A comparison of expenditures between New Orleans volunteer and leisure tourists: Implications for sustainability

Ksenia Kirillova, Bridget M. Bordelon, David M. Pearlman

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Corp. While economic implications of volunteer tourism to the host economy have been acknowledged in previous tourism research, no empirical study to assess this influence has been published to date. This expenditure study begins to fill the gap in academic and practical knowledge. The purpose of this research was to compare and contrast the expenditure patterns of volunteer tourists with those of leisure tourists in New Orleans. Survey research methods were used to obtain a sample of volunteer tourists that was compared to a leisure tourist sample obtained from secondary data. Visitors' expenditures across six types of spending (local transportation, lodging, food/beverages, gambling, retail shopping, and tours/admission fees), demographics, and travel information were collected. Data analysis included t tests revealing that volunteer tourists' spending was lower in five out of six categories, total daily expenditures, and total trip spending. Volunteer tourists spent more on local transportation, but preferred cheaper accommodations and dining, seldom gambled, shopped little at the destination, and rarely visited tourist attractions. Examining differences in expenditure patterns can help a destination develop sustainable tourism policy and maximize economic benefits of volunteer tourism. In conclusion, this article proposes strategies to promote economically and culturally sustainable volunteer tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct expenditures
  • Leisure tourism
  • New orleans
  • Sustainability
  • Volunteer tourism
  • Voluntourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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