Volunteer Tourism: Benefits, Criticisms, And Implementing A Plan In Australia

Introduction to Volunteer Tourism


Volunteer tourism represents an emerging tourism sector for those who want to make a difference while on vacation as well as ensuring that local communities benefit both environmentally and economically (Coren & Gray, 2012). Organisations such as World Wildlife Fund, Antipodeans, Conservation International, Australian Volunteers, to name just a few, are offering volunteer tourism expeditions to Australians. Prepare a report on it.

Executive Summary

The paper discusses Voluntary Tourism or “Voluntarism” as it is being called these days. We look at the benefits and criticisms on the subject and move on to formulate a viable plan to introduce Voluntary Tourism in Australia, based on Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, which are discussed in detail. We conclude that the Australian tourist segment is diverse and hence, we try and identify our target market from this diverse group and try to implement a successful positioning strategies for our target market, so that we can attract them to venture into Voluntarism in Australia, which would be mutually beneficial to the visitors as well as the country at large. Finally, we conclude that despite having several benefits to it, Volunteer Tourism is not completely “white” in nature, it has shades of black in it as well.

Universal volunteering is a piece of the more extensive worldwide advancement motivation and global volunteers are regularly considered improvement specialists in their own privilege. Generally, worldwide volunteering open doors have had a tendency to be long haul abilities based situations, run by improvement organizations, humane associations, NGO’s, instructive establishments, and religious gatherings. (Morgan, n.d) In any case, a dismissal of mass-tourism and demand for more real and significant types of travel has brought about a surge in demand for fleeting volunteer open doors from people who are not able to confer long haul yet wish to ‘give something once again’ amid their relaxation time. My examination has demonstrated, maybe obviously, that the principle inspirations of volunteer visitors incorporate a craving to help, the likelihood of a one of a kind travel experience, and self-awareness. (Morgan, n.d)

Volunteer tourism offers new open doors for the tourism business. (Morgan, n.d) Its advancement has made the requirement for organizations past the customary visitor store network. Notwithstanding the ordinary production network members (i.e. air transport organizations, convenience suppliers, and so on), (Morgan, n.d) there are four primary performing artists inside the volunteer tourism chain: sending associations; volunteers; accomplice associations, and host associations/ventures. (Morgan, n.d) The differing qualities and broadness of the volunteer tourism part makes it exceptionally hard to make an acceptable plan of action. (Morgan, n.d)Volunteer tourism offers mixture choices postured to fulfill the demands of travelers, and volunteer positions have a tendency to be adaptable to guarantee extreme accommodation. (Morgan, n.d)

Voluntourism, a developing and prominent pattern, alludes to the marvel of paying to volunteer abroad. (Kass, 2013) This wonder, likewise alluded to as volunteer tourism or volunteer travel, has seen amazing development since its general commencement more than a large portion of a century back. (Kass, 2013) Voluntourism has developed into a gainful industry, which numerous battle advantages both the buyer/volunteer and their host areas. (Kass, 2013)

Benefits and Criticisms of Volunteer Tourism

Much of the time, members in “Voluntourism” projects will pay a charge to an universal or nearby association, and the organization will put them as volunteers on a mixed bag of tasks, based on inclination, typically going from instruction to wellbeing to human rights. (Kass, 2013)

Most volunteer excursions range from one week to a year or two, with the normal being around six months. (Kass, 2013)

An inexorably prominent manifestation of supportable tourism is volunteer tourism, assessed to draw in 1.6 million volunteer visitors a year with a quality in the middle of £832m and £1.3bn every year (AUD 1.3bn – 2.1bn) (Wearing and Grabowski, 2011: 145). Volunteer tourism, otherwise called Voluntourism or volunteering for advancement, has been situated under the umbrella of manageable tourism, working nearby group and ecological objectives. (Wearing and Grabowski, 2011)

Four noteworthy motivational topics seemed to come to fruition concerning why people volunteer while on a recreation trip: cultural immersion, giving back, seeking camaraderie, and seeking instructive and bonding opportunities.

At the point when asked, “Why volunteer while in the midst of some recreation?” (McGehee, 2005) it was observed that having the capacity to physically and candidly drench oneself in the neighborhood society and group was a solid motivational component. It was a typical notion from those taking an interest in volunteer work that opportunities to submerge oneself in a nearby society and appreciate collaboration with neighborhood individuals were fundamental in the choice to end up volunteer sightseers. (McGehee, 2005)These volunteering opportunities empower voyagers to experience and learn past the regular tourism experience, where one may be encompassed by organized settings epitomized by wonderful shorelines and extravagant resorts. (McGehee, 2005)

Volunteer voyagers further reported that they all that much needed to have the chance to see genuine individuals, their lives, and their ordinary living environment. It gave the idea that volunteer explorers had a tendency to connect solid worth to seeking and encountering the genuineness of a spot. (McGehee, 2005)They likewise reported a solid interest about other individuals and spots. Respondents reported that working and connecting with the neighborhood individuals and groups lead them to opportunities to wind up inundated in nearby society and to interface with the nearby individuals in a more significant manner.

