Adventure Philanthropy: Trialling a New Blend of Tourism and Volunteering
In 2007 Lyons suggested that decoupling the volunteering and tourism aspects of volunteer tourism might circumvent some of the more negative aspects of this niche tourism sector. This paper provides a personal account of an adventure philanthropy event as a means of investigating the proposal made by Lyons and Wearing. Adventure philanthropy is a form of tourism that combines fundraising/charity work with adventure travel, an activity in which participants first engage in volunteer fund raising before undertaking an adventure tourism trip. In this case the event was the Hospital Foundation's Cardiac Challenge, a three day cycling event from Cairns to Cooktown. Findings based on participant observation and auto-ethnography suggest that this type of adventure philanthropy event has many of the same characteristics as volunteering, tourism and volunteer tourism. The research results provide insights into the decreased role of ambiguity and better defined outcomes that this type of tourism offers over more traditional volunteer tourism. It suggests therefore that the proposal by Lyons (2007) (and subsequently, Lyons & Wearing, 2008) does have merit and concludes that more rigorous research into this topic would be beneficial. Keywords: volunteer tourism, adventure philanthropy, motivation.
CAUTHE 2011: Tourism - Creating a brilliant blend
Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience