Presenter Bios (50 Words)

Lana Olsen is a doctoral candidate in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. She is research analyst for the Center of Sustainable Tourism at ASU. She studies impacts of volunteer tourism, and community engagement in international community development programs.

Kathleen Andereck is director and professor of the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. She studies tourism and quality of life, residents’ attitudes toward tourism, volunteer tourism, and tourist behavior. She conducts research with organizations and agencies, and is widely published in tourism and recreation journals.

Christine Vogt is professor in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. She directs the Center for Sustainable Tourism at ASU. She studies natural resource based tourism and recreation. She conducts survey research and evaluation and is widely published in leisure, tourism, recreation and parks, and natural resource journals.

Abstract (150 Words)

TTRA 2018 Short Abstract

A culturally relevant symbol: Participant engagement in a volunteer tourism music-conservation youth education program

Abstract

Volunteer-led travel educational programs focus on diverse community initiatives. Daraja Music Initiative (DMI), a US-Tanzanian nonprofit, indicates they are “providing an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability through music...by actively engaging students and the community with the power of music” (DMI, 2018). Thirteen interviews and four focus groups were conducted with volunteer tourists, community members and youth, during summer 2017 in Moshi, Tanzania, in order to seek perspectives on what engagement means and explore the concept of engagement through a new theoretical framework. Findings suggest engagement in a volunteer tourism program (connection, communication and hope) is through a culturally relevant symbol, and has linkages to the study of semiotics (Mick, 1986). Study implications can be beneficial for community development and collaborative planning, as well as contribution to engagement theory, sustainable tourism and volunteer tourism research.

Key words: Engagement Theory, Volunteer Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Community and Youth Voices, Semiotics

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A culturally relevant symbol: Participant engagement in a volunteer tourism music-conservation youth education program

TTRA 2018 Short Abstract

A culturally relevant symbol: Participant engagement in a volunteer tourism music-conservation youth education program

Abstract

Volunteer-led travel educational programs focus on diverse community initiatives. Daraja Music Initiative (DMI), a US-Tanzanian nonprofit, indicates they are “providing an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability through music...by actively engaging students and the community with the power of music” (DMI, 2018). Thirteen interviews and four focus groups were conducted with volunteer tourists, community members and youth, during summer 2017 in Moshi, Tanzania, in order to seek perspectives on what engagement means and explore the concept of engagement through a new theoretical framework. Findings suggest engagement in a volunteer tourism program (connection, communication and hope) is through a culturally relevant symbol, and has linkages to the study of semiotics (Mick, 1986). Study implications can be beneficial for community development and collaborative planning, as well as contribution to engagement theory, sustainable tourism and volunteer tourism research.

Key words: Engagement Theory, Volunteer Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Community and Youth Voices, Semiotics