Volunteer tourism: The interests and motivations of grey nomads

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Annals of Leisure Research, 2009, 12 (3-4), pp. 315 - 332
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Volunteer tourism is increasingly being recognised as a distinct phenomenon which needs to draw on an understanding of both tourism and volunteer motivations. The present research identifies the volunteering interests and needs of one particular demographic or interest group, the grey nomads of Australia. Grey nomads are defined as people aged over 50 years who adopt an extended period of travel within Australia. They are an important group because of their potential to assist struggling rural communities. The results showed that grey nomads had a diverse range of skills and displayed a willingness to volunteer for community projects. Efforts to attract grey nomad volunteers will need to consider their diversity of education, the health limitations of those aged over seventy and the grey nomads' desire to meet the townspeople and to learn more about the local area and its history. The results suggest that it is feasible for towns using tourism as a path to development to include the possibility of grey nomad volunteer programs.
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