Motivation and attitude of residents as potential host volunteers towards tourism, during the preparatory years of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture programme
Éva Kruppa-Jakab - Edit Kővári
This study is focusing on volunteer involvement in the local tourism industry. Veszprém and the Lake Balaton region won the title 'Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture' (hereinafter VEB2023 ECoC) in 2018. Creating and managing an effective volunteer programme is one of the keys to the success of an ECoC project. This study investigates the motivation and willingness of Veszprém residents as potential volunteer hosts and their interest in the VEB2023 ECoC events during the preparatory years. In 2020, both an online and an offline survey were conducted to answer the following questions: Are those interested in the proposed ECoC events more likely to volunteer as hosts? Are they willing to remain volunteers until and beyond 2023? Does the prestige of VEB 2023 ECoC motivate residents to be host volunteers? The results of the research showed that the answers to all of these questions were affirmative. In May 2022, a case study was conducted to investigate the opportunities for students of the University of Pannonia in Veszprém to participate in the VEB2023 ECoC programme. According to our findings, volunteering is not the only way for students to be involved in the ECoC programmes. They are also interested in internships and part-time employment at the ECoC organisation or in the ECoC community spaces. Students may also become involved with the ECoC through their own projects or through courses and theses or dissertations on EcoC-related topics. Our findings and practical recommendations may help to develop a successful, sustainable, and continuous system of volunteerism in Veszprém and its surroundings, and they may be useful for future European Capitals of Culture or other major event organisers as well.
Keywords: volunteering, tourism, host volunteers, European Capital of Culture, Veszprém-Balaton