The second motivational subject that rose was the longing to give back and contact the less favored. Numerous members felt that they had done well in life and needed to give back. Investing time to help individuals in need is a decent approach to simply do that. “A trek with an intention” is speaking to members on the grounds that it offers them an opportunity to help with the less blessed rather than immaculate joy toward oneself. (McGehee, 2005) One center gathering member alluded to utilizing voluntourism as an approach to look for a “reason driven life” and felt that volunteer get-away served as an intends to offer back to society. (McGehee, 2005)

A third motivational subject reflected the camaraderie that was looked for on volunteer excursions. For decently voyaged people, these outings united the “most pleasant gatherings,” as indicated by a large portion of the study subjects. (McGehee, 2005) Gathering and collaborating with individuals from the same travel bunch who imparted basic hobbies and qualities had all the earmarks of being a real rationale behind volunteer traveling. Numerous volunteer vacationers agreed that going with individuals with comparative personalities and making companions added worth and happiness to the general recreation outing background. Seeking camaraderie gave off an impression of being an opinion voiced by the lion’s share of volunteer vacationers as a stronger help for volunteer excursions. This discovering re-implemented aftereffects of a prior study that were exhibited here in the Voluntourists Research Forum when Mcgehee (2001) reported finding that system ties made amid a voluntourism experience had a positive impact on members. (McGehee, 2005)

Implementing a Plan for Volunteer Tourism in Australia

The volunteer vacationers seemed to likewise be persuaded by the instructive and family-bonding opportunities that a volunteer-excursion experience introduced. In situations where volunteer vacationers went with their kids, sources concurred that the volunteer experience was an open door for them to give their worth framework to their youngsters. (McGehee, 2005)They accepted that the volunteer experience they imparted to their youngsters could instruct kids that there are individuals on the planet who are less lucky, that there is wide assorted qualities on the planet, and that material things ought to be of negligible criticalness. Sources additionally accepted that the volunteer experience helped show kids the benefit of giving – a vital part in life. (McGehee, 2005)It was obvious that partaking in volunteer work with kids while in the midst of a furlough was seen as having an instructive segment for the more youthful era.

An alternate related, however different, motivational element could be alluded to as seeking better bonding opportunities with youngsters. (McGehee, 2005) Volunteering together with kids gave off an impression of being an open door for folks and their youngsters and/or grandchildren to connect. For volunteers, it was vital to have the capacity to invest quality time with friends and family, particularly youngsters or grandchildren. Taking a volunteer excursion together seemed to empower them to accomplish that objective. A volunteer experience can assemble an exceptional imparted experience to youngsters. (McGehee, 2005)

Volunteer tourism is a quickly developing pattern. It takes into account a special universal experience while additionally giving the chance of doing a decent deed. Unmistakably, there is a need to share and profits from the volunteer tourism opportunities out there. Be that as it may, it is dependably a decent thought to realize that there are two sides to each story and that “Voluntourism” is not without its potential dim sides.

One marketing method which has for a considerable length of time been broadly embraced and ordinarily utilized as a part of the business part, yet less so in the charitable segment, is market segmentation. It is the methodology of collection clients inside a heterogeneous market into distinctive sections, inside which people have comparable necessities which can be satisfied by a particular marketing blend (McDonald and Dunbar, 1998). Albeit not yet ordinarily utilized by volunteering associations, there is becoming acknowledgement of the heterogeneous nature of the market and the estimation of segmentation as a method for all the more viably focusing on people liable to volunteer. Subsequently, there have been some eminent applications of segmentation procedures to the volunteering area which warrant notice. Wymer has directed various from the earlier studies which portion the market (Wymer, 2003) utilizing various criteria, including sociodemographic qualities and volunteering conduct (Wymer, 2003). In each case, results demonstrate that the fragments showed different profiles demonstrating that redid marketing blends could be intended to all the more viably pull in them. There have likewise been constrained endeavors to portion the volunteer market a posteriori ( (Mazanec and Jafari, 2000), utilizing information driven techniques (Dolnicar and Randle, 2005) to determine the portions. Studies by Dolnicar and Randle have discovered that that there are gatherings of volunteering associations which rival one another for the same people (Dolnicar and Randle, 2005), and that gatherings of volunteers exist with specific blends of inspirations for inclusion (Dolnicar & Randle, 2005). In both cases, the benefit of fragmenting the volunteer market was exhibited and the potential for further applications of the idea for the charitable area highlighted.

