Document Type: Original Research Paper
Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Tourism,Spain
Department of Business Economy & Administration, Faculty of Economics & Business Studies University of Malaga, Spain
A new way of thinking is influencing the behaviour of both consumers and firms: any tourism activity has a sizeable environmental impact and the roots of environmental problems in this industry lie in
human behaviour. Accordingly, in recent years tourists have been taking into account the environment as a
factor in their purchasing decisions and firms are using this factor in their competitive positioning. Using a
hotel database created by the Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness in the Hospitality Industry in
Andalusia project, this paper has two aims:first, we classify the hotels in Andalusia (Spain) -using the variable environment as a factor in its competitive positioning-into strategic groups;and, second, we measure theeconomic performance of thestrategy usedby establishments in each group. We obtained two main results: first, we demonstrated the existence offour strategic groups based on their position toward the environment and a positive association between proactive environmental strategies and the economic performance of hotels in Andalusia; secondly, our results show that strategies that make clients aware of the environmental measures implemented by hotels may improve occupancy levels, and increase sales and the added value generated by the establishment.