and external barriers subcategories. Secondly, the researcher developed the questionnaire items from literature review (Chan, 2008; Noor et al., 2013) Chan, et al. 2015; Wan et al., 2017). Thirdly, the questionnaire was sent to four environmental experts to test the validity of questionnaire items and they structured the barriers into 61 statements, suggested new items in the questionnaire and eliminated redundant items. Fourthly, the researcher send questionnaires to five hospitality management researchers to pre- test and made comments regarding the readability and measurement validity, the logic flow of questionnaire, rephrasing the questionnaire statements, they deleted repeated statements. Finally, the questionnaire was sent to 10 hotel managers who were carefully selected with Human Resources Managers to examine the easiness of understanding the questionnaire items, and their relevance to the current study. The researcher launched the final version of the questionnaire after amendments. The respondents were asked to rate these items on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. Totally, 300 questionnaires distributed in 5-star hotels, 255 valid questionnaires were obtained to conduct the data analysis, giving a response rate of 85%.


Result analysis and discussion:

Qualitative results:

The qualitative results have used to formulate the main categories of environmental barriers. Moreover, it added the barriers subcategories. Thus, the researcher depends on qualitative results to draw the study hypothesized model.

The majority of respondents' stat that employees have not environmental awareness, knowledge, training, skills, desire and incentive to apply environmental practices (INT 5: INT 37). For example, INT 25" the employees do not apply environmental practices on their own but must be assign as tasks". Also some respondents noted that old hotels are difficult to modify the hotel infrastructure to install solar panel. For example INT 7 "the hotel roof may be occupied as café or other activities".

The majority of respondents acknowledged that hotel GM and department managers have vital role to adopt the environmental practices (INT1: 32) . Thus, the Hotel managers must have the desire and knowledge of environmental practices benefits, ready to assume their financial burdens and efforts to adopt it.  A few number of managers noted that high cost and overcapacity hinder the adoption of environmental practices. "Implementing environmental practices requires additional efforts. Others respondents, for example  INT 17 stated that "the owner will be agree if a detailed feasibility study of environmental adoption benefits provided". Major respondents indicated for example INT 35 "I am afraid to adopt environmental practices that affect customer satisfaction and therefore the hotel's profits and the current guest do not have sufficient environmental awareness".

The minority of respondents stated that owners have an influence in adopting environmental practices by their agreement to budget of adopting the environmental practices. This is due to the awareness of environmental owners and their conviction of the role of environmental practices in reducing costs in the long-term. Also, the minority of respondents stated that lack of human resources, physical resources, and time can limit the environmental practices adoption INT 5 to 15. For example INT11"There is no detailed feasibility study to help hotel to adopt environmental practices"

The minority of respondents stated that environmental legislations formulate a barriers to environmental practices adoptions INT 3, 7, 11, 13, 15,16, 19, 20, 22, 33, 34. When the respondent were asked about the governmental role to limit the environmental practices adoption, the majority commented that the governmental slightly influences on environmental practices in hotels. for example INT 33 " The waste disposal vehicle mixes the waste after being separated by the hotel staff, due to a negative impacts on the staff environmental behavior"

Quantitative results:

Profile of respondents

The survey yielded a sample of 255 personnel after deletion of incomplete responses and outliers. Respondents’ a long time ranged from 25 to sixty nine years with a mean age of forty years. The maximum of the respondents had been hotel male staff (80 percent), 20 per cent was females. The majority of respondents was married with 73 % and 78% of all respondents was holding a university degree. Notably most of the hotel departments were representatives in this study. About 55% of them were labored within the front of the residence (e.g. Front office and concierge) and the remaining 45% was from other hotel back sections such as (kitchen and stewarding). About 81 percent labored in hotel chains type and 19% comes from independent hotels. Finally the majority of respondents are working in four star hotels (75%) and the remaining is working in Five star ones.

This study used the two-step method (Anderson and Gerbing, 1988). First, the measurement model was specified with 10 second-order measurements (Staff capabilities (SC), Physical limitations (PL)
, Attitude of top management (ATM), Cost consideration(CC) , Lack of Resources(LR) , Daily Operations (DO), Attitude of owners (AO), Environmental legalization (EL), Governmental bodies (GB), and   Guest attitude (GA) and one first-order size (Environmental Practices Adoption).

