The Potential of Voluntourism in Central Finland


  • Rositsa Röntynen Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences
  • Minna Tunkkari-Eskelinen Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences



voluntourism, sustainable tourism, live-like-a-local, Central Finland


Voluntourism is a relatively new type of tourism considered to contribute to the sustainability of the industry because of its ties to the local community and the destination. In recent years, with the strong impact of covid-19 crisis on the travel economy new practices and directions of tourism development were driven, and the requirement for sustainability has been emphasized. This research investigates the question: What is the potential for voluntourism in the province of Central Finland? Three studies were conducted. Firstly, existing secondary data was investigated, such as online reviews, blogs and media articles regarding voluntourism in Finland. Secondly, a questionnaire was conducted, which targeted municipality actors, such as mayors, business representatives, as well as regional developers and Leader local action groups, rural entrepreneurs, farm owners, village associations and other parties of interest. Thirdly, theme interviews were conducted with key actors about their current activity and interest in voluntourism to discover examples of existing uncoordinated voluntourism activity in the region. The results, which regard the identification of the voluntourism term, the existing concepts in Finland and the activity in Central Finland, revealed both opportunities and challenges. The term is unknown, and it does not cover all the activity that could be developed in Central Finland. The need is evident for multifaced and complex networking, as well as for the planning and funding of concrete piloting actions of voluntourism in the province. The data gathered could also be applied to the building of a national operating model of voluntourism. This study is a part of “The Value Project: Central Finland as a Leading Province for Volunteer Tourism”, which is implemented in cooperation between Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences and Central Finland Villages Association, and co-funded by the European Union.



2022-05-11 — Updated on 2022-05-13