Sustaining the common good: tourism professional motives to volunteer for the tourism industry

Lana M. Olsen, Christine Vogt, Kathleen Andereck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Volunteer tourism research has studied individual motives to participating in development work overseas. There is, however, an absence of research examining what influences corporate individual employees to volunteer for tourism-related activities as representatives of their organisation within their own country. This paper investigates tourism professionals’ purpose(s) for engaging in tourism-centred volunteer tourism opportunities and, in addition, compares tourism professional motives with motives of volunteer tourists as reported in previous research. Purposive sampling techniques were employed to select individuals, and data were collected through 23 interviews with tourism professionals attending the 1–3 November 2015 Tourism Cares event in Williams, AZ, USA (a town near Grand Canyon National Park, USA). Tourism Cares is a non-profit tourism industry organisation supporting tourism industry education and community building. Results suggest tourism professionals’ motives to volunteer for the tourism industry are linked to the common good approach and the sustaining of the tourism product, which directly affects tourism professionals’ livelihood. This is a new volunteer tourist motive related to corporate or individual employees who volunteer for their own industry. Study implications can be beneficial for employee-volunteer management and business ethics, as well as its contribution to corporate social responsibility, sustainable tourism, and volunteer tourism research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Volunteer motives
  • common good approach
  • corporate and individual social responsibility
  • tourism cares
  • volunteer tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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