Tourism accomodations

Showers are highly hot water-intensive behaviours, increasing energy use and carbon emissions

So, fostering pro-environmental shower behaviour can contribute to tourism businesses’ environmental, social and corporate governance.

Both real-time feedback through smart technology and persuasive communications have been successful in past pro-environmental behavioural interventions.

Nonetheless, behavioural interventions are hardly applied in tourism.

A behavioural intervention in seven tourism accommodations from Denmark, Spain, the UK and the US was designed

The intervention combined innovative smart technology, which provided real-time feedback to the guest, with persuasive messages, which reflected pro-environmental values (i.e. selfless/selfish) and the level of effort required (i.e. high/low) to engage with the message, to encourage guests to reduce their shower duration.

25,488 real showers measured

The analyses showed that when real-time feedback was provided, shower duration was an average of 13.56% shorter (N = 1,274).

When persuasive messages were added, shower duration was even shorter, with the most effective message (i.e. selfless + high) achieving a 21.27% reduction (N = 16,038) among all the accommodations.

This represents one of the most successful interventions in shower behaviour in any setting, achieving savings of approximately US$48, 4.44 m3 of water, 0.19 MWh of energy, and 33 kg of CO2 per shower/year.

The hard facts

350 litres of water per person/day

in tourism accommodations


Over common households

Denmark, Spain, the UK and the US

Countries in the case study



Showers measured


13.56% shorter showers

N = 1,274

When real-time feedback was provided


21.27% shorter showers

N = 16,038

With the most effective persuasive message in addition to the real-time feedback


Savings per room/year

4.44 m3 of water

Savings per room/year

0.19 MWh of energy and 33 kg of CO2

Savings per room/year

Preprint version of our study

Pereira-Doel, P., Font, X., Wyles, K., & Pereira-Moliner, J. (2022). Showering smartly in tourism accommodations. SocArXiv.

The research team

dr Pablo Pereira-Doel

ESRC-SeNSS Research Fellow at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, UK.

Prof Xavier Font

Professor of Sustainability Marketing at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, UK.

Dr Kayleigh Wyles

Associate Professor in Environmental Psychology at the University of Plymouth, UK.

Prof Jorge Pereira-Moliner

Professor in Business Management at the University of Alicante, Spain.