Medical volunteers as accidental tourists: Humanitarianism and the European refugee crisis

Paraskevaidis, Pavlos and Andriotis, Konstantinos ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Medical volunteers as accidental tourists: Humanitarianism and the European refugee crisis. Tourism Recreation Research . ISSN 0250-8281 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1080/02508281.2021.2011591)

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This article sheds light on the scarcely mentioned term ‘accidental tourists’ which refers to individuals who travel overseas for other purposes than leisure seeking, and actually engage in recreational and tourist activities after their arrival at the destination. In this regard, this exploratory study examines the experiences of medical volunteers as accidental tourists who provided primary healthcare assistance to refugees hosted in the VIAL refugee camp in Chios Island, Greece, during the European refugee crisis. Primary data were collected with the use of in-depth interviews and non-participant observation. The interview questions focused on medical volunteers’ tourist and recreational activities undertaken in Chios Island, as well as on their perceptions of the political aspects of humanitarian aid. The findings of this study indicate that medical professionals as accidental tourists placed emphasis on the stressful working environment, and tourism was merely a welcome side-effect. Additionally, the concept of accidental tourism is further elaborated regarding the theoretical implications of this study. Practical implications as well as policy recommendations for refugees’ individual autonomy are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management, Geography, Planning and Development, Cultural Studies
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 34135
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Konstantinos Andriotis
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2021 13:30
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:38

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