Be sugar in milk : local perspectives on volunteer tourism in India and Uganda
Stritch, Rohan Lea
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SubjectVolunteer tourism; Postcolonialism; Equality; Critical theory; India; Uganda; Ethnography (Research methodology); Action research (Research methodology); Interviews (Research methodology)
This research explores the ways in which volunteer tourism is perceived by local volunteer coordinators in communities in India and Uganda. It highlights the importance of forming a more nuanced understanding of local agency, particularly in relation to community-based tourism. Participants from Indian and Ugandan NGOs speak to what they perceive is the role, value, and purpose of hosting Western volunteers and illustrate some of the benefits and challenges. Postcolonial theory and equity theory are applied to evaluate what is still a highly inequitable global tourism structure, while alerting the reader to how some individuals are exercising control over this form of alternative tourism. By drawing on the link between development and tourism, this study explores the critical issues that participants reveal and closes with three design principles for Northern sending agencies, Southern host organizations, and volunteer tourists to consider in order that volunteer tourism may best benefit receiving communities. Key words: Alternative tourism, Volunteer tourism, India, Uganda, Development, Equity Theory, Postcolonial Theory
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