Volunteer perceptions of an ecotourism experience : a case study of ecotourism to the coral reefs of Southern Negros in the Philippines

NOLAN, Ray and ROTHERHAM, Ian (2012). Volunteer perceptions of an ecotourism experience : a case study of ecotourism to the coral reefs of Southern Negros in the Philippines. Journal of Ecotourism, 11 (3), 153-172.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2012.709248
Link to published version:: 10.1080/14724049.2012.709248

Abstract

Volunteer tourism is the focus of much activity in ecotourism provision. Yet, despite apparent altruism, volunteer motivations and expectations are underpinned by a degree of consumer self-interest; in what they expect to experience for their contributions. Such expectations centre on perceptions aroused through promotional images that stimulate a destination–activity–self-image. This represents counterstructure, an idealised contrast with everyday reality, which performs a decisive role in tourism purchases. Herein, flights, accommodation, etc. become subsidiary to the perceived meta-cognitive character of the volunteer-ecotourist experience. However, disparities in this perception between volunteer and producer and actual experience produced can threaten the ecocentricity of tourist–host–environment interaction. This undermines conservation and developmental efforts by resulting in egocentric spatial over-consumption as consumers and producers pursue destination exclusivity elsewhere. The importance of such issues is discussed and the potential to broaden the depth of understanding of volunteer consumer perceptions is explored in seeking to further harness volunteer ecotourism more effectively.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: UoA26
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Identification Number: 10.1080/14724049.2012.709248
Depositing User: Rebecca Jones
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 09:51
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2016 17:13
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6942

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