The Beautiful Israelis: Volunteer Tourism As an Ethical Consumption in the Israeli Context
An integrative methodological strategy of content analysis of the websites of all active organizations in the field, and in-depth interviews with volunteers is used. Results indicate that both the organizations and the volunteers ascribe local meaning to the global phenomenon of volunteer tourism. The organizations attribute both national (Israeli) and religious (Jewish) meaning to volunteering, and by doing so they showcase the moral aspects in volunteer tourism as an Israeli and Jewish matters. On the other hand, volunteers perceive volunteering as an expression of individual morality. Practicing ethical travel allows them to display global values and habitus, and to distinguish themselves from other Israeli travelers. The study offers a powerful example of the ways in which volunteer tourism as ethical consumption is organized differently in a local context, due to the varying local meanings ascribed to the phenomenon.