The researchers noted that other volunteers, while not wholly unsatisfied with the experience at time felt disappointed that because of cultural and language barriers the work could not be done efficiently. Some volunteers would make up their own volunteer activities such as playing with children and teaching classes. This points toward the fact that sometimes in volunteer tourist operation there is simply not enough work (Palacios, 2010). The researchers still noted that there was intrinsic value of experience to the body of volunteers, since tourism experiences can affect identity and self of the participator (Andrews, 2009; Sin, 2009).According to the authors there are several benefits to the community.
The project operator employs between ten and twenty locals to build the traditional huts, which is the main volunteering activity. Experienced builder earn about 4.4$ per day, while common workers earn 2.5$ per day.
(McGehee & Andereck, 2009) If the tour operator manages to expand and build several huts at the same time, the number of employees would also scale along with it and a sizeable number of people would be employed from funds which essentially are the volunteering fee. The hut building has also had impact on the local economy, the local brick market has also seen an increase in demand because of the hut building. Some volunteers such as one of the researcher are also hosted directly by locals, which further assists locals economically. This case study then makes a valid point for volunteer tourism having the potential to positively affect the local economy. Socio-cultural impact is not directly referenced in this paper, but the researcher do state that some of the locals come to perceive the volunteer tourists as either not tourists (McGehee & Andereck, 2009) or a different kind of tourists (Gray & Campbell, 2007) due to the volunteers attitude, acts and objective in volunteering.In conclusion then, there are noticeable impacts on the host community in the case of Amahoro tours in Rwanda.
The research mostly describes the positive economic impact that the volunteering has on the community, but social impact does also exist. Since the research does only briefly mention the social impact, clear conclusions can not be drawn. But it is certain that the continuous presence of foreign tourists must have an impact on the locals. Apart from the differing perception of the volunteers when compared to common tourists, the researchers also mention that locals try to overcome language barriers to communicate with the volunteers.
This is caused by the introduction of a body of people which speak languages foreign to the locals. (inde & Labov, 1975) This process is certainly another impact of volunteers in the community. 15Social Capital and Volunteer TourismIn the second case study of this essay McGehee and Zahra analyse a Philippine community through the lens of Flora’s community capital theory.
In Flora’s model every community contains a unique mix of seven types of community capital. The seven types are built, financial, political, social, human, cultural and natural capital. (2005) As in Figure 1: