Myth or Substance: An Examination of Altruism as the Basis of Volunteer Tourism

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Title Myth or Substance: An Examination of Altruism as the Basis of Volunteer Tourism
Author Coghlan, Alexandra; Fennell, David
Journal Name Annals of Leisure Research
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies
Abstract Altruism is commonly associated with volunteer tourism as a motivational force for participants and a key factor in their on-site experiences. In this paper we seek a better understanding of the term altruism, and how it applies to the volunteer tourism sector. By applying altruism models that include outcomes of helping defined as both instrumental and ultimate goals, we review the volunteer tourism literature to look for egoistic and altruistic goals. Specifically, we examine volunteer tourists' motivations as well as experiences and benefits as outlined in 43 academic papers. The results suggest that, while volunteer tourists may behave in an altruistic manner, personal benefits derived from the experience by and large dominate the experience. It would appear that volunteer tourism represents a form of social egoism, which depending on the management of the volunteer tourists, and the goals and implementation of the projects goals, will indeed benefit local environments and communities. To move the debate forward, we suggest that the market forces as applied to the volunteer tourism sector may be examined, and other terms such as Eudaimonia be used to explain the pluralistic motivations, desires, and. roles of volunteer tourists.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2009 Australian & New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies (ANZALS). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 12
Issue Number 3/4
Page from 377
Page to 402
ISSN 1174-5398
Date Accessioned 2011-01-25
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Institute For Tourism
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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