The Essential Companion
Edited by Philip L. Pearce
Chapter 16: Behaving altruistically
The particular focus is on how altruism occurs in tourism. The chapter authors examine how commodifying altruism has resulted in the growth of volunteer tourism, providing a feel-good product at a premium price that also gives a sense of perceived quality for the individual traveller. Individual tourist identities can be bolstered and served by the current commodification but not necessarily with positive outcomes for the setting or the communities encountered. The forces of the global free-market economy tend to loom over tourism, ignoring the impacts or what economists refer to as externalities. The work explores the notion of a gift as a richer conceptualisation of altruism and argues for a broader evaluation and treatment of the success of tourist activities to capture more ethical volunteering.
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