NS29 Session 4

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Title: Unveiling the intersection between tourism and volunteering in the industrialised world

Organisers: Reidar J. Mykletun, Ingeborg M. Nordbø & Mónica Segovia-Pérez

Affiliation: Stavanger Business School - University of Stavanger, University of South-Eastern Norway & Rey Juan Carlos University


Volunteering has long traditions in most societies, but its form is subject to change with developments in the market economy, the services offered by the public sector, the sharing economy, and the society in large. It encompasses various contributions and unpaid activities solving issues that the market and the public sector leaves undone. The contribution is significant; for instance, in Norway, two thirds of the population participate to some extent in volunteering, which in 2019 accounted for 142,000 person-years, worth 7,570,000,000 € (Nyhus & Nedrum, 2019). The volunteers’ engagement may be rooted in tradition, values, beliefs and feelings of obligations towards something greater than they are, and they gain mainly non-monetary benefits in return. Some of these contributions are directly or indirectly part of or facilitating tourism.
However, volunteering and tourism has largely been associated with the tourists traveling to developing parts of the world to aid in activities such as construction, agriculture, education, and child care; and researchers has followed those strands while mainly neglected to study volunteering as a direct or indirect contribution to tourism in our industrialised parts of the world.
Against this backdrop, this session will discuss volunteering as contribution to tourism. We invite conceptual and empirical papers based on reviews, case studies, historical studies, qualitative studies, and cross-sectional or longitudinal studies that may elucidate these issues. Who are volunteering and where? Are they in ecological farming; search and rescue organisations to find lost tourists; helping disabled tourists to reach for the unreachable experiencescapes; maintenance of infrastructure such as public trails and cabins; protecting threatened nature or species; development and maintenance of collections and exhibitions; facilitating sports and other events as volunteer staff? What are their benefits and is it sector-specific? A wide fan of entrances are open, from individual factors to organisational and business perspectives, cultural interchange and economy.
Ref: Nyhus, J. & Nedrum, L. (2019). Frivillighetsbaraometeret 2019. Oslo: Kantar/Frivillighet Norge


Abstract submission