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Tourism Review Online Magazine - In Vogue: Volunteer Vacations

Tourism Review Online Magazine - In Vogue: Volunteer Vacations

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Published by Milada Sovadinova
Volunteer vacations are growing in popularity all around the world. Explore the unique projects organized for voluntourists in Ecuador and Peru, learn how to choose your tour operator, and what to expect from your trip.
Volunteer vacations are growing in popularity all around the world. Explore the unique projects organized for voluntourists in Ecuador and Peru, learn how to choose your tour operator, and what to expect from your trip.

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Published by: Milada Sovadinova on May 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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volnteer acaons are row
n n poplarty all arond theworld. Explore the ne pro
-ects organized for voluntourists
n Ecador and Per, learn howto choose yor tor operator,and what to expect from yor
— 24 —
in vogue: volunteer vacatons
June, 2011
Over the last decade
, many of the cataclysmc
events that have shaped our global aware-
ness of the economc contrbon of the traelndstry to desnaons hae come as a resltof ts starly-contrasted absence n the aer
math of deastaon. Thn of New Yor follow
n September 11th. Thn of Sotheast Asafollown the tsnam. Thn of New Orleansfollown Hrrcane katrna. And thn of Chna,Ha, and Chle follown the earthaes.Dobtless, n each of these desnaons,
the economic loss associated with declines in
trael and torsm was sncant. Bt, whatwas not mmedately edent, yet has ncreas
nly come to or aenon drn these pastten years, s the trael ndstry’s rownpotenal to be the delery ehcle for drect,socal mpact that benets desnaons.volntorsm, blendn olntary serceand trael, has seen notable adopon amontraelers and the ndstry ale snce the trnof the mllennm. Clearly, the trael ndstry,throh olntorsm, s embarn on a newrole, one wth whch t s not wholly famlar.Ths s not a renenon, howeer; t repre
sents a realzaon.Trael n the 21st Centry demands exper
enal athencty and, therefore, the ncl
son of all elements of the desnaon – bethey dar, lht, or ray. Today’s traelers areseen a personal enconter wth the desna
 voluntourism And positivesociAl impAct
— 25 —
in vogue: volunteer vacatons
June, 2011
on, ts people and enronment. Passty sn way to a reste of ace enaement;only then can a traeler ben to approachsasfacon. And today’s desnaons – res
dents and the enronment – are demandn atrael ndstry that s enaed, sppore, andapproachn sstanablty wth an enthsasmthat s eal to that of ther own.in ths new role, the trael ndstry’s socal
impact can indeed be measured in the cus-
tomary, antae manner; neertheless,the altae measrement of sch ‘ntan
bles’ as oodwll or a deepenn of the rela
onshp between traeler and desnaon,poses a ast opportnty, one that has neerbeen trly explored. it s ths ery exploraon,nto a realm of nspraon no less, whch mayproe to be the most excn adentre for thetrael ndstry ths far. How do we ben thsprocess?Certanly, any enty can adopt ts own mea
srement delnes and ‘acconn’ formlasfor socal mpact. Some hae already done so n
annual reports on corporate social responsibil-
ty and phlanthropy. Howeer, most of thesereports spea speccally to the nancal ot
lay or n-nd spport of phlanthropc eortsor NgOs, or they may spea of the drect con
trbons of employees. Wth the ntrodconof traelers nto ths already-exsn mx, notonly do we hae a new set of antae datato consstently measre and trac, bt we haean opportnty to share ne tesmonals,photos, and deos demonstran the netpose socal benet that can be enerated
through travel.
volntorsm s not a pblc relaons cam
pan for the trael ndstry; rather, t s a
public awareness-raising campaign designed
to emphasze the consmer’s role n theadancement of the well-ben of desna
ons. The lon-term health and sstanabltyof desnaons across the lobe s enhanced bytrael that ntes socal benecence and net,economc benet. The trael ndstry s best-sted to play the role of delery system andenable traelers to contrbte, as eecelyand ecently as possble, to proects alnedwth oals and obeces set forth by comm
nes on behalf of resdents and/or the en
Proects wll ary from desnaon to desna
on. Some proects wll focs on sch thns asfood secrty, clean water, or mcro-enterprsedeelopment. Others wll conct wth ornoons of sstanablty: tae the recent ol
ntorst-led eort to bld a commnty the
ater n Ha on the otsrts of a tent cty. Yet,t was exactly what resdents wanted – a placewhere they can lah or cry or dance or snto Hollywood’s nest, and not so ne, creae
volntorsm represents the tre hos
ptalty and serce that s nherently bltnto the DNA of the trael ndstry. All we
are proposing to do through voluntourismis extrapolate the footprint of this hospi-
talty and serce, to extend to consmers
the chance to have a reciprocal relationship
wth destnatons. ultmately, olntorsmaffords traelers an opportnty to trans
form what they recee n the form of art,cltre, hstory, eoraphy and recreaton,nto what they e bac n honor of these
priceless gifts.
David Clemmons
(Founder of VolunTourism.org)hp://www.voluntourism.org

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