Volunteer tourism impacts in Ghana: A practice approach

Bertine Bargeman, Greg Richards, Ellen Govers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Relatively little empirical research has been conducted on impacts of volunteer tourism in local communities. This paper therefore focuses on the local consequences of volunteer tourism for two projects in Tamale, Ghana: Zion Primary School and Tamale Children's Home. A practice approach provides a useful theoretical framework to investigate how volunteers and local actors interact in these projects. In a practice approach, interactions become central to the analysis, highlighting the ways in which volunteers, local people and the local context mutually influence one another. Observations and interviews with volunteers and local actors were used to identify positive and negative consequences of their interactions, which are strongly interlinked and depend on routines, backgrounds and positions of the actors, and contextual conditions. The consequences of volunteer practices are also linked to other current and future practices. A practice approach provides insights into complex situations and may be more suited to analysing the impacts of volunteer tourism than a traditional mono-disciplinary focus.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1486-1501
    JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Ghana
    • actor-context approach
    • impacts
    • interactions
    • social practice
    • volunteer tourism


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