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New Publication | Responsible Tourism


Volunteer tourism. Characterisation and debates of a global phenomenon

We publish a new report about volunteer tourism with Alba Sud Editorial written by Marta Salvador Almela. The report characterises the phenomenon and discusses some of its main debates in a global context of increasing growth until the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photography by: Breezy Baldwin. Creative commons license.

Volunteer tourism is a global phenomenon that has gained popularity and interest since 1990. Understanding its dynamics and its stakeholders is important to be able to reduce the derived negative effects and to increase the positives. From an anthropological and gender perspectives, this report aims to show a critical view on voluntourism and to characterise the presents debates in the scientific literature. Therefore, North-South relations, colonial dynamics, the role of sending organisations, volunteers’ motivations and behaviours, as well as the impacts on them and local communities are highlighted. Moreover, gender perspective is incorporated as an analytical framework through which to explore dynamics that take place in volunteer tourism. Finally, possible consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on this complex phenomenon are exposed together with future lines of research.

You can download the report here:

Salvador, M. (2020). Volunteer tourism. Characterisation and debates of a global phenomenon. Barcelona: Alba Sud Editorial, Contrast Reports Series, no. 13.
Versions available in Spanish, Catalán and Enlish.

This report has been prepared in the framework of the project "Research Platform on Tourism, Human Rights and Gender Equity" developed by Alba Sud with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD) (call 2019).

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