WWOOFing tourists: beaten tracks and transformational paths

Publisher:
CABI
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Transformational Tourism: Tourist Perspectives, 2013, 1st, pp. 151 - 168
Issue Date:
2013-01
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This chapter highlights key findings from recent research that indicate the ways in which 'WWOOFing' - staying and working on organic farms through the Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) organization - constitutes 'transformational tourism', exploring key les~ sons that can be learned from this rapidly growing but little understood travel-related phenomenon, It does so noting the context of grow~ ing ecological and social crises increasingly perceived as manifestations of environmental destruction, poverty, hunger, violence, domination and injustice, and recognizing the need to examine how to achieve major shifts in human outlook that are attached to real changes in behaviour that might transform the collective path of humanity. Recalling the purpose of the Grand Tour and Twain's (1869) declaration that 'travel is fatal to prejudice', tourism has held the promise for some time of helping to transform humanity, through personal exposure to and involvement with the many problems faced in common. Tourism might be seen as having the potential of being able to help orient humans to the super-ordinate goal of increasing the sustainability of all of their actions at all levels, itself a key step on the path to alleviation of old crises and averting new ones (Oskamp, 2000).
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