Home Travel Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Philosophy and Practice
Two Types of Motivations: Value-Oriented and Traditional Entrepreneurial
For both Gopi and Inir, the desire to “make a difference” was strongly present throughout their narratives. The themes were heavily steeped in their early life experiences. For Gopi, it was his early participation in and commitment to the ideals of the socially-oriented Communist movement in his home state of Kerala.
For Inir, his participation in several youth-driven programs offered by his Church inculcated in him the “passion to promote social change” and an early impulse towards social entrepreneurial activism. For both entrepreneurs, such motivations manifested in their respective ventures that aim towards local ownership, a sense of pride and the need to make people work with dignity.
Other value-oriented motivations that emerged from the narratives included integrity, humility, benevolence, responsibility, spirituality, humanism, and the Gandhian virtue of Swavalamban (self-reliance), and relatedly, self-determination (Bonney, 2004). As testimony to the values of benevolence and humility, Gopi stated:
We all come from a culture of giving. I grew up seeing my grandmother giving, even though she was poor. She would collect fresh clothes, keep it so that she could hand it over to the government coming over, hand it over to the saints who come over, and help a poor person. Even though she is poor she will always keep things aside, so maybe it was kind of [her] influence. But for me, the biggest influence is the palliative care, where I saw that just by listening, we can make a difference.
In the case of TBY, these value-oriented motivations of benevolence and humility translate into opportunities for voluntourism. As part of their itineraries, tourists can spend time working with palliative care patients, an enriching experience for both parties that is consistent with the tenets of responsible tourism development. As another example, Inir discussed his efforts to encourage selfdetermination through his work at Grassroutes:
So we’ve got to see that culture is preserved with a softer approach.... So in Valvada, we’ve got the youth asking the Warli artisans to teach them to paint. It is not [only] the fact that they want to learn about how to talk English [by participating in tourism], they also want to learn their Warli art. Why? Because they see money in actually selling the art. So it’s a win-win.
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