Donors on tour: Philanthrotourism in Africa

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Increasingly NGOs organize trips for their ‘major donors’ to visit development projects with the aim to enhance funding streams and fortify donor relations. Building on growing discussions of ‘philanthrocapitalism’ as a novel form of international development financing, we analyze such ‘donor trips’ as a unique tourism niche termed ‘philanthrotourism’. Based on empirical research concerning two such trips to Sub-Saharan Africa, we argue that philanthrotourism allows donors to experience jouissance—a particular type of ambivalent enjoyment that includes fascination with dark and horrific elements—as a core motivation to engage in staged development spectacles via their touristic experiences and thereby affirm their commitment to philanthropy. Our analysis highlights the importance of investigating psychological underpinnings of ethical tourism more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103216
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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