Author : Kevin Lyons
School/Work Place : University of Newcastle, Australia
Contact :
Year : 2007

The popularity of volunteer tourism as a form of alternative tourism has grown significantly over the past decade (McGehee, and Norman, 2002). Volunteer tourists can now be found throughout the world participating in a wide array of social, educational, political and environmental projects. While these projects continue to use volunteer tourists as a significant source of labour, the NGOs and community organisations that provide and support them have begun exploring other innovative ways to attract and engage volunteer tourists who may wish to provide their voluntary labour in less direct ways. As a result programs are now emerging that move beyond the convention established in volunteer tourism where participants travel to a destination community to volunteer their labour while simultaneously being a ‘tourist’ in the broadest sense of the word. Instead, these new programs fuse adventure, volunteerism and philanthropy incrementally into an innovative tourism experience that challenges traditional debates about the decommodifying processes (Wearing, McDonald, and Ponting, 2005) embedded in volunteer tourism. One example of this new type of volunteer tourism is the development and provision of fundraising adventure tours. Fundraising adventure tourism has been adopted by a number of NGO’s who recruit participants willing to raise a pre-determined sum of money half of which is used to support the NGO’s core business and the remaining funds are used to fund an adventure tour.

Previous arguments have suggested that volunteer tourism does not fit into the commodified regime of mass and packaged tourism as its focus is not on the exchange value in the tourism system (Wearing et al. 2005). This paper explores whether the act of fundraising as an act of volunteering, conducted prior to participating in an adventure tour enabled participants to experience the decommodified frame of gift economy that has been heralded as the hallmark of volunteer tourism (Wearing, 2001) or whether this separation undermines this process. This paper presents a case study of one of these innovative programs developed and operated by Oxfam Community Aid Abroad Australia – Oxfam Challenge program.

This paper draws on the marketing materials of Oxfam and presents findings from an analysis of diaries and web-blogs of 25 individuals who participated in fundraising/cycling adventures with Oxfam Australia– Oxfam Challenge program. The adventure fundraising tour conducted by Oxfam Australia is marketed as an adventure experience with a difference. OXFAM Australia recruits participants willing to raise $5000 which in-part covers the cost of a two week cycling tour through remote villages in China, Vietnam or Cambodia where they visit environmental and humanitarian projects and where the funds they raised are being used. While participants are recruited through Oxfam Australia, the adventure tour component of the program is outsourced to a commercial travel service provider who provides a fully packaged program including airfares, meals, a bicycle, and a guide. This component of the experience is almost identical to any packaged adventurebased tour conducted by a wide range of operators globally.

List of Articles
No. Subject Viewssort Date
122 Think Tank V Managing Risk and Crisis for Sustainable Tourism: Rese... file 4983 Dec 14, 2013

Many tourism professionals are afraid to speak about terms such as tourism security and tourism safety. There is a common feeling among tourism and travel professionals that these terms will frighten customers and that the less said the bett...

Author: Peter E. Tarlow 

Year: 2005 

OPA: Keynote Speech 

121 Think Tank XI Environmental Attitudes of Generation Y Students: Foun... file 4968 Oct 14, 2013

Sustainability has long been a theme in the tourism research and planning literature and is a growing concern in the wider area of business and corporate management. Consequent to these trends in practice and research there has been a growt...

Author: Pierre Benckendorff, Gianna Moscardo & Laurie Murphy 

Year: 2011 

120 Think Tank XIV Development of a Certification System for Sustainable ... file 4937 Jun 27, 2014

Tourism destinations are complex entities that can be defined as geographical areas of different sizes that are being visited by tourists. Most definitions then differentiate between the perspectives of those living in and managing a destina...

Author: Wolfgang Strasdas 

Year: 2014 

119 Think Tank VII Practical Interpretations of a Dynamic Model of Sustai... file 4912 Oct 13, 2013

"Operational definitions of tourism sustainability require details regarding what is to be sustained, for whom it is to be sustained, and the level at which it is to be sustained." This is the introductory sentence to "A Dynamic Model of Sus...

Author: Timothy Tyrrell & Robert Johnston 

Year: 2007 

118 Think Tank XIV A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective on Sustainable Tourism... file 4887 Jun 26, 2014

In this study, I take up the task to work towards a theoretical and methodological framework that allows using sustainability as a threshold concept for critically evaluating the assumptions embedded in both tourism management theory and pra...

Author: José-Carlos García-Rosell 

Year: 2014 

117 Think Tank XII Creating Tourism Transport Flow Maps with GIS: A Pract... file 4848 Nov 06, 2013

This paper explores various options to visualize tourism transport flows with spatial analysis tools and show them on maps. To facilitate implementation of these options, procedures for data preparation and map creation are explained through...

Author: Martin Landré & Paul Peeters 

Year: 2012 

116 Think Tank XIV Exploring Policy, Politics and Governance through Stak... file 4847 Jun 27, 2014

This paper looks at the development of an ecotrekking industry on the Kokoda Track and demonstrates how the use of participatory methods in community based tourism can align two different “regimes of truth” (that of the community and of the ...

