Travel Blog

What is Voluntourism?
Posted on Wednesday, May 11th 2011 - 10:39 PM by Christina McFaul



A relatively new idea in tourism that offers tourists a way to give back to the destinations that help to transform them is Voluntuorism.

"Travelers are looking for a sense of purpose in their activities," says Brian Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel International. "They are looking at new ways of distributing wealth. The age of checkbook philanthropy is morphing into the age of participatory philanthropy." It is this reciprocal relationship between the tourist and local
communities that gives the trip a whole new meaning and purpose for travelers and local communities alike.

"An important part of what comes out of voluntourism is social capital: It breaks down stereotypes," says David Clemmons, founder of voluntourism.org. "For the traveler, it can help you retool and rethink your life philosophy, and the local people end up with a different image of foreigners."

What is Voluntourism? "It is the conscious, seamlessly integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination and the best, traditional elements of travel - arts, culture, geography, history, and recreation - in that destination," defined by David Clemmons. More travelers want to benefit the people and places they visit and voluntourism is a great way to give back.


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