Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Sustainable Community Development or Voluntourism: Illustrative Case Study of Sustainable Housing in Maharashtra

Version 1 : Received: 5 November 2018 / Approved: 6 November 2018 / Online: 6 November 2018 (12:58:59 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Melles, G. Sustainable Community Development or Voluntourism: Sustainable Housing in Rural Maharashtra. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 247. Melles, G. Sustainable Community Development or Voluntourism: Sustainable Housing in Rural Maharashtra. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 247.

Journal reference: Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 247
DOI: 10.3390/socsci7120247

Abstract

Volunteer tourism or ‘voluntourism’ packages development and poverty as culturally exotic and ethical experiences for tourists from industrialized countries. In the university sector study abroad tours network voluntourism agencies, local actors, e.g. NGOs, universities and government funding to offer students ‘life changing’ experiential and community development learning. Recent criticism of the commodification of development and poverty through such tours points to multiple pernicious effects of such travel, especially the failure to deliver community impact. Following review of current criticism of voluntourism, this illustrative case study of a purported sustainable housing project in rural Maharashtra employs multiple data sources and covert research to explore the multiple gaps between participatory community sustainable development and voluntourism. The study finds signal lack of financial transparency, incompetent assessment of material needs, and limited local participation and control, failure to deliver on objectives, and recommends that socially responsible short term international exchanges should be carefully monitored and prefer knowledge exchange.

Supplementary and Associated Material

Subject Areas

volunteer tourism ;development; participation; commodification

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