Sustainability Communication in Hotels: The Role of Cognitive Linguistics

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Efficiently communicating sustainability initiatives is critical to generating positive attitudes and pro-environmental behavior in hotel consumers. However, research on the combined effect of various message factors to improve environmental message persuasiveness is scant. To fill this gap, two studies were conducted with a sample of onsite and online hotel guests to offer new insights into the combined effect of language design elements that identify connectives and prepositional phrases with message content as essential grounding components of persuasion. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of restriction-based language design on booking intention through nuanced mechanisms involving perceived environmental performance, perceived greenwashing, and environmental concern. This study contributes to the growing literature on sustainability marketing by examining the design and integration of linguistic tools that hospitality managers can use in their sustainability communication campaigns. Additional practical and theoretical implications are provided.



sustainability communication, green hotels, cognitive linguistics, sustainability marketing, greenwashing