This applied qualitative study sought to classify the factors involved in responsible travel intentions based on Maslow's needs pyramid and elaborate on the causal relationships between the factors so that it can offer a more effective model for marketing sustainable tourism. To this end, the factors were identified and categorized using the content analysis of the data collected via reviewing the related literature and conducting interviews with apropos experts. Then, systemic thinking was used qualitatively (validated through the experts’ opinions) to develop the interpretive model of causal relations.
According to the study’s findings, 23 factors were classified into five categories based on Maslow's needs pyramid as follows: Physiological needs (perceived quality, price, shopping habits, and perceived behavioral control), safety (protection and beliefs concerning the health in responsible travels), love/attachment (environmental concerns, sense of responsibility, perceived effectiveness, environmental awareness, environmental value, spatial belonging, and emotional dependence on residents), respect (social norms, identity representation, satisfaction, advertising, social media content, attitude regarding the responsible travel, beliefs concerning the luxurious nature of responsible travel, and the image of responsible travel), and self-actualization (self-transcendence and personal norms). Moreover, the proposed conceptual model indicated the mutual influence of the factors and categories on each other. Therefore, marketers are required to plan their intended interventions after prioritizing the target group’s responsible needs and selecting the category of needs using systemic thinking.