انگیزش ها و ارزش درک شده گردشگران داوطلبانه در هنگ کنگ
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4986||2011||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 32, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 326–334
This study examines the motivational factors and perceived value of Hong Kong volunteer tourists. The results of a focus group and in-depth interviews reveal five main motives for travelers to partake in volunteer trips: cultural immersion and interaction with the local people; desire to give back and show love and concern; a shared experience with family members and an educational opportunity for children; religious involvement; and escape from everyday life. The perceived value of these volunteer travelers includes personal growth and development, relationship enhancement, and change in perspective on life. The factors influencing their future decision to participate in volunteer tourism include time, financial ability, safety and health issues, arrangements and scale of the tour, and reputation of the organizer
International tourism has changed substantially in the last few decades. Since the mid-1960s, mass tourism has emerged as a popular leisure activity. However, people are becoming less likely to be satisfied with the experience of mass tourism. Travelers are more sophisticated and they increasingly seek unique and meaningful travel experiences to satisfy their specific needs and desires (Hall and Weiler, 1992 and Robinson and Novelli, 2005). Volunteer tourism refers to tourists who pay to travel to another location where they volunteer in organized projects that involve helping communities by such means as distributing necessities and other resources, restoring and conserving environments, or assisting in field research (Broad, 2003 and Wearing, 2001). Volunteer tourism offers meaningful experiences to travelers as they volunteer to improve some aspect(s) of the host community during their visit. This type of tourism contributes not only to the personal growth and satisfaction of travelers but also to the development of the host community and its culture (Callanan & Thomas, 2005). There is increasing awareness of and interest and participation in some form of volunteer travel among travelers (Rogers, 2007). A wide range of volunteer projects and tours is available. Travelers can participate in building schools, homes, and orphanages in developing countries, taking care of lions in South Africa (Rogers, 2007), elephants in Thailand (Carter, 2005), or sea turtles in Costa Rica (Campbell & Smith, 2006), conducting research on environmental or societal issues (Wearing, 2001), conserving the natural environment (American Hiking Society, 2008), teaching English to children, or assisting in construction projects (Ambassadors for Children, 2008). Globally, various companies or organizations are doing their very best to build international awareness of volunteer tourism. They strive to promote this type of tourism around the world by educating, providing valuable information and advice, and collaborating with different stakeholder groups such as the host community, non-profit organizations, NGOs, and individual travelers (VolunTourism.org, 2008). International tour operators also act as effective facilitators of volunteer tourism and aim to provide meaningful experiences for travelers (Rogers, 2007). Thousands of volunteers are sent to work on projects in different countries worldwide each year. Sometimes, charities cooperate with tour operators to create fundraising travel tours or volunteer projects (Callanan & Thomas, 2005). In so doing, the charities can diversify their funding sources, while the tour operators can raise the profile of the companies and promote themselves as socially responsible and ethical (McCallin, 2001). Some tour operators are also involved in promoting volunteer tourism by providing comprehensive international travel and study information that helps to connect prospective volunteer travelers with organizations providing these opportunities (GoAbroad.com, 2008). The growth of volunteer tourism, particularly among travelers in the Western countries, has motivated researchers, marketers, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct research to learn more about the motivations of these travelers, their contribution to the host community, and other related issues (O’Daly, 2007). It is of paramount importance to understand the travel motivation of volunteer tourists because it is the driving force behind their behavior. Fodness (1994) and Crompton (1979) suggested that more knowledge of tourism motivation is necessary to assist tourism marketers in understanding the travel patterns of individuals so that appropriate tourism products can be developed in accordance with their needs and wants. In addition, studying their perceptions of the value of volunteer trips will help to determine their intentions to re-engage in or recommend volunteer travel opportunities. Over the past decade, a number of studies in volunteer tourism have been conducted. Some common themes of these researches looked at the motivation and perceived benefits of engaging in volunteer tourism (Broad, 2003, Brown and Lehto, 2005 and Söderman and Snead, 2009). Some focused on the experience of participating in volunteer ecotourism and volunteer