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Volunteer Tourism as a Transformative Experience: A Mixed Methods Empirical Study

Magrizos, S, Kostopoulos, I and Powers, L (2020) Volunteer Tourism as a Transformative Experience: A Mixed Methods Empirical Study. Journal of Travel Research. ISSN 0047-2875

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Abstract

In an effort to combine tourism with pro-social giving and personal development, more and more people choose to go abroad on volunteer tourism trips. We explore the potential transformational influence such trips have on travelers, aiming to map the transformation process stages and examine their boundary conditions. In doing so, we follow a mixed methods approach using a qualitative study comprising ethnographically informed in-depth interviews and a quantitative one, by means of a structured questionnaire. Findings indicate that the transformation process volunteer tourists undergo involves three stages related to liminality. We conceptualize the degree of liminality as immersiveness and show how the transformation process is significantly influenced by the degree of authenticity and the immersiveness of volunteer tourists’ experiences, as well as their own perceptions on how societally meaningful their actions were during their trips. Based on our conclusions, we present important implications for academics, managers and tour operators.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1506 Tourism, 1505 Marketing, 1504 Commercial Services
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of Products
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G149 Travel. Voyages and travels (General) > G154.9 Travel and state. Tourism
Divisions: Business & Management (new Sep 19)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2020 10:19
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2020 10:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1177/0047287520913630
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12721

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