Although altruism is known to be a typical volunteer-trait, our respondents were motivated more or less by self-interest as well, adding to the discussion regarding whether altruism or self-interest is the main motivator for volunteer tourists. Second, the outcome of the volunteer experience is not necessarily as dependent on the motives as it is on what the volunteer makes of it.
Something we believe needs further research in literature concerning volunteer tourists. Third, the rewards mainly derived from the free time and the relationships developed between volunteers, and the costs mainly from the projects due to social distance. However, the rewards were generally perceived as greater than the costs considering the total experience, implying that the free time during volunteer experiences is of greater importance than what can be understood from current literature.
Forth, the low level of commitment among volunteers leads us to question if it should be considered as a form of pro-poor tourism. Fifth, communication is of great importance in order to achieve cultural interaction, a vital component of volunteer tourism and finally, we found that volunteer tourism can indeed be beneficial, as long as organizations focus on the “right kind” of projects.
Source: Linnaeus University
Authors: Anderzén Domingues, Isabel | Nöjd, Pernilla