A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was carried out to decide whether or not the corresponding dimension pondered the observed variables and latent constructs for the total dimension model. Second, structural equation modeling became conducted to measure the hypothesized relationships a number of the constructs with IBM AMOS 24.0.


The measurement model

First, most KMO tests were performed to see if the sample is suitable for analysis and most of  Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin scores were above 0.7 which is agreed with (Anderson and Gerbing, 1988) for example the factor of Environmental Practices Adoption was as following:


Table (1) KMO and Bartlett's test.

For example, the CFA for the first factor (EPA) multidimensional construct was performed using Amos software to test this model dependent factor. The result of CFA as appeared in Figure (2) reported that EPA is a two dimensional factor which composed of F1 (EPA1, EPA2, EPA3, EPA4, EPA5, EPA6) which mainly highlight the concept of environmental adoption. However, EPA7 was dropped off from the analysis due to its low communalities and F2 was reported to the application intention factor composed of three variables of EPA8-EPA10 with high factor loadings measures. Most of the reliability tests were performed before conducting CFA and all of them confirmed reliable survey items as Cronbach’s Alpha ranged from .70 to .939 as shown in table (2).


Figure 2. EPA factor analysis


The measurement model confirmed the correct universal fit: Chi square = 532.914393, normed x2 = 1.861, SRMR = 0.061, NNFI = 0.907, CFI = 0.893 and RMSEA = 0.059. Table (1) suggests the CFA outcomes with more than a few factor loadings for each item, from 0.458 to 0.955, and all were considerable significant. Furthermore, average variance extracted (AVE) and composite reliability (CR) values passed the criterion of AVE > 0.50 and construct composite reliability (CCR > .70 advocated by way of Fornell and Larcker (1981).Additionally, all factor loadings ranged from 0.736 to 0.976, and P values representing all component loadings of the multi-dimension have been full-size. The AVEs of multi-dimensions and the CRs exceeded the brink. Therefore, the dimension model had suitable convergent validity. Furthermore, the AVE value of every construct are greater than the squared correlation coefficient with other constructs as shown in table 3. Consequently, the size model had enough discriminant validity (Fornell and Larcker, 1981).


Table (2). Factor loadings and convergent validity for the latent variables

Constructs, dimensions and items

Factor loadings




Cronbach's Alpha






















































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Note: ***p < 0.001


Table 3: Discriminant validity.



The numbers in the diagonal line (values in parentheses) are AVE.

The numbers in the cells of off-diagonal line are squared correlation coefficients of one factor with another factor.

** refer to significance level of 0.01.

*   refer to significance level of 0.05.


The results indicated that non-normality did no longer seriously affect the parameter estimation and standard deviation of the size model because all absolute skew values had been smaller than 8 and kurtosis smaller than 10 (Kline, 2011) as the skew ranged from -2.20 to 0.95, and kurtosis ranged from -.67 to 4.44.


Common method bias tests

In this research, two advocated tools have been used to govern for common method bias (CMB). First, the layout of the research methods was cautiously performed. All respondents had been informed of the survey’s anonymity and confidentiality to keep away from social desirability responses. Specific scale endpoints and counterbalancing of the query order were carefully carried out. Second, for the statistical treatment, the unmeasured viable strategies factor test advocated by Min et al. (2016).

