Case Study of the Week: Ethical Awards in Travel and Tourism

Mar 11, 2024

Travel and Tourism

You are to assume the role of the director of brand experience for, an online travel agency. The vice president wants you to analyze an ethical situation involving top partners and make a recommendation. is the top online travel agency. The company provides customers with access to rates on most major airlines’ airfare, hotels, cruise ships, and other tour companies. Customers are able to view and compare prices, make reservations, read reviews, view images and ask questions of past travelers.

The company had found that the most prevalent customer question was about the partner company’s sustainability and if the partner company is environmentally friendly. This led to the vice president working with a consultant to create the Reservation Earth badge. highlights the most environmentally friendly booking options by showcasing the Reservation Earth badge next to the partner company name. This informs customers of the partner’s commitment to sustainability.

When Reservation Earth debuted, partner companies had to provide evidence of sustainability efforts in five categories: waste, energy and greenhouse gases, water, community support and nature protectiveness. Partner companies provided evidence and it was supported by customer feedback.

Last year, hired an independent sustainability company to visit all partner companies that earned Reservation Earth badges to ensure validity. Unfortunately, the company found that very few of the partner companies that earned badges have enough evidence to support all five areas outlined in the program. The most popular brands of partner companies only had evidence in four categories, and they represent the majority of’s bookings and sales.

The vice president has asked you to determine how to best handle the information provided by the independent sustainability company.


Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist

Randi Bibiano is DECA's competitive events specialist. In this role, she conceptualizes and authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also manages DECA's online competitive events and serves as a liaison to volunteer efforts at DECA's educational conferences.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Hospitality and Tourism

Instructional Area(s):

Emotional Intelligence

Performance Indicators:

Explain reasons for ethical dilemmas
Recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas
Explain ethical considerations in providing information
Explain factors that motivate people to choose a hospitality and tourism site