Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

Garth Myers


Recent years have seen rising interest among Western travelers in the so-called “Global South” or “developing world,” especially through experiences that fall under the umbrella term of “alternative tourism.” Many travelers engage in this type of tourism through experiences in either one or both of alternative tourism’s most popular sub-genres: alternative study abroad and volunteer tourism. With many of these programs either implicitly or explicitly geared toward development, this paper discusses the possible development-related consequences upon the places in which they operate. It traces origins and causes of alternative tourism’s rise, and explains how it has come to be associated with development. Finally, it identifies two exemplary programs that could be considered models for how to use study abroad and volunteer tourism to achieve development and positive transformation for both travelers and the communities they visit.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.