Author: Stephen Wearing, Paul Chatterton & Amy Reggers 

Year: 2014 

115 Think Tank IX Courchevel, an outstanding alpine ski resort at a turn... file 4828 Oct 13, 2013

“Courchevel is first and foremost one among the founding elements of the huge touristic complex of les Trois Vallées in France. Linked to the neighbouring Allues and Belleville valleys by a 3,000 acres network area of regularly packed and ma...

Author: Daniel Tixier 

Year: 2009 

114 Think Tank X Sustainability: What Matters to Students, Educators, a... file 4823 Oct 13, 2013

As climate change gains global attention from events like the summit in Copenhagen held during December of 2009, the need for sustainable tourism is more important than ever; with comprehensive education in sustainability concepts and practi...

Author: Cynthia S. Deale & Nelson Barber 

Year: 2010 

113 Think Tank VIII Lifestyle Oriented Small Tourism [LOST] Firms in the F... file 4798 Oct 13, 2013

Lifestyle has been oft cited in the literature as the main motivation for those establishing or acquiring tourism related businesses in attractive destinations. However, the term has many different dimensions and connotations, both positive...

Author: Jack Carlsen & Alison Morrison 

Year: 2008 

112 Think Tank XIV Exploring the potential of Community Based Ecotourism ... file 4777 Jun 27, 2014

Development in developing countries often results in mass land-use change and subsequent increase in greenhouse gas emission by deforestation or forest degradation. For instance, approximately a-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions was a...

Author: Stephen Wearing, Paul Chatterton, Amy Reggers & Hanna Sakata 

Year: 2014 

111 Think Tank IV It's Mostly About Me: Reasons why Volunteers contribut... file 4753 Oct 13, 2013

This paper contributes to the debate by reporting on inital findings from a wider study of volunteers in museums and art museums that was designed to empirically explore volunteer motivation, expectations, values and commitment. The aim of t...

Author: Deborah Edwards 

Year: 2004 

110 Think Tank XIV Psychological Empowerment as Good Policy for Governanc... file 4719 Jun 26, 2014

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the potential impact psychological empowerment can have on sustainable tourism policy objectives, including improving resident attitudes toward tourism, enhancing destination competitiveness, and maint...

Author: B. Bynum Boley & Nancy Gard McGehee 

Year: 2014 

109 Think Tank XII Sustainable Tourism: Is it better to travel or not to ... file 4714 Nov 06, 2013

Tourism’s growing contribution to climate change has come to the forefront of the sustainable tourism literature as evidenced by the Journal of Sustainable Tourism’s (JOST) 2010 publication of a special issue titled “Tourism: Adapting to Cli...

Author: B. Bynum Boley 

Year: 2012 

108 Think Tank XIII Exploring the Relationship between Cultural Capital in... file 4701 Nov 06, 2013

There is substantial literature on the impacts of tourism on culture, both positive and negative, however, there are relatively few articles that explore the relationship between cultural capital and sustainable tourism. This paper will repo...

Author: Laurie Murphy & Andrea Schurmann 

Year: 2013 

107 Think Tank XII Intersecting Mobilities: Tourists with Vision Impairme... file 4699 Nov 06, 2013

While there has been a developing interest in mobilities amongst tourism scholars, the notion of immobilities has often been ignored. Yet, there are many people who do not participate in tourism or, if they do, only experience partial mobili...

Author: Jennifer Small 

Year: 2012 

106 Think Tank VIII Emerging Green Tourists: Their Behaviours and Attitudes file 4682 Oct 13, 2013

The concerns are varied and are not necessarily important to all tourists and the influence they have on sustaining the industry is unknown. For years the tourism industry has used a number of mechanisms in an attempt to green operators. The...

Author: Sue Bergin-Seers & Judith Mair 

Year: 2008 

105 Think Tank X Implementation of the DIT-ACHIEV Model for Sustainable... file 4662 Oct 13, 2013

The DIT-ACHIEV Model is a model of sustainable tourism indicators developed in a previous research project undertaken by the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, Dublin Institute of Technology. The indicators represent six fields o...

Author: Maeve Morrissey, Kevin Griffin & Sheila Flanagan 

Year: 2010 

104 Think Tank XII Destination Governance and Tourist Mobilities: New Par... file 4618 Nov 06, 2013

Resort communities are complex systems where destination governance has become increasingly challenged by new mobilities of capital, finance, labor, communication, transportation, leisure and tourism. Popular destinations like the coastal co...

Author: Dianne Dredge & Tazim Jamal 

Year: 2012 

103 Think Tank XIV Bird-watching Routes as Collaborative Stakeholderships... file 4616 Jun 27, 2014

Although there are numerous birding trails with varying levels of success, prior to this study, little research existed as to how birding trails are designed, implemented and managed. Thus, the study posed and answered the following research...

Author: Krisztian Vas 

Year: 2014