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Non-Profit or For-Profit Volunteer Tourism Organizations Contributing to the Cause of Increasing Global Health Inequities? A Review of Online Marketing Tools

Date created
2016-07
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Voluntourism is defined in this paper as organized short-term volunteer work completed in the Global South by a tourist from the Global North whose goal is to provide relief from or alleviate poverty in a society. Recently, this practice has been publicly critiqued for exacerbating global inequities, namely power and health. The marketing of voluntourism programs plays a significant role on the impacts of voluntourism (i.e., either reinforcing or stopping these critiques). Therefore, this paper seeks to examine volunteer tourism websites to better understand how medical voluntourism is marketed. It further seeks to compare for-profit and non-profit volunteer tourism organizations’ marketing practices. A qualitative analysis of online mission statements and related text of 21 volunteer tourism websites, offering a medical project, was completed. It was found that for-profit volunteer tourism organizations promoted responsible volunteer travel and sustainability more often than non-profit organizations. However, non-profit organizations were more empowering than for-profit organizations when describing host communities. Lastly, organizations often demonstrated a discrepancy between their mission statement and website text constituting their underlying values.
Document
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
No
Language
English
Member of collection
Download file Size
Reel, Breanne - Capstone Paper.pdf 419.78 KB

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