Annals of Tourism Research
International Political Economy
The purpose of this study is to explore the importance of existential authenticity in the motivations and activities of volunteer tourists in Thailand. Although studies of volunteer tourism have hinted at the importance of existential themes, few have explicitly utilized an existential framework to assess the authenticity of volunteer tourist experiences. The findings of this study illustrate that the volunteer tourism experience is driven by a desire for existential authenticity in both its intrapersonal and interpersonal varieties, and that working with children facilitates existentially authentic outcomes for volunteers. At the same time, while the perceived material authenticity of hosts enhances opportunities for existential authenticity, it simultaneously undermines it because cultural differences hinder prospects for deep levels of bonding and understanding.
Kontogeorgopoulos, N. (2017). Finding oneself while discovering others: An existential perspective on volunteer tourism in Thailand. Annals of Tourism Research, 65, 1-12.