Motivations of Volunteer Tourists

Firms that contend in the worldwide marketplace can utilize any mix of the sectioning methods we talked about or none whatsoever. In case you’re a dealer of a metal like iron mineral, you may offer the same item over the whole world by means of a metals merchant. The agent would stress over speaking with clients around the globe and conceiving distinctive marketing fights for each of them.

Most organizations, on the other hand, tailor their offerings to some degree to address the needs of distinctive purchasers far and wide. Case in point, Mattel offers Barbie dolls all as far and wide as possible yet not the same Barbie. Mattel has made thousands of distinctive Barbie offerings intended to speak to different types of individuals in diverse nations. Pizza Hut has establishments far and wide; however its items, bundling, and publicizing are customized to distinctive markets. Squid is a mainstream beating in Asia, case in point. Organizations tailor items for diverse nations as well as for distinctive clients in distinctive nations. Case in point, Procter & Gamble’s China division now offers items intended for diverse nearby market portions in that nation. P&G has a propelled detailing of clothing cleanser for the premium portion, an adjusted item for the second (economy) fragment, and an extremely fundamental, economical item made for the third (provincial) section (Sewell, 2009). Dealers are progressively focusing on shoppers in China, Russia, India, and Brazil in view of their quickly developing white collar classes. Take the beauty care products producer Avon. Avon’s biggest market is no more the United States. It is Brazil (Wheatley, 2010). Brazilians are to a great degree looks-cognizant and progressively ready to bear the cost of restorative items and plastic surgery. (Wheatley, 2010) So appealing are these nations that organizations are changing how they create products and administrations, as well. Generally, American organizations enhanced in the U.s. and took those items abroad, says Vjay Govindarahan, an educator at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Presently, says Govindarahan, organizations are making ease items to catch huge markets in creating nations and then offering them in created nations. Acer’s $250 portable computer and General Electric’s ultrainexpensive $1,000 electrocardiogram gadget are cases. The world’s least expensive auto, the $2,500 Tato Nano, was created for India however is slated to be sold in the United States. (Daniel, 2010)

Different methods for focusing on markets abroad incorporate procuring (purchasing) remote organizations or organizations with huge market imparts there. To tap the Indian market, Kraft made an offer to purchase the candy maker Cadbury, which controls around one-third of India’s chocolate market. In like manner, to go up against Corona brew, the Dutch brewer Heineken as of late obtained Mexico’s Femsa, which makes the brewskie brands Dos Equis. (Merced and Nicholson, 2010) Be that as it may, a few nations don’t permit remote firms to purchase local firms. They can just structure associations with them. Other administrative and social obstructions some of the time keep remote firms from “attacking” a nation. IKEA, the Swedish home-furniture creator, inevitably left Russia in light of the fact that it discovered it excessively hard to work together there. By difference, Mcdonald’s endeavors to expand into Russia have been truly fruitful. Having soaked different markets, the ground sirloin sandwich affix is planning to keep on growwing by opening several new stores in the nation.

Impact of Volunteer Tourism on Local Communities

The question that often arises in the minds of most marketing managers is: Why ought to purchasers buy your offering versus an alternate? In the event that your item confronts rivalry, you will need to consider how to “position” it in the marketplace in respect to contending items. After whatever you don’t need the item to be only one more “face in the swarm” in the personalities of shoppers. Situating includes customizing your item with the goal that it stands out from the opposition and individuals need to purchase it. Numerous organizations use taglines in their publicizing to attempt to position their items in the personalities of the purchaser where they need them, obviously. A slogan is a catchphrase intended to entirety up the pith of an item. You maybe have heard Wendy’s slogan It’s superior to fast food. The slogan is intended to situated Wendy’s separated from restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King—to plant the thought in shoppers’ heads that Wendy’s offerings are less fast food given the negative criticism fast food gets nowadays. At times firms think that it worthwhile to reposition their items particularly in the event that they need the item to start engaging diverse market fragments. Repositioning is a push to “move” an item to a better place in the personalities of purchasers. The i-house, a prefab house assembled by Clayton Homes, a manufactured home maker, is a case. As indicated by the magazine Popular Mechanics, the i-house “resembles a house you’d request from IKEA, sounds like something outlined by Apple, and comprises of luxuries sun based boards, tankless water warmers and rainwater authorities that one would hope to originate from an unique green organization out of California offering to a top of the line market.” A Clayton Homes representative says, “Would we say we are repositioning to pursue another market? I would think we are keeping up our worth to our current market and expanding the market to incorporate different purchasers that beforehand wouldn’t have considered our lodging item (The Baxter Bulletin, 2009)

If we follow the above mentioned procedure about Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning Volunteer Tourism in Australia, we can arrive at a very sustainable plan to promote Volunteer Tourism in the country.

