Atlas Annual Conference 2021 - Special Track ‘New Frontiers in Volunteer Tourism Research’
Dr Davide Sterchele and Dr Elisa Burrai hosted a successful special track on ‘New Frontiers in Volunteer Tourism Research’ as part of the ATLAS Annual Conference 2021. In the sessions, scheduled over two days, there were 11 contributions from a variety of scholars, institutions and disciplines.
The topics discussed in the presentations focused on new theoretical ways to approach the field of volunteer tourism, such as gift-exchange theory or socio-ecological model for resilience. Additionally, a number of presentations focused on the future of volunteer tourism in a post-pandemic world, with emphasis on innovative ways of volunteering using online platforms and consequent implications of online volunteering (within a new leisure context). Other scholars examined volunteer tourism from the angle of serious leisure (in the context of hospitality in museums) and working holidays (work exchange). The case studies analysed did not only focused on the Global South such as Fiji and Vietnam, but also on destinations based in the Global North, such as Holland, Lisbon and Israel.
At the end of each session, Davide and Elisa also facilitated three roundtable discussions to identify collective ways to help the ATLAS Special Interest Group on Volunteer Tourism (which we also coordinate) to develop and advance knowledge on the field. The delegation had many interesting ideas particularly in regard to the possibility of developing a special issue on current themes which affect the volunteer tourism sector. Overall, the ATLAS conference gave the opportunity to enable our group’s network to grow. Peers demonstrated enthusiasm for future events and activities which Davide and Elisa will facilitate/lead on.
Davide joined Leeds Beckett University as a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in January 2013 from the University of Padua, Italy, where he completed a PhD in sociology with an ethnographic study on football and inter-ethnic relationships in post-war Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Dr Elisa Burrai is a Senior Lecturer in the UG course International Tourism Management and in the PG course Responsible Tourism Management. I joined the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management in 2014.