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Volunteer tourism: working on holiday or playing at work?

Tomazos, Konstantinos and Butler, R. (2009) Volunteer tourism: working on holiday or playing at work? Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 4 (4). pp. 331-349. ISSN 1790-8418

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Abstract

The paper reviews the rapid growth of volunteer tourism, and discusses the changes that have taken place in the ethos and focus of this distinct market, the locations used as destinations and the organisations they represent. It is apparent that over the last two decades the organisations offering volunteer tourist vacations have increasingly focused their attention on conventional commercial tourism markets and their methods and practices perhaps reflect profit driven strategies. The paper concludes that the balance has clearly shifted away from the virtues of early volunteering towards hedonism and profit and that raises question about the long term value and credentials of volunteer tourism. Whether that pattern continues, remains to be seen.