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
254 Think Tank X The Role of Knowledge-based Networks in Sustainable To... file 3767 Oct 13, 2013

In practice, tourism organisations tend to be more serious towards their financial viability and therefore undermine long-term socio-cultural and environmental consequences. In so doing they impede their own ability and that of the destinat...

Author: Ehsan Ahmed & Larry Dwyer 

Year: 2010 

253 Think Tank XIV A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Sustainab... file 3765 Jun 26, 2014

Emerging tourist destinations can challenge ecological, economic, social, and quality of life barriers. These issues draw attention towards the consequences of increasing complexity that are often found as a tourist marketing system grows an...

Author: Sarah Duffy & Larry Dwyer 

Year: 2014 

OPA: 2014 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

252 Think Tank IX Exploring Tourists’ Environmental Learning, Values, an... file 3746 Oct 13, 2013

There is a need for a research agenda, which achieves a holistic understanding of the nature and influences of environmental learning on tourists’ environmental values and travel experiences in relation to climate change. Why, because touri...

Author: Ulrike Kachel & Gayle Jennings 

Year: 2009 

251 Think Tank XII Sustainable Mobilities Beyond the Report: Covert Susta... file 3741 Nov 06, 2013

The concept of sustainable development has become a mainstream idea in the governance and management of travel and tourism. Over the past two decades it has attracted considerable attention and debate. While the principles of sustainable dev...

Author: Tim Coles, Emily Fenclova & Claire Dinan 

Year: 2012 

250 Think Tank VII Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship file 3701 Oct 13, 2013

The intent of this research is to provide a comparative analysis of several innovative social entrepreneurial businesses operating within the realm of rural adventure tourism. This qualitative, case-based research explores six companies, wh...

Author: Christina Heyniger & Kristin Lamoureaux 

Year: 2007 

249 Think Tank XIII Resident Perceptions of the Impacts of Tourism in Majo... file 3672 Nov 06, 2013

Despite the importance of cities and tourism flows to cities, the literature which explores the effect of tourism on host communities tends to focus on non-urban locations. As different types of tourists place different demands upon the reso...

Author: Tony Griffin & Deborah Edwards 

Year: 2013 

248 Think Tank XV Environmental beliefs and feelings toward nature among... file 3648 Jul 27, 2015

Tourists are often depicted as irresponsible consumers, with mass tourism being linked to extensive consumerism in society (Sharpley, 2012; Singh, 2012)and tourists as consumers are part of the “culture-ideology of consumerism” (Higgins-Desb...

Author: Elizabeth Ann Kruger 

Year: 2015 

247 Think Tank XIV Exploring the Relationship between General Environment... file 3639 Jun 26, 2014

These challenges raise the questions of how to determine who is environmentally friendly, i.e. who is potentially part of this group acknowledging the range and diversity in environmental behaviours and their uptake. An alternative approach ...

Author: Anja Hergesell 

Year: 2014 

246 Think Tank XII Controlling and Influencing Visitor Flow as a Basis fo... file 3626 Nov 06, 2013

Sustainable tourism at a destination is dependent on the maintenance and good management of its attractive assets. In non-urban areas, the assets will primarily be geological, natural and/or cultural, frequently of a sensitive nature, liable...

Author: David Ward-Perkins & Frédéric Dimanche 

Year: 2012 

245 Think Tank XIV The Emergence of Cross-border Governance Structures: t... file 3621 Jun 26, 2014

It is well recognized that the local borders of a tourism destination are not easy to delineate as they are constantly changing through complex practices and discourses due to historical, political, and economic factors. In fact, recent stud...

Author: Dani Blasco, Jaume Guia & Lluís Prats 

Year: 2014 

244 Think Tank XIII Assessing Community Quality of Life in the Context of ... file 3619 Nov 06, 2013

One of major purposes of tourism development in a destination is to improve the quality of life (QOL) of host community. In the tourism literature, resident QOL has been discussed in the research of resident attitudes toward tourism. However...

Author: Chia-Pin Simo Yu, Shu Tian Cole & H. Charles Chancellor 

Year: 2013 

243 Think Tank VIII Resident Support for Sustainable Tourism Policies in T... file 3617 Oct 13, 2013

During the last two decades, there has been increased focus on topics related to various aspects of sustainable tourism. Believing that sustainable tourism can be a serious alternative that can remedy some of the negative impacts associated ...

Author: Ercan Sirakaya-Turk, Muzzo S. Uysal & Turgut Var 

Year: 2008 

242 Think Tank XIII Tourism development led by the Third Sector - Impacts ... file 3602 Nov 06, 2013

Most tourism development is initiated and led by either the private or the public sector. These projects’ potential impacts on host communities have been explored since the 1980s, and they are now relatively well known. This is not the case ...

Author: Julia N. Albrecht & My N. D. Tran 

Year: 2013 

241 Think Tank XIV Leadership at the Nexus: Exploring the Connection betw... file 3601 Jun 26, 2014

The development of sustainable and competitive tourism destinations is contingent upon many factors including the creation of inclusive policy (Pforr, 2006), the development and implementation of strategic plans (Jordan, Vogt, Kruger, and Gr...

Author: Whitney Knollenberg & Nancy Gard McGehee 

Year: 2014 

240 Think Tank XII Causality Between Inbound Tourism and Economic Growth:... file 3562 Nov 06, 2013

This paper examines the existing studies of the relationship between inbound tourism and economic growth. After a brief discussion of general economic growth theory and the reasons why a positive causal relationship may exist between export ...

Author: Mondher Sahli & Simon Carey 

Year: 2012 

239 Think Tank XIV A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective on Sustainable Tourism... file 3560 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 

238 Think Tank XII Micro-Mobility Patterns and Service Blueprints as Foun... file 3556 Nov 06, 2013

This paper proposes the use of micro-mobility patterns and service blueprints in visitor management planning. Using a nature-based conservation area and visitor attraction in Wellington, New Zealand, as a case study, micro-mobility patterns ...

Author: Julia Albrecht 

Year: 2012 

237 Think Tank IV Sustainability in a Mature Mass-Tourism Destination: T... file 3544 Oct 13, 2013

Most destinations are struggling to achieve sustainability for their economies, their environments, their cultures and their tourism industries. This laudatory, idealistic and complex process involves many sectors of the industry, the commun...

Author: Pauline Sheldon, John Knox & Kem Lowry 

Year: 2004 

236 Think Tank XIV Local Networks as Sustainable Policy Instruments: A Ca... file 3540 Jun 27, 2014

In this case study, a communication network among local hotel managers was examined, first to assess the extent of communication among hotel managers, and second to identify influential members within the network. Communication with respect ...

Author: Karen Irene Thal & Tracy Burkett 

Year: 2014 

235 Think Tank XII Civic Tourism, Environmental Art and Tourism Mobility:... file 3528 Nov 06, 2013

For several decades the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude have created and installed art all over the world. Their art projects are large scale, temporary, and outdoor-environment inspired, and usually involve woven fabric that is suspended ...

Author: Diane Gaede & James Gould 

Year: 2012