conservation expeditions (Gray and Campbell, 2007, Lepp, 2009a and Lepp, 2009b). One studied the difference between the projected and perceived images of volunteer tourism organizations (Coghlan, 2007). However, all of these studies were conducted with Western population. More research needs to be done to understand the motivations of these volunteer tourists and their perceptions of the value attained through their volunteer tourism experiences in different parts of the world. Volunteer tourism is at its infancy in Hong Kong. Over the past few years, more Hong Kong residents have the opportunities to travel abroad and involve in volunteer work at the same time. Some tour operators organize conservation volunteer tours to Australia and New Zealand and visits to local communities in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Jordan, and mainland China. Volunteer work may be one component of their travel itineraries. Other volunteer travel opportunities are provided by non-profit organizations and mainly target secondary school and undergraduate students. These volunteers will usually be involved in teaching English and simple hygiene knowledge to local people and providing basic medical care and treatment for patients in needy communities. Voluntary organization also combines travel with public services by asking every volunteer tourist to carry one kilogram of books or stationeries to students in rural China (1KG MORE, 2009). Some volunteers of religious groups are involved in mission trips to various impoverished places abroad. They provide education and development aid in the needy communities and at the same time preach their religion and belief. The tsunami in 2004 and 512 Wenchuan earthquakes in Sichuan, China in 2008 provided opportunities for Hong Kong people to participate in emergency relief and long-term recovery assistance to disaster-affected sites (e.g. China Action Love Volunteer Association, 2008, Raleigh Hong Kong, 2009, Sowers Action, 2009 and Tsunami Volunteer Center, 2009). The current study was designed to explore the motivations for and perceived value of volunteer tourists from Hong Kong. The results of this study can help tourism marketers and professionals and potential service providers such as NGOs and travel agencies to identify their potential markets, and organize more volunteer tours and diversify tourism products in Hong Kong. Non-profit organizations can better understand why people choose to volunteer overseas, segment the markets, create tailor-made volunteer tours to recruit more travelers to become volunteers, and develop appropriate marketing strategies to promote volunteer tourism. The objectives of this study were to identify the motivations of volunteer tourists from Hong Kong, their perceived value attained through volunteer tours, and the factors affecting their decision to participate in such tourism in the future.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Employing in-depth personal interviews and a focus group discussion, this study examined the motivations and perceived value of volunteer tourists from Hong Kong. All of the respondents were volunteer-minded travelers with a desire to give back and show their love and concern for needy communities. Majority of the participants belonged to the Gen X and Y groups. Their motives were in many ways similar to those identified by Broad (2003) and Brown and Lehto (2005). They participated in volunteer trips because they wanted to learn more about a different culture and interact with people in the host community. None of them were motivated to participate in the volunteer trips because they wanted to travel or engage in traditional tourists’ activities. However, the current study also found that the interviewees joined the volunteer trips because they wanted to escape from their everyday lives. Hong Kong is known to be a fast-paced international city, and it is not uncommon that Hong Kong people experience enormous stress. Volunteer tourism provides a great opportunity to escape from bustling city life to visit a rural area in the search for inner peace. The perceived value of Hong Kong residents regarding volunteer tourism was in line with the benefits and impacts suggested by other researchers (e.g. Broad, 2003; Brown & Lehto, 2005; Lepp, 2009a and Lepp, 2009b; Wearing and Deane, 2003 and Wearing and Neil, 2000). These volunteer travel experiences had great influence on the participants. It enabled them to experience the impoverished lives of others, which changed the way they looked at life and the world. It made them want to give back more to the host communities, as these travelers realized how fortunate they are, and wanted to do something meaningful in the hope of making a difference in the lives of others. This experience also made them more conscious about themselves and the world around them, which supports McGehee and Santos’s (2005) finding that volunteer tourism provides consciousness-raising experiences and opportunities for social networking with people with similar ideologies and goals. Volunteer tourism experience certainly appeals to the Gen Yers in the Western cultures who are more aware of global problems and humanitarian issues but also appears to be attractive to Gen Yers in Hong Kong. It was observed that volunteer tourism resulted in benefits for