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Voluntourism

 

Voluntourism is a concept that integrates traveling, voluntary service and charity.The idea of combining voluntary service with travel is not a new concept. In fact, it can be traced back for many thousands of years in various cultures and religious orders throughout the world.Missionaries, healers and/or medical practitioners, sailors, explorers, and countless others have rendered service in conjunction with their travels.But what about modern day VolunTourism?
Well, VolunTourism in its current iteration received a very big boost from the founding of Volunteer Service Overseas in 1958 by Alec and Mora Dickson and that of the U.S. Peace Corps, established in 1961 during the John F. Kennedy administration.he first organization to use the word Voluntourism was the Nevada Board of Tourism (NBT) in 1998. The NBT was making an effort to attract local residents to volunteer to support the development of rural tourism in remote locations of Nevada. Although this is quite different than what the term is currently being used to describe, it is an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.In 2000, Catalyst Marketing, Inc. (CMI) became the first company in the world to dedicate resources to officially bridge the business & leisure travel segments of the tourism industry with the nonprofit industry. (This approach was called VolunTours™ and has since been developed by the “Parent” of VolunTourism.org – Los Niños, Inc.). In 2008 and beyond: VolunTourism.org (VT) is leading the world in the provision of educational content as well as promoting and developing formal practices of VolunTourism at the global level. What practices work? Which ones do not? How are the four primary stakeholder groups involved? How can all stakeholders benefit from VolunTourism? What “permanent” and sustainable changes can occur through VolunTourism?
After this brief overview of VolunTourism’s history, the question to be answered, is of course: is VolunTourism good for the people that are supposed to benefit from it: the travelers and the communities they visit/work in? 

 

WebVoluntourism is a concept that integrates traveling, voluntary service and charity.

“The idea of combining voluntary service with travel is not a new concept. In fact, it can be traced back for many thousands of years in various cultures and religious orders throughout the world.Missionaries, healers and/or medical practitioners, sailors, explorers, and countless others have rendered service in conjunction with their travels.But what about modern day VolunTourism?

Well, VolunTourism in its current iteration received a very big boost from the founding of Volunteer Service Overseas in 1958 by Alec and Mora Dickson and that of the U.S. Peace Corps, established in 1961 during the John F. Kennedy administration.he first organization to use the word Voluntourism was the Nevada Board of Tourism (NBT) in 1998. The NBT was making an effort to attract local residents to volunteer to support the development of rural tourism in remote locations of Nevada. Although this is quite different than what the term is currently being used to describe, it is an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.In 2000, Catalyst Marketing, Inc. (CMI) became the first company in the world to dedicate resources to officially bridge the business & leisure travel segments of the tourism industry with the nonprofit industry. (This approach was called VolunTours™ and has since been developed by the “Parent” of VolunTourism.org – Los Niños, Inc.). In 2008 and beyond: VolunTourism.org (VT) is leading the world in the provision of educational content as well as promoting and developing formal practices of VolunTourism at the global level. What practices work? Which ones do not? How are the four primary stakeholder groups involved? How can all stakeholders benefit from VolunTourism? What “permanent” and sustainable changes can occur through VolunTourism”. 

<Source: http://www.voluntourism.org/inside-history.html>

After this brief overview of VolunTourism’s history, the question to be answered, is of course: is VolunTourism good for the people that are supposed to benefit from it: the travelers and the communities they visit/work in? I mean, what is the head target anyway? Is it to lure more travelers to far-away destinations (by making them feel good as givers to charity)? Or is it a genuine attempt by the travel industry to help vulnerable communities with their development? 

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One Response

  1. Voluntourism at its best brings locals and visitors together in a more meaningful way. Although the material benefits may be small, the human contact can be extremely valuable.

    http://richardtulloch.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/trekking-nepal-simply-the-best/

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