Author : Nancy McGehee
School/Work Place : Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA
Contact :
Year : 2007

This is a study of the relationships between two volunteer tourism host communities and the volunteer tourists who visit them. One is a declining rural community located in the Appalachian mountains of the United States. The other is in a rapidly expanding urban setting in Baja California, Mexico. Both are suffering from a lack of affordable health care, with minimal access to quality public education and healthy food and drinking water. Both are experiencing the benefits and the challenges of receiving volunteer tourists. This is an attempt to illuminate the perspective of the residents of these communities and to recognize the complexity of the relationships between and among volunteer tourists and the voluntoured.

A steadily growing body of work exists in the area of volunteer tourism. McGehee and Santos (2005:760) define volunteer tourism as “utilizing discretionary time and income to travel out of the sphere of regular activity to assist others in need.”

Most of the research in this area has concentrated on the volunteer tourist (Brown and Morrison, 2003; McGehee and Santos, 2005; McGehee, 2002; McGehee and Norman, 2002; Mustonen, 2005; Stoddart and Rogerson, 2004; Wearing, 2000; 2001; 2002; 2004; Wearing and Deane, 2003), as opposed to people in the local community who host the volunteers. For the most part, the research to date has been primarily descriptive and uncritically posits volunteer tourism as a positive and often environmentally sustainable alternative to mass tourism. However, very little, if any, research exists that questions or explores the socio-cultural sustainability of volunteer tourism. The purpose of this study is to illuminate some of the complex issues that exist in the relationship between volunteer tourists and the voluntoured.

List of Articles
No. Subject Viewssort Date
26 Think Tank XI Learning for Sustainable Tourism: Small and Medium Ent... file 3135 Oct 14, 2013

This abstract intends to present QUSS – an integrated Management System for Quality, Sustainability and Safety in theory and practice. QUSS was invented by the NGO Ecocamping and is thus basically applied on camp sites in Europe with focus ...

Author: Tatjana Thimm 

Year: 2011 

25 Think Tank IV Cultural Tourism as a Means for Sustainability in a Ma... file 3184 Oct 13, 2013

Tourism has become for many islands a means of social, economic and cultural development through the creation of jobs, raising standards of living and through the development of local resources for culture and heritage. Thus, many of these d...

Author: Chryso Panayidou 

Year: 2004 

24 Think Tank IX The West in the East: Conflict in the Values of Volunt... file 3280 Oct 13, 2013

Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the complexity of trying to work within a framework of sustainability, with a given number of stakeholders (in this case, a UK organisation, its customers (volunteers, primarily British) ...

Author: Angela M. Benson 

Year: 2009 

23 Think Tank V Managing of Public Risks in Tourism: Towards Sustainab... file 3388 Oct 13, 2013

How to manage risks that endanger development of tourism but that are caused by tourism itself? An industry-based model is presented as an analytic tool and adapted to the situation in tourism. It is argued that development of tourism lacks ...

Author: Yoram Krozer & Else Redzepovic 

Year: 2005 

22 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 

21 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 

20 Think Tank IV Sustainability and Mass Destinations: Challenges and P... file 3783 Oct 13, 2013

In year 2001, the Government of the Balearic Islands decided to establish a tourism tax, named "ecotax", as an important measure to achieve a more sustainable tourism model for the islands. This paper analyses the background of the ecotax, t...

Author: Antoni Serra Cantallops 

Year: 2004 

19 Think Tank XIV Current Global Initiatives to Address the Sustainabili... file 3969 Jul 07, 2014

A number of ongoing and new initiatives aim at the tourism sector with the intention of improving sustainability within the sector and through tourism in other economic and social activities. Dirk's presentation reflects on UNWTO’s position ...

Author: Dirk Glaesser 

Year: 2014 

18 Think Tank VIII Integrating Sustainability into Tourism Education and ... file 4112 Oct 13, 2013

The focus of this paper is to provide an overview of the current sustainability content in Irish tourism programmes and the identification of key trends in this regard. It is based on extensive research of secondary and tertiary education s...

Author: Jane Stacey, Sheila Flanagan, Kevin Griffin & Anna Tottle 

Year: 2008 

17 Think Tank XVIII Deconstructing mass tourism with “upscale, all-year-ro... file 4136 Jan 07, 2019

Key words: local residents, seasonality, mass tourism, sustainability, tourism development

Author: Tina Šegota 

Year: 2018 

16 Think Tank VII Branding Sustainability: Taking 'The Natural Step' in ... file 4185 Oct 13, 2013

Translation of the concept of sustainability into practice is fraught with problems. While policy advances in all sectors of the economy have made steps in the right direction the lack of clarity in defining what is meant by 'sustainability...

Author: Alison Gill & Peter Williams 

Year: 2007 

15 Think Tank IX Courchevel, an outstanding alpine ski resort at a turn... file 4265 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 

14 Think Tank X Sustainability: What Matters to Students, Educators, a... file 4537 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 

13 Think Tank VII Practical Interpretations of a Dynamic Model of Sustai... file 4733 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 

12 Think Tank XI Environmental Attitudes of Generation Y Students: Foun... file 4805 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 

» Think Tank VII Volunteer Tourism: Sustainable Innovation in Tourism, ... file 5246 Oct 13, 2013

This is a study of the relationships between two volunteer tourism host communities and the volunteer tourists who visit them. One is a declining rural community located in the Appalachian mountains of the United States. The other is in a ra...

Author: Nancy McGehee 

Year: 2007 

10 Think Tank XIII Striving for Environmental Sustainability through Soci... file 5476 Nov 06, 2013

The question how native societies cope with the increasing pressure of global values, such as sustainability, westernization and democratic institutions has been asked in the last decades (Smith, 1989; Honey, 1999; Nash, 2001; Honey, 2008). ...

Author: Peter Varga 

Year: 2013 

9 Think Tank XIII The Paradox of poverty amidst the plenty of nature: co... file 5969 Nov 06, 2013

Rural communities in South Africa have not been active stakeholders in tourism development. Community awareness and involvement in the preservation of natural and cultural heritage through sustainable tourism development in selected areas ad...

Author: Felicité A. Fairer-Wessels 

Year: 2013 

8 Think Tank VII Environmentally Sustainable Practices of Victorian Tou... file 6122 Oct 13, 2013

Environmental sustainability has been a growing concern in our society for the past twenty years, and is a primary issue of many leaders of the tourism industry. In spite of the many efforts to encourage and/or enforce environmentally sound ...

Author: Sue Beeton, Sue Bergin-Seers & Christine Lee 

Year: 2007 

7 Think Tank XI CRS 2.0: Management Perspectives of Sustainable Hospit... file 6245 Oct 14, 2013

In recent years, hotel companies have recognized the importance of engaging in responsible business practices as they relate to stakeholders including employees, guests, and the communities in which their properties are located. Accordingly...

Author: Stuart E. Levy & Sun-Young Park 

Year: 2011