Abstract

This study utilizes a factor-cluster analysis to determine segments of potential volunteer tourists based on their motivations for participating in volunteer tourism experiences. Three segments emerged, Volunteers, Voluntourists, and Tourists, and were subsequently compared across their expectations for transformative learning opportunities in volunteer tourism experiences. Three components of transformative learning are considered: self-reflection, engaging in dialogue, and intercultural experiences (Taylor, 2008). Each segment was found to hold different expectations of the components of a transformative learning experience, suggesting that in order to fully engage in such an experience and gain its benefits each segment requires a customized volunteer tourism program. The study offers implications for future research and managerial action.

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Potential Volunteer Tourists’ Expectations of Transformative Learning Opportunities

This study utilizes a factor-cluster analysis to determine segments of potential volunteer tourists based on their motivations for participating in volunteer tourism experiences. Three segments emerged, Volunteers, Voluntourists, and Tourists, and were subsequently compared across their expectations for transformative learning opportunities in volunteer tourism experiences. Three components of transformative learning are considered: self-reflection, engaging in dialogue, and intercultural experiences (Taylor, 2008). Each segment was found to hold different expectations of the components of a transformative learning experience, suggesting that in order to fully engage in such an experience and gain its benefits each segment requires a customized volunteer tourism program. The study offers implications for future research and managerial action.