Exploring The Expectations And Satisfaction Derived From Volunteer Tourism Experiences

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carol Kline PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: The aim of this paper was to examine the satisfaction of voluntourists derived from various aspects of their trip. Framed within the Existence, Relatedness and Growth Theory, the paper examines volunteers’ motivations, expectations and satisfaction based on their financial and time investment volunteering with Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESA), the intereactions they had on the trip, and the extent to which travellers felt as though they contributed to community goals. In 2012, the researchers carried out in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 16 Canadian voluntourists following their time in St. Lucia, South Africa. A thematic analysis was used to interpret the data, resulting in three themes: ‘Evaluating Investment’, ‘Contribution to Community’ and ‘Opportunities and Reaffirmations’; sub-themes were matched with aspects of Existence, Relatedness and Growth Theory. Findings elicited several levels of expectations of voluntourists revealed through their feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. On the lowest level, voluntourists expect adequate food and water whilst volunteering. Informants highlighted the various ways they raised fund for the trip, and this impacted their level of accountability for contributing to the community. Volunteers also expect volunteer organizations to be transparent regarding the use of funds and expressed dissatisfaction when this did not occur. Volunteers anticipated a feeling of connection between the hosts and themselves and were frustrated if they felt more time could have been allotted to working with community residents. Lastly, informants expected the experience to provide an opportunity for self-learning and professional development and overall were satisfied with this element of the trip.

Additional Information

Boluk, K., et al. (2016). "Exploring the expectations and satisfaction derived from volunteer tourism experiences." Tourism and Hospitality Research 17(3): 272-285. https://doi.org/10.1177/1467358415600212. Publisher version of record available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1467358415600212
Language: English
Date: 2016
Voluntourism, expectations, satisfaction, VESA, South Africa, ERG theory

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