Voluntourism inspiring change in service of the common good: The mediating role of volunteer travelers

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Voluntourism has always been portrayed as a crucial role in developing economies. However, as voluntourism evolves and expands, a question of sustainability arises. The majority of populaces served by short-term volunteer trips are predisposed communities. Thus, this raises ethical questions such as voluntourism as a savior or impediment to communities. This study examines the attractiveness of volunteer tourists in recent years in Cambodia and India and how it contributes to future sustainable tourism research. The paper uses KH Coder to collect primary data for the quantitative analysis of text data. Moreover, the paper applies an exploratory approach using content analysis of participant reviews to identify the critical dimensions of experiences. Based on the analysis of trends in voluntourism and their ecosystem, an approach to the sustainable development strategy of voluntourism actors is proposed. First, voluntourism operators and host organizations, a pivotal element of the development strategy of voluntourism infrastructure, are considered. It was revealed that there is a nexus between the well-being of the community/business opportunities and experienced voluntourists. Consequently, these voluntourism activities may provide intrinsic gains for them and the targeted communities, plus its support toward corporate social responsibility.

Acknowledgment
This study received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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    • Figure 1. Conceptual framework of volunteer participation
    • Figure 2. Frequency count of words with logarithmic trend line
    • Figure 3a. Co-occurrence network of words (India data set)
    • Figure 3b. Co-occurrence network of words (Cambodia data set)
    • Table 1. Overview of impacts
    • Conceptualization
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Data curation
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Formal Analysis
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Investigation
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Methodology
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Project administration
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Resources
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Writing – original draft
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar
    • Writing – review & editing
      Teck Choon Teo, Aji Divakar