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
102 Think Tank XIV Bird-watching Routes as Collaborative Stakeholderships... file 4683 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 

101 Think Tank XII Destination Governance and Tourist Mobilities: New Par... file 4634 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 

100 Think Tank VIII Resident Support for Sustainable Tourism Policies in T... file 4603 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 

» Think Tank VII Innovations in Volunteer Tourism: A Case Study of Fund... file 4542 Oct 13, 2013

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, ...

Author: Kevin Lyons 

Year: 2007 

98 Think Tank X Establishing a Network of European Rural Villages for ... file 4538 Oct 13, 2013

The paper deals with the research activity carried out by the Authors in the context of the European Project “Listen to the Voice of Villages”. The focus is on the governance asset and tools able to enhance sustainable tourism development i...

Author: Mariangela Franch, Umberto Martini, Federica Buffa & Fabio Sacco 

Year: 2010 

97 Think Tank V Resident Segments Using SUS-TAS file 4448 Oct 13, 2013

Recognizing that tools developed solely to measure perceptions of positive/negative impacts of tourism within the traditional conceptual works are insufficient, recently Choi and Sirakaya (2005) developed and tested both an innovative framew...

Author: Ercan Sirakayae, Linda J. Ingram & Hwan Suk Chris Choi 

Year: 2005 

96 Think Tank VI Corporate Social Responsibility and Travel & Tourism B... file 4414 Oct 13, 2013

This paper discusses some economic, social, and environmental “hard issues” for the travel and tourism (T&T) industry with the aim of shedding some light on little discussed aspects of industry corporate social responsibility (CSR) with ...

Author: David Stipanuk 

Year: 2006 

95 OPA award A Framework for Work-Life Balance Practices in the Tou... file 4388 Oct 13, 2013

This paper addresses the key issues surrounding the debate over work-life balance. It provides an overview of current thinking in the general work environment, with specific focus on the issue within the tourism industry. This paper present...

Author: Margaret Deery & Leo Jago 

Year: 2008 

OPA: 2008 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

94 Think Tank VIII Integrating Sustainability into Tourism Education and ... file 4331 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 

93 Think Tank XIV The Emergence of Cross-border Governance Structures: t... file 4307 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 

92 Think Tank XII Controlling and Influencing Visitor Flow as a Basis fo... file 4231 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 

91 Think Tank VII Envisioning Sustainable Tourism Futures: An Evaluation... file 4228 Oct 13, 2013

Methods for researching the future have grown both in variety and rigour, offering new opportunities for understanding sustainable tourism. This paper discusses the value of futures research as a tool for envisioning and planning sustainable...

Author: Pierre Benckendorff 

Year: 2007 

OPA: 2007 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

90 Think Tank XIV Current Global Initiatives to Address the Sustainabili... file 4225 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 

89 Think Tank XII Civic Tourism, Environmental Art and Tourism Mobility:... file 4173 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 

88 Think Tank XII Sustainable Mobilities Beyond the Report: Covert Susta... file 4159 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 

87 Think Tank XIII Resident Perceptions of the Impacts of Tourism in Majo... file 4101 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 

86 Think Tank VII Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship file 4096 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 

85 Think Tank IX Sustainable Tourism Principles Reflected in Award-Winn... file 4089 Oct 13, 2013

There has been increased attention given to sustainable tourism monitoring and evaluation efforts, including corporate policies, guidelines and codes of conduct as well as certification programs (e.g., Dodds and Joppe 2005; Font and Harris ...

Author: Stuart Levy & Donald Hawkins 

Year: 2009 

84 Think Tank XIII Local Residents' Involvement in Rural Tourism: The Cas... file 4066 Nov 06, 2013

Community involvement is regarded as a significant factor for the development of rural tourism. In Malaysia, cooperatives are used as a catalyst to achieve community development through community involvement. This paper focuses on the involv...

Author: Uma Thevi Munikrishnan, Sushila Devi Rajaratnam, Paolo Mura & Vikneswaran Nair 

Year: 2013 

83 Think Tank IV Possibilities for Sustainable Tourism Management in Ac... file 4056 Oct 13, 2013

Sustainability is an inevitable concept in tourism which heavily depends on natural resources and environment with its products and services. Here prevention and controlling water, air and noise pollution, habitat degradation is more importa...

Author: Meryem Atik, Türker Altan & A. Akin Aksu 

Year: 2004