Theory and practice regarding various approaches to sustainability have experienced a great deal of evolution, debate, and development over the past few decades, particularly when applied in a tourism context. This paper examines to what capacity established frameworks of sustainable development help to inform sustainable livelihoods frameworks, and how these frameworks can be specifically applied to volunteer tourism. Sustainable development can be viewed as the parental paradigm to sustainable tourism, as well as a sustainable livelihoods approach to development. A livelihoods approach is used in a tourism context in a few studies, but the link between tourism and sustainable livelihoods is not currently fully understood, even though many people in developing countries depend on tourism for their livelihoods. Volunteer tourism is championed as a mechanism for sustainable development and a form of sustainable tourism, and although volunteer tourism ideologically and theoretically aligns with the core concepts of sustainable livelihoods, the connection between volunteer tourism and sustainable livelihoods is lacking theoretically and in practice. To make the link between sustainable development, sustainable livelihoods, and volunteer tourism, we present an adaptation of a sustainable livelihoods framework for theoretical and practical application in the growing and increasingly important volunteer tourism industry.
|Keywords:||Sustainable Development, Sustainable Livelihoods, Volunteer Tourism, Frameworks|
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Associate Professor, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA