Volunteer Tourism: An In-depth Analysis of the Potential German Volunteer Tourist

Sophie Junge (August 2016)

In a continuously growing and diverse industry such as tourism, it is essential for tour operators and tourism organizations to enter new markets, and attract new customers in order to stay competitive. Volunteer tourism is a growing niche market, which more and more commercial tourism organizations are getting involved in. This development is rooted in the increasing travel experience of society, low airfares, social media and increasingly adventurous and curious mindsets of tourists, seeking to experience a new form of travel. Volunteer tourism describes the phenomenon of combining the thirst for traveling and experiencing an adventure with the wish to volunteer abroad and to help the less fortunate. In Anglophone regions, this form of travel is already more prevalent, however, the trend is also expanding in Germany. Therefore, this thesis investigates potential German volunteer tourists in terms of their characteristics and motivations. The analysis and creation of a profile of the potential German volunteer tourists can simplify the decision-making process of tour operators whether to enter this niche market or not. Additionally, the findings are vital for tour operators, as marketing and advertising could be adjusted according to the target markets. Moreover, to satisfy customers’ needs, volunteer vacations could be designed accordingly. The overall findings show that a typical German volunteer tourist is young, during their first course of education, seeking to experience an adventure and to develop the own personality, while at the same time wanting to give something back to people who are less privileged.

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