Structural model test

Figure 3 and 4 shows the standardized path coefficients and significance value. The result of this structural model fits the data well: x2 (55) = 532.393, SRMR = 0.062, NNFI = 0.908, CFI = 0.913 and RMSEA = 0.058. Staff capabilities SC had a significant (p < 0.001) and positive impact on EPAint (b = 0.34), supporting H1, and PL (b = 0.11, p > 0.01), rejecting H2. Attitude of top management (ATM), had a significant (p < 0.001) and positive impact on EPAint (b = 0.22), supporting H3, and CC (b = 0.08, p < 0.001), supporting H4. Lack of resources LR (b = 0.12, p > 0.01), daily Operations DO (b = 0. 20, p > 0.01), Owner's attitude OA (b = 0.01, p > 0.01), environmental legalizations EL (b = 0.11, p > 0.01) and governmental bodies GB (b = 0.08, p > 0.01) have not a significant and negative impact on EPAint, rejecting the H5, H6, H7, H8, H9,  and guest attitude GA have a significant and positive impact  on EPAint (b = 0.08, p < 0.001, ) influence on environmental practices application intention EPAint. The results also demonstrated that the effect size of SC on EPA was larger than EPAint. The path coefficient was not significant between (LR, DO, AO, EL, GB and EPA) which mean that their hypotheses are rejected. 

Figure 3. Structural model with hypotheses testing


Mediation tests

This research used the best familiar bootstrapping technique  as recommended by (Preacher and Hayes, 2008), which generated 2,000 samples to estimate the direct, indirect and total effects with 95 percent bias-corrected confidence intervals. However it was appeared some modification indices between CC and LR, CC and PL, SC, PL which is greater than 40.10. The results showed that the EPAint mediate the relationship between environmental practices barriers (staff capabilities SC, attitude of top management ATM and cost consideration CC, guest attitude GA) and environmental practices adoption EPA.


Note:* Significant at 0.05        ** Significant at 0.01  ns= Not Significant

Figure. 4. The path model and hypotheses testing


Discussion and conclusion:

Regarding environmental practices application to conserve the vital asset to hospitality success and survival, the current study investigate and model the barriers of environmental practices through achieving the research's objectives. Subsequently, identifying environmental practices barriers allows hotels to improve strategies to overcome them. Actually, the first and second study objectives have achieved to model and investigate the internal and external barriers related to environmental practices in hotels. The analysis of the association between internal barriers and environmental practices proves that the barriers of staff capabilities SC, attitude of top management ATM and cost consideration CC respectively can simultaneously limit the benefits of environmental initiatives. Also, there was no evidence that owner's attitude OA, lack of resources LR, physical limitations PL; daily Operations DO  have a significant influence on environmental practices application intention EPAint. The current study is partial consistent with findings of Hon and Chan (2013), Oreg (2003), Ayuso, (2007) Chan and Hawkins (2010) and Hon et al., (2013). It showed that employees are reluctant to apply environmental practices, because they have not clear environmental responsibilities, motivation, and desire to apply and participate in hotel environmental initiatives. Also, the results showed that top management have not a desire to apply environmental practices and have not convinced that will reduce operating costs, not consider it as top priorities formulate obstacles to environmental adopting as shown in findings of  Best and Thapa (2013). Possible explanations for these results may be are inadequately familiar with all environmental practices; insufficient environmental knowledge and benefits of environmental practices. Moreover, the cost has slight influence on environmental practices application intention EPAint. Also, the EPAint mediate the relation between the internal barrier (SC, ATM and CC) and EPA. The study findings are consistent with other studies Chan (2011), McNamara and Gibson (2008) who stated the cost formulate a constraint to environmental practices adoption.

In the investigation of the association between external barriers and environmental practices application intention EPAint, it reveals that the barriers of guest attitude positively affect on EPAint. The findings are consistent with findings of Chan, Okumus, Chan (2015) stated that guest may be formulate an obstacle to environmental adoption, because the guest look for high water pressure and high light consumption, which conflict with environmental practices application. Moreover, the environmental practices can negative effects on their comfort and enjoyment, luxury experience (Bondanowicz and Martinac, 2003). It seems possible that these results are due to tourist market in Egypt suffering since 2011 (Fathy, 2018), lead to the existing guests are characterized by low spending, education and, consequently, environmental awareness. Moreover, the hotels did not communicate effectively its commitment to environment, guest doubts the hotels apply these initiatives to save money and generate profit not for environmental commitment (Rahman and Reynolds, 2016). Moreover, the barriers of environmental legalizations EL and governmental bodies GB have not a significant influence on environmental practices application intention EPAint. Also, the EPAint mediate the relation between the External barrier (GA) and and EPA. The current study successfully recognized the barriers to environmental practices adoption. In sum, the SC, ATM, GA and CC respectively can limit the environmental practices adoption in hotel industry.

