Air Pollution and Its Potential Consequences for Tourism and Career Development from Students' Perspective: A Case Study of the Gdańsk Agglomeration in Poland

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 1;20(3):2651. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20032651.


The purpose of this study is to present the state and variability of air pollution and its potential consequences for the intensity of tourism traffic based on the example of the Gdańsk agglomeration as a very popular tourist destination of Northern Poland. Specifically, the study seeks to answer the question how a future, qualified tourism workforce, such as tourism and hospitality (T&H) students from higher educational institutions (HEIs) located in the investigated area, perceive the problem of air pollution and whether their perception may have a potential impact on their attitudes and career aspirations towards working in the T&H industry after graduation. In this study, both a desk-research method and a questionnaire were used. The main results reveal that although the intensified tourist traffic does not coincide with high concentrations of pollutants and a poor quality of air, it cannot be clearly stated that tourists choose a destination being guided by the condition of ambient air pollution. The findings also show that T&H students are strongly aware of the air pollution problems and its negative consequences for the perceived attractiveness of a tourist destination and its labour market. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is among the first to analyse the relationships between air pollution and students' perceptions of its consequences for tourism and for career development in the tourism industry, which is highly dependent on the environmental quality.

Keywords: Gdańsk agglomeration; air pollution; career development; tourism and hospitality students; tourist attractiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution* / analysis
  • Environmental Pollution / analysis
  • Humans
  • Poland
  • Tourism*
  • Travel

Grants and funding

The paper presents some results developed within individual research activity and is partly supported by the Gdynia Maritime University, both Department of Industrial Products Quality and Chemistry and Department of Marketing and Quantitative Methods, under statutory activity.