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Volunteer tourism: evolution, issues and futures

Volunteer tourism: evolution, issues and futures This paper reviews the 30-year evolution of volunteer tourism as phenomenon, industry, and research area, charting changes in the size, breadth, definition, and the perceived positive and negative contributions of the volunteer tourism industry. Discussion then moves on to how research in volunteer tourism has reflected those changes. Studies have focused on the transition from decommodified to commodified volunteer tourism; participant motivation, including the altruism versus self-development discussion; and the paucity of a unified and cohesive theoretical foundation in volunteer tourism. Fresh debates are now emerging that center upon the potential interface of technology and volunteer tourism, including crowd-sourcing for funding, smart phone apps, and GIS; the importance of monitoring and maintaining quality volunteer tourism experiences through certification and/or other indicators; and the role of religion and spirituality in volunteer tourism. These issues, and others, including the role of transformative learning, are addressed in the papers chosen for this special issue on volunteer tourism which are reviewed here. The paper's conclusions include specific recommendations for greater cooperation between researchers and industry to create a more sustainable industry, minimizing its negative impacts while maximizing its potential influence for positive social change, and perhaps becoming the ultimate sustainable form of tourism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Sustainable Tourism Taylor & Francis

Volunteer tourism: evolution, issues and futures

Journal of Sustainable Tourism , Volume 22 (6): 8 – Aug 18, 2014
8 pages

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References (27)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
1747-7646
eISSN
0966-9582
DOI
10.1080/09669582.2014.907299
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper reviews the 30-year evolution of volunteer tourism as phenomenon, industry, and research area, charting changes in the size, breadth, definition, and the perceived positive and negative contributions of the volunteer tourism industry. Discussion then moves on to how research in volunteer tourism has reflected those changes. Studies have focused on the transition from decommodified to commodified volunteer tourism; participant motivation, including the altruism versus self-development discussion; and the paucity of a unified and cohesive theoretical foundation in volunteer tourism. Fresh debates are now emerging that center upon the potential interface of technology and volunteer tourism, including crowd-sourcing for funding, smart phone apps, and GIS; the importance of monitoring and maintaining quality volunteer tourism experiences through certification and/or other indicators; and the role of religion and spirituality in volunteer tourism. These issues, and others, including the role of transformative learning, are addressed in the papers chosen for this special issue on volunteer tourism which are reviewed here. The paper's conclusions include specific recommendations for greater cooperation between researchers and industry to create a more sustainable industry, minimizing its negative impacts while maximizing its potential influence for positive social change, and perhaps becoming the ultimate sustainable form of tourism.

Journal

Journal of Sustainable TourismTaylor & Francis

Published: Aug 18, 2014

Keywords: volunteer tourism; responsible tourism; WWOOFing; information technology; tourism and religion; 自愿者; 旅; 游; 负责任; 旅游; 信息科技; 旅游和宗教

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