According to Tourism Australia, Research has demonstrated that the Experience Seeker has various key “needs” to fulfill their travel experience:

  • True individual encounters;
  • Social communications;
  • Gathering and collaborating with local people;
  • Encountering something other than what’s expected from their typical normal life;
  • Understanding and looking into changed ways of life and societies;
  • Taking part in the way of life and encountering it, instead of watching it;
  • Testing themselves – physically, sincerely and/or rationally;
  • Going by valid goals that are not so much piece of the traveler course; and
  • Presentation to novel and convincing encounters

Ordinarily Experience Seekers are more prone to be:

  • Experienced universal explorers;
  • Presumption pioneers;
  • Liberal; and
  • Particular in their media utilization.

Different gimmicks of Experience Seekers are:

  • Travel is an imperative piece of their way of life;
  • They stay longer and spend more;
  • They travel past the real urban communities;
  • They are less materialistic;
  • They have a higher than normal family wage; and
  • They are decently instructed and educated on a scope of subject.

Going by the above market segmentation, we identify the youthful tourists, especially from USA and the European Union to be our prime target. We need to position voluntary tourism to them in such a way that it appeals to them and they keep coming back to this experience. The following can help position Voluntourism to them:

  1. Making an association with charitable organizations, and local communities, to imbibe a sense of giving, and making sure benefits are provided to these organizations as well as communities.
  2. Involving the tourists into activities that are meaningful and social in nature.
  3. Making them meet, understand and experience the local culture.
  4. Leave a lasting impression in their minds, so that they come back to experience more and more over a period of time.


These days, the tourism industry has become massively and numerous types of option tourism are accessible for distinctive specialty markets as indicated by their inclination. Volunteer tourism has turned into one of the quickly developing sorts of option tourism. The quantity of associations offering this kind of get-away and the quantity of individuals partaking in it are on the ascent. Along these lines, considering volunteers’ recognitions and desires gets to be basic for all associations offering volunteer bundles. Worldwide volunteer associations ought to isolate the entire traveler market and recognize their intended interest groups as indicated by inspirations and desires of the vacationers. They must have the capacity to pull in volunteer travelers who are in concurrence with them regarding inspirations and targets. Thusly, they are liable to fulfill their volunteers as they can furnish administrations which consent to volunteers’ desires.

In light of our investigation, it can be reasoned that, as a rule, volunteer explorers understand their global volunteer outings as like eco-tourism trips and not quite the same as bundle tourism trips. Volunteer tourism is seen emphatically by the vast majority of the respondents and described by such develop shafts as “energizing”, “bold”, “permitting to do various things that isn’t possible at home” and “giving numerous conceivable outcomes for headway toward oneself”. Volunteer explorers are thought to be a “decent” kind of vacationers that go for new experience, are eager to surrender agreeable life, are near to nature, benefit something and deliver great impression. They travel in light of the fact that they are pulled in by ends and stay near to individuals to get a deeper social involvement in one specific spot. In any case, there are few viewpoints in which volunteer tourism is viewed as like bundle tourism, which are the prearrangement of the treks that abatements the degree of flexibility yet in the meantime permits members to get help from excursion coordinators.

Besides, the literature demonstrates that volunteers’ observations are not the same and, in this way, this specific gathering of individuals can be subdivided into littler and more homogeneous sections. The examination exhibits that some volunteer voyagers see volunteer tourism as like occasion tourism and bundle tourism. Likewise, they see volunteer tourism as profoundly not quite the same as different sorts of option tourism, for example, eco-tourism and undertaking tourism. Worldwide volunteer endeavors, as per the points of view of this littler gathering, don’t have any conspicuous prevalence over different sorts of tourism.


Daniel, M. (2010) ‘Cheap, Cheap, Cheap’, Newsweek, 10 February.

Dolnicar and Randle (2005) ‘The international volunteering market: Market segments and competitive relations’, University of Wollongong Higher Degree Research Student Conference (Unpublished), Wollongong, New South Wales.

Kass, J. (2013) Ethical Inquiry, May

Mazanec and Jafari (ed.) (2000) Market segmentation, London: Encyclopaedia of tourism.

McDonald and Dunbar (1998) Market segmentation: How to do it, how to profit from it, Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Macmillan Press.

Merced and Nicholson (2010) Heineken in Deal to Buy Big Mexican Brewer, 11 January


Sewell, D. (2009) ‘P&G May Make Changes as it Faces Challenges’, The Associated Press, 9 June.

The Baxter Bulletin (2009) Clayton ‘i-house’ is giant leap from trailer park, 22 May.

Wearing and Grabowski (2011) ‘International Volunteer Tourism: One Mechanism for Development’, Migrantes e Voluntariado, pp. 144-164.

Wheatley, J. (2010) ‘“Business of Beauty Is Turning Heads in Brazil’, Financial Times, 10 January.

Wymer, W.W. (2003) ‘Differentiating literacy volunteers: A segmentation analysis for target marketing.’, International Journal of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Marketing, pp. 267-285.

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