both the host communities and volunteers. Although the participants in this study did not engage in traditional tourism activities such as sightseeing and visiting tourist attractions which were unavailable in the destinations they visited, they stayed in room and board facilities provided by the host communities, purchased hand crafts and food made by the locals. The host community received subsidies and assistance, while the volunteers could show their love and care for the local people. Concurring with McIntosh and Sahra (2009), the interactions between hosts and volunteers also led to personal change and development, invaluable friendships, enriched life experience, and unforgettable memories. However, some negative influences may have been overlooked by both groups. For example, the great discrepancy between life in the host community and that in Hong Kong might have created negative feelings among members of the host communities. Meeting more and more volunteers from wealthier countries could result in local people feeling inferior and frustrated. In addition, if many volunteers visit needy communities at the same time, this might raise problems related to tourism and infrastructure development for some countries that might not have sufficient food and resources. Although it is evident that volunteer tourism provides benefits to host communities and individuals, the government, tourism professionals, and other stakeholders should take note of potential negative impacts and try to minimize them when promoting volunteer tourism. The findings of this research offer several significant insights for tourism marketers and professionals, potential service providers, and non-profit organizations in exploiting volunteer tourism in Hong Kong and packaging volunteer tours to make them more attractive to Hong Kong residents. There is potential to promote volunteer tourism in Hong Kong, as all of the respondents expressed that they would partake in volunteer trips again. Thus, it is recommended that tourism marketers and potential service providers develop and launch new package tours that are related to volunteering overseas. As volunteer tourism is still not very well known in Hong Kong, volunteer trips could be introduced that suit the needs of vacation-minded travelers. This type of trip should be no more than seven days, with a portion of time spent volunteering, for example, a day or two visiting a local school or orphanage, and leaving time for people to engage in other travel activities. This would enable potential volunteer travelers to gain some idea of what a volunteer trip would be like. Further more, destinations in Mainland China might be a good start for less-experienced volunteer tourists due to its proximity. Also the ethnic tie between people in Hong Kong and the Mainland may encourage more people to engage in volunteer tourism in Mainland China. Providers of volunteer tourism opportunities should be aware of the differences between participants from different generational groups as their travel behavior, preferences, and attitude towards the different types of travel experiences may vary. Further market research should be done to obtain better understand the preference of travelers with regard to destination and nature of volunteer work so that volunteer trips could be organized that are appealing to Hong Kong residents with different volunteer tourism experiences. Potential service providers, such as travel agencies, could also cooperate with well-established charitable organizations to organize volunteer trips to needy communities. This cooperation would create mutual benefits for both the travel agencies and charitable organizations. On the one hand, it could raise public awareness of and interest in volunteer tourism; on the other hand, experienced charitable organizations could help to develop meaningful tours with well-organized volunteer activities for participants. This study also identified factors that affect the decision of volunteer-minded travelers to participate in future volunteer trips. It is recommended that non-profit organizations tailor-make volunteer trips according to those factors to target the more sophisticated volunteer travelers. As these travelers are motivated by the desire to give back, they want to provide practical assistance to and interact more with the local community. They would like to spend more time to engage in volunteer work rather than on traditional tourism activities in their future volunteer travel trips. Non-profit organizations should be aware of this and organize volunteer trips that involve volunteer teaching, home rebuilding, or conservation work. In addition, as time and money are the major concerns of Hong Kong residents, these organizations should set volunteer tour fees at a reasonable and acceptable level and organize short trips to neighboring communities. Also, it is important to provide information on how the fees would be used to the participants. It would be wonderful if the organizations could organize regular volunteer trips to the same places so that volunteers could keep in touch and build long-term relationships with the local people. The length of the trip could be different for the student market, as our findings indicated that students prefer longer trips that include more volunteer opportunities.