In particular, the current study examined the deeper aspects of barriers limit the environmental adoption in hotels, based its analysis the study has suggested strong theoretical and practical implications to overcome the barriers to achieve the third objective of the current study. The study will encourage further research in environmental application in hospitality industry which had been limited. This study advances several theoretical and practical contributions.

Theoretical implications:                                                                      

This study aimed to develop and test a conceptual model of environmental barriers adoption in hospitality.  As predicated, the results of this study indicated that external barriers such as, staff capabilities SC, cost considerations CC, Attitude of top management ATM, guest attitude GA based on two step analyses of structural equation modelling have positive relationships with EPAint and EPA. EPAint had a combined mediating effect EPA. Theoretically, EPAint is shown to mediate the relationship between the four EPA barriers (SC, CC, ATM, GA) and environmental practices adoption EPA in hotels. The results indicate that the hotel environmental practices intention can give rise to the adoption of environmental practices in hotels. The current findings extend the current literature advocating that environmental practices adoption EPA in hotels is normally the consequence of an environmental practices application intention EPAint.         


Practical contributions:


Numerous implications can be drawn from findings of current study for both hotels and governmental bodies. The hotels senior management and governmental bodies should recognize that despite the high cost of resources and personnel to implement environmental practices, it will ultimately benefits to all stock holders. To achieve this aim, the hotel should adopt environmental organizational culture, training employees on environmental issues, rewarding employees and guest for participation in hotel environmental initiatives, create environmental team and create new position as energy manager is in charge for keeping the consumption level of annual energy at a specified level.

Detailed and comprehensive information of environmental design and environmental operating strategies should be provided, and economic data should be provided to justify changes and adjustments in hotels' infrastructure. Also, the hotels roof which used in other hotel activities such as restaurants and cafés can be cover with proper decorative solar panels such as are used in parking lots. The combination of environmentally sensitive hotel management practices with the design and operation of environmental buildings is a critical first step in managing environmental conservation.

The current findings showed that employees can form barriers to environmental practice adoptions, thus the current study contribute to environmental practices studies, through shed light a new insight to set environmental behavior criteria when select and hire their employees. The hotel should attract employees whose have environmental credentials to make their business more environmentally friendly (Fathy, 2018). Thus, the human resource manager may ask for candidates' environmental certificates and experiences to select right environmental candidates and gained from other hotels to understand more about his/her past environmental behavior. Also, the interview process can be involve questions to assess the candidates' environmental awareness, knowledge and intention to apply the environmental practices (Chan, Hon, Chan and Okumus; 2014). The hoteliers should announce theirs hotels as eco-friendly hotels on hotel industry websites and employment websites, which will attract environmental behavior candidates to their hotel (Ehnert, 2009; Nyahunzvi, 2013).

Hotels should focus on providing a supportive, rewarding, inspiring and encouraging organizational culture to engage employees in environmental practices (Boiral and Paillé, 2012). Strong environmental commitment at higher management levels is critical to shaping stronger common values and a real regulatory climate. It also focuses on true commitment to sustainability and environmental issues, not just cost reduction or compliance with environmental regulations, but should encourage and reward employees of innovative ideas to environment protection, and the allocation financial budgets to support environmental official and non-official events and etc.

The regular in-depth and comprehensive environmental training by environmentally knowledgeable leaders encourages the managers, supervisors and employees to participate and commitment to hotel environmental practices (Chan and Hawkins 2010); overcome the barriers (Perron et al., 2006); strengthen knowledge of benefits and their environmental duties; consequences of adopting environmental practices for all parties, whether the individuals, the corporates and the environment. Moreover, the hotels must improve the employees' and managers' acceptance of a moral/ethical responsibility as well as their profitability responsibility through reducing operating costs and improving the hotel image. Also, the training programs should not be limited to theoretical aspects, but should include practical aspects inside the hotel and during environmental activities which supported by the hotel, such as training on waste recycling, which helps to improve environmental behavior of employees and senior management. There is no doubt that the use of technology has a major role in the environmental training such as smart phone applications to increase the effectiveness of environmental knowledge. Thus, the hotel can develop smart phone applications as training environmental application, the social media such as Wiki, you tube, twitter, face book also can be used to increase the effectiveness of environmental training programs. 

