A1 Journal article (refereed)
The Carbon Footprint of Volunteer Tourism (2019)

El Geneidy, S., & Baumeister, S. (2019). The Carbon Footprint of Volunteer Tourism. European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, 9(2), 15-25. https://doi.org/10.2478/ejthr-2019-0010

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsEl Geneidy, Sami; Baumeister, Stefan

Journal or seriesEuropean Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation



Publication year2019


Issue number2

Pages range15-25

PublisherSciendo; De Gruyter

Publication countryPortugal

Publication languageEnglish


Persistent website addresshttps://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/ejthr/ejthr-overview.xml

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69331


Tourism is growing at a fast rate and so is its carbon footprint. Alongside conventional tourism, a new form of tourism, so-called voluntourism, has emerged. The discussion on voluntourism in the existing literature has hereby mainly centred around its positive impacts on the health and education of communities and the local environment in developing countries. Nevertheless, little attention has been drawn to its climate impacts. This study set out to investigate the carbon footprint of voluntourism. The data were collected at a local NGO in India working with voluntourists. Both the carbon footprint of the stay in India and from the round trip by air were taken into consideration. The results showed that while the carbon footprint of voluntourists during their stay is comparable with that of locals, the flight significantly contributes to the carbon footprint of voluntourism. Depending on the distance flown and the length of the stay, the average share of the carbon footprint stemming from the flight can be between 83% and 96%. The paper concludes that faraway destinations and short stays should be avoided; otherwise voluntourism might cause more harm than good. Based on the findings this paper provides recommendations for policymakers and further research.

Keywordscarbon footprinttourismvolunteersair transport

Free keywordsvolunteering; voluntourism; sustainability

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-11-05 at 00:46