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RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS

Author : Nancy McGehee
School/Work Place : Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA
Contact : nmcgehee@vt.edu
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 Views Datesort
» Think Tank VII Volunteer Tourism: Sustainable Innovation in Tourism, ... file 6208 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 

4 Think Tank VIII Shared Playgrounds: Contrasting Visitor Perspectives o... file 7102 Oct 13, 2013

Tourism is forming an increasingly significant component of the social and economic fabric of many major cities around the world. The quality of life for the residents of a city can be both degraded and enhanced by tourism and its associated...

Author: Tony Griffin, Deborah Edwards, Katie Schlenker & Bruce Hayllar 

Year: 2008 

3 Think Tank VIII Emerging Green Tourists: Their Behaviours and Attitudes file 5105 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 

2 Think Tank XII Destination Governance and Tourist Mobilities: New Par... file 5431 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 

1 Think Tank XV Environmental beliefs and feelings toward nature among... file 4212 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 

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