The volunteer tourist as 'hero'

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    46 Citations (Scopus)

    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
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages363-380
    Number of pages18
    JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
    Volume13
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2010

    Fingerprint

    tourist
    tourism
    Tourism
    participation
    holiday
    Medieval
    field research
    myth
    Mexico
    Tourists
    Volunteers
    Participation

    Keywords

    • volunteer
    • volunteer tourists
    • motivation

    Cite this

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    The volunteer tourist as 'hero'. / Tomazos, Konstantinos; Butler, Richard.

    In: Current Issues in Tourism, Vol. 13, No. 4, 05.02.2010, p. 363-380.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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