The White Lion Volunteer Program in South Africa: A Study of Volunteer Needs
Division of Tourism Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Volunteer tourists are motivated to participate in volunteer programs due to their need to ‘do something different’, ‘see another culture’ and ‘to escape’, amongst others. The research aims to determine the internal and external factors that motivate individuals to participate in the Tsau! Global White Lion Protection Trust’s (GWLPT) volunteer program. Maslow’s theory of human motivation and Frankl’s study of human behaviour are used to explore intrinsic factors whereas extrinsic or macro environmental factors of influence are also investigated. A mixed method approach with focus group discussions and an online survey is followed. A background to the volunteer program is presented with the activities available to volunteers. The key findings indicate that most volunteers are young females that volunteer for a minimum of two weeks; are internally motivated to ‘give back and be useful’ and ‘to work with the white lions’ for the purpose of self-actualisation. External motivation is mainly social in terms of concern about the well-being of the lions, and South Africa being an economically affordable destination. The GWLPT strives to fulfil the needs of volunteers, especially intrinsic needs associated with self-actualisation and self-transcendence.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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