Travel philanthropy and sustainable development: the case of the Plymouth–Banjul Challenge

Marina Novelli, Nigel Morgan, Geri Mitchell, Konstantin Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Travel philantrophy is an evolving phenomenon. It owes its origins to rising frustrations with conventional aid and traditional philanthropic giving and is seen as development assistance enabling resources to flow directly from the tourism industry into community development and conservation initiatives. Philanthropists have long sought to achieve social transformation and travel philanthropy in all its forms has evolved through the democratization of charity, as a kind of ‘doing good’ through ‘giving back’ whilst travelling. This paper evaluates values, practices and impacts of traditional, modern and post-modern philanthropy. Drawing upon evidence emerging from a longitudinal study, which involved the retrospective evaluation of personal diary entries, participant observations and semi-structured interviews about the transcontinental Plymouth-Banjul (car) Challenge (PBC), it exemplifies how an initiative can evolve across all three philanthropic approaches. It further debates critical understandings of the problematic travel philanthropy concept and its role in stimulating sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-845
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sustainable Tourism on 11/11/2015, available online:


  • aid
  • charity
  • social entrepreneurship
  • social justice
  • sustainability
  • travel philanthropy
  • The Gambia.


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