The environmental practices application has economic, marketing, social and environmental benefits, but hoteliers are interested only of financial and marketing benefits than social and environmental benefits as selfishness approach. The hoteliers covet to reduce operating costs and increase profits, increase the assets value, preserve the tourism attractions as a profitability source. The hotels should incorporate the sustainability more deeply into their operating strategies and philosophies.

Government authorities must provide the required tools and equipment for environmental practices at discounted prices, free customs and tax credits as incentive program to encourage hotel operators to adopt environmental practices. moreover, the government develop  comprehensive  mandatory environmental legislations to hotels, create a new department such Sustainable Energy Authority to control the energy consumption in hotels, the hotel create new position as energy manager as previous mentioned, which develop an annual energy consumption reports to Sustainable Energy Authority. The government should offers incentive to environmental hotels. Moreover, it should check the hotel comply with environmental regulations was creating the hotels to adopt and develop organizational norms and standards to preserve the macro environment. Also, the government should develop a marketing strategies to market the hotels that adopt environmental practices, lead to encourage other hotels to adopt environmental practices. The partnership among various sectors to conserve the resources will be beneficial such as ministry of environmental, industrial, commercial, tourism and etc. the partnership can help to implement hotels' infrastructural changes to adopt environmental and benefits the host communities.

Unfortunately, current customers formulate obstacles to adopt environment practices, but the researcher believes the Europe and American tourists had shown the attractiveness towards environmental initiatives. Thus, the hotels can conducts regular environmental events; invite the employees, guest, hospitality programs students, and communities to increase their environmental awareness.  Furthermore, hotels must make a genuine commitment to environmental stewardship and simultaneously communicate effectively their environmental initiatives (linen reuse programs), benefits, and rewards to customers without pressure through front office employees.  The smart phone applications can be used instead the traditional awareness method such as flyers, and brochures as application to environmental practices. Also, the hotel should invest more resources in educational materials to improve potential/current guest’ awareness and knowledge of environmental issues through various communication channels. Thus, contribute to increase guest commitment to hotel environmental practices. Moreover, hotels should develop marketing materials to include the environment preservation benefits to guest and their grandchildren, as well as of the repercussions of their choices, whether positive or negative to the environment. It can also expand the hotel market by target the environmental commitment guest, which have strong biospheric values, enthusiastic to sacrifice for the environment and willingness to pay a premium price (Rahman and Reynolds, 2016). Also, the hotels can constitute alliance with environmental guest, lead to encourage them to choose hotel to stay and participate in hotel environmental initiatives. The hotels can rewards the guest with offer a discount on their stay and sending thanks letters or emails for guest participation in hotel environmental initiatives, lead to feel guest respectable about themselves after they participate in environmental behaviors ( Lee, 2010), especially, if you informed them, that their participation have helped the to save a tree that week. On the other word, the guest should feel of their efficacy pro-environmental behaviors in environmental protection.  Finally, it will lead to gain a competitive advantage and improve hotel image to guest and host community.

Limitation and further researches:

The current study is like other studies, has various limitations that provide directions for future research. One limitation is the current study depends on management team to assess the environmental barriers, because the managers' assessment is more accurate than the employees' opinions, because the managers are closer to decision-making centers than employees. Although, the employees may not be sufficiently familiar with all constraints that limit environmental practices adoption, the future research, however, must include staff assessment of barriers to environmental adoption. Second, the study was conducted in four and five star hotels located in Egypt only. This raises the question of whether the study findings can be generalized in the other of hospitality sectors and other countries. Thus, other future researches should conduct in resorts, cruise, fine dining, quick service restaurants, etc in different countries. Also, comparative studies among hospitality sectors and hotels grades, hotel management styles, restaurants grades may can conduct to provide beneficial findings.  




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