Title: What we know about volunteer tourism - an approach to motivations and impacts

Authors: José Abreu; Marisa R. Ferreira

Addresses: CIICESI, ESTG, Politécnico do Porto, Rua do Curral, Casa do Curral, Margaride 4610-156 Felgueiras, Portugal ' CIICESI, ESTG, Politécnico do Porto, Rua do Curral, Casa do Curral, Margaride 4610-156 Felgueiras, Portugal

Abstract: Generally defined as an activity in which people decide to volunteer in development or conservation projects, voluntourism is one of the most fast-growing alternative tourism markets, arousing interest from several different people and creating an increasing number of volunteers. These developments are being used by many organisations as a way of using volunteers' expertise as important benefits. Our paper analyses and describes the concept of voluntourism, as well as the motivations that drive the volunteers, and the impacts or benefits of their projects' experience in the host community and in themselves. We did a literature review, firstly using a bibliometric analysis, to deeply understand and categorise the generic concept. Secondly, we did ten exploratory online interviews/questionnaires to volunteers with experiences in international volunteering programs. The results show that this topic has become a trend in recent years and that understanding the motivations of volunteers as well as the benefits and impacts of the projects are essential to the development of voluntourism.

Keywords: voluntourism; volunteer; international.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2021.115676

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2021 Vol.13 No.1, pp.16 - 33

Received: 11 Sep 2020
Accepted: 12 Oct 2020

Published online: 16 Jun 2021 *

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