Picture of athlete cycling

Open Access research with a real impact on health...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

Explore open research content by Physical Activity for Health...

The volunteer tourist as 'hero'

Tomazos, Konstantinos and Butler, Richard (2010) The volunteer tourist as 'hero'. Current Issues in Tourism, 13 (4). pp. 363-380. ISSN 1368-3500

[img]
Preview
PDF
The_Volunteer_as_Hero_Current_Issues_In_Tourism_2_.pdf - Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (351kB) | Preview

Abstract

Volunteer tourism is a rapidly growing form of tourism which has a weak conceptual basis and which is generally defined rather simply in terms of participants' actions while on holiday, ignoring elements such as reasons for participation, behaviour, and influencing forces. This article argues that an appropriate conceptual base for volunteer tourists is Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' and draws analogies between participants in volunteer tourism and the 'Hero' in Campbell's writings. The article discusses data on volunteer tourists, which reveals their self-expressed reasons for participating, and their specific situations. The data were collected by field research based on covert participation at an orphanage in Mexico. Volunteers interviewed revealed the traits explaining their participation in volunteer tourism that were similar to the characteristics and driving forces found in the participants on Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' and in medieval and classical myths. While participation in volunteer tourism may not match contemporary understanding of heroes and heroic behaviour, there is considerable similarity in reasons given by respondents for participating in the activity, and a conceptual model is developed to illustrate this