The Future of Volunteer Tourism in the Asia-Pacific Region: Alternative Prospects

Faith Ong, Leonie Lockstone-Binney, Brian Edward Melville King, Karen A. Smith

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Volunteer tourism has attracted increasing attention among tourism industry practitioners and researchers. As an indication of the scale and scope of the phenomenon, most volunteer tourists have been residents of developed countries visiting developing countries to participate in community development initiatives, scientific research and ecological restoration projects. The researchers have reviewed the literature to determine the drivers of growth that have shaped volunteer tourism and have examined the trends affecting tourism and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region over the medium to longer term. These exploratory inputs serve to inform three scenarios about the likely shape of volunteer tourism within the region leading to 2050: the first scenario predicts a steady state, the second growing participation, and the final proposition, one of diminishing viability. The prospective implications for volunteer tourism arising from these various scenarios are discussed, together with a concluding agenda for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-692
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2014


  • Asia-Pacific
  • future prospects
  • volunteer tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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