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VolunTourism has evolved into volunteer travel and volunteer vacations for the leisure travel market. for the meetings, incentive, convention, and event (MICE) industry, it has become a mechanism for expanding social responsibility, delivering purpose-filled teambuilding activities for attendees, and providing spouses with a much needed alternative to destination shopping sprees.
Now more than ever, people are craving a sense of purpose in their leisure activities. Sunbathing on a beach still appeals to some, but many people desire a more meaningful vacation. This growing trend is addressed by VolunTourism.
Technically, VolunTourism is defined as “a seamlessly integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination along with the best, traditional elements of travel—arts, culture, geography, history and recreation in that destination.”
More simply put, VolunTourism involves traveling to a place to improve economic well-being, socio-cultural development, or environmental conservation by providing volunteer assistance and/or goods.
Why Volunteer Travel?
The VolunTourism movement is gaining momentum for a variety of reasons. Volunteers benefit from a greater sense of social responsibility when they can improve the well-being of local people.
In addition, Voluntourism…
- Gives participants an opportunity to interact with a different culture and to gain a new perspective of the world that deepens their understanding of humanity.
- Meets travelers’ growing desire to feel a sense of purpose in connection with their leisure activities.
- Introduces a new kind of philanthropy and a method for donating time and materials in a personal, meaningful way.
One of the most valuable aspects of this type of experiential travel is that, when the journey is complete, VolunTourists generally feel that they’ve received far more than they’ve given to the destination and its residents.
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