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 Views Datesort
16 Think Tank VII Social Responsibility and Innovation on Trafficking an... file 2162 Oct 13, 2013

Ethical questions related to globalization, human rights, unfair labor practices and trans-boundary exchanges of capital and work force create ever more complex challenges for the tourism sustainability agenda. In recent years, the tourism i...

Author: Camelia Tepelus 

Year: 2007 

15 Think Tank VII Getting Fit to Innovate: TUI's InnOlympics file 3947 Oct 13, 2013

Tether (2003) describes innovation within service industries as having a Cinderella status - marginal and neglected. The traditional approach to thinking about innovation has been to concentrate on manufacturing and within that, the role of...

Author: Graham Miller & Caroline Scarles 

Year: 2007 

» Think Tank VII Innovations in Volunteer Tourism: A Case Study of Fund... file 4624 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 

13 Think Tank VII Learning as Prerequisite for Innovations in Tourism - ... file 9438 Oct 13, 2013

This article reports on an ongoing project that focuses on learning and innovation as prerequisites for sustainable tourism in a transnational environment defined by the European North Sea Region. According to Buhalis (2000: 113) providing i...

Author: Janne Liburd & Anja Hergesell 

Year: 2007 

12 Think Tank VII Barriers to Innovation in Hospitality Provision: Towar... file 8604 Oct 13, 2013

Recent challenges within the hospitality industry highlight a critical need for research and innovation to inform management practice. Surprisingly, however, a comprehensive review of literature has found that innovation research within the...

Author: Conrad Lashley & Barry O'Mahony 

Year: 2007 

11 Think Tank VII The Uptake of Innovation in Tourism Organisations: Bar... file 2619 Oct 13, 2013

Innovation is fundamental to any industry in its quest to realising its potential. The tourism industry is no different in this pursuit of excellence and innovation but, unlike many other industries, it is largely comprised of small busines...

Author: Leo Jago & Margaret Deery 

Year: 2007 

10 Think Tank VII Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship file 4193 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 

9 Think Tank VII The Community of Communicators and the Communication o... file 9029 Oct 13, 2013

In spite of the trend towards business as a key element in society and tourism, governments still play an important role in the sustainable development debate. Like any social institution, governments and related organizations do not always ...

Author: Keith Henning 

Year: 2007 

8 Think Tank VII Branding Sustainability: Taking 'The Natural Step' in ... file 22228 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 

7 Think Tank VII Tourist Perceptions of Environmentally Friendly Innova... file 23444 Oct 13, 2013

As the environmental movement got underway and environmental awareness came into focus in the late 20th century, the tourism industry began incorporating 'environmentally friendly' efforts into their business practices. Requests for towel r...

Author: Kathleen L. Andereck 

Year: 2007 

6 Think Tank VII Web 2.0, Tourist Activated Networks and Sustainability... file 4251 Oct 13, 2013

With the emergence of Web 2.0, the Internet has begun to realize its potential in supporting the tourism experience. This presentation will first identify a number of applications within Web 2.0 that are visitor oriented - from Expedia and T...

Author: Daniel Fesenmaier 

Year: 2007 

5 Think Tank VIII Enhancing the Quality of Life through Cultural Events:... file 102378 Oct 13, 2013

The Wadden Sea Festival in Denmark is based on the idea of integrating the coastal environment in the presentation of contemporary art. Specifically, unique tidal differences are utilized to stage a range of performances. The Wadden Sea Fest...

Author: Janne J. Liburd & Anja Hergesell 

Year: 2008 

4 Think Tank IX Valuing Open Innovation Environments in Tourism Educat... file 5378 Oct 13, 2013

The world has changed tremendously since the publication of Our Common Future by the World Commission for Environment and Development (1987), which elevated the concept of sustainable development from grassroots initiatives to the forefront...

Author: Janne Liburd & Anne-Mette Hjalager 

Year: 2009 

3 Think Tank X Innovation of and in Informal Actor Network file 5761 Oct 13, 2013

How the informal sectors create and share innovation in gaining competition is very important in tourism development. Commonly, informal sectors are embedded in their routines and lack of innovation capacities. Based on the case of pedicab ...

Author: Maya Damayanti 

Year: 2010 

2 Think Tank X The Importance of Networks for Innovation in Sustainab... file 5172 Oct 13, 2013

This paper highlights the importance of new and established networks that underpin the innovation processes in sustainable tourism. It will draw on published literature as well as case studies to describe the various types of networks that ...

Author: Jack Carlsen, Janne J. Liburd & Deborah Edwards 

Year: 2010 

1 Think Tank XI CRS 2.0: Management Perspectives of Sustainable Hospit... file 6803 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