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Volunteer Tourism: Experiences That Make a Difference,Stephen Wearing (Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing, CAB International, 2002; 222 pp. US$75.00 Hbk; ISBN 0-8519-9533-0)

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The relative lack of new thinking and writing in the area of alternative tourism since the early 1990s remains something of a mystery to this reviewer, given the early promise of that model to redress the systemic and widespread problems associated with conventional mass tourism. This may in part owe to the emergence of the ``sustainable tourism'' paradigm, which is more encompassing in its recognition of both small-scale and large-scale tourism (and everything in between) as legitimate expressions of development. Many academics and practitioners, apparently, are focusing on the pursuit of larger scale tourism that provides significant economic benefits to a destination without generating concomitant environmental and sociocultural costs. The same holds true for ecotourism, which started out essentially as a nature-based form of alternative tourism but is now also conceived as a form of mass tourism. Grand Canyon National Park, Australiaƕs Great Barrier Reef, and numerous other sites attest to the possibilities of sustainable mass ecotourism.

Document Type: Book Review


Affiliations: George Mason University, Virginia, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.

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