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Volunteer Tourism

The Global Solution?
by Katie Schneider on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of Volunteer Tourism

VOLUNTEER TOURISM:
The Global
Solution? A Seminar Led by: Katie Schneider
February 14, 2013 Seminar Agenda
and Goals: What do YOU Think....
Deeper understanding of Volunteer Tourism
Explore Volunteer Tourism through a different lens
Expose the otherwise unknown impacts of volunteer tourism
Introduction
Brainstorm Session
Volunteer Tourism Overview
The Volunteer Tourism Debate
The Impacts of Volunteer Tourism
Curveball!
Group Activity/Discussion
Summary and Conclusion The GREAT DEBATE! POSITIVE IMPACTS OF VOLUNTEER TOURISM NEGATIVE IMPACTS
OF VOLUNTEER TOURISM

So what do you think about this....

What happens to countries that AREN'T in the developing world? CURVE BALL Summary
Why does it only exist in developing countries?

If it is so popular and commercialized in developing countries, why aren't we doing it here?

What are some ways that domestic volunteer tourism can be encouraged? Why is your tourism package the best? What makes your package appealing to people in your community? Do the benefits outweigh the negative impacts? Happy Valentines Day!
Active Listening
Participation
Share your thoughts!
Tangents are a good thing... :) "Traveling is a way to discover new things about ourselves and learn to see ourselves more clearly. Volunteering abroad is a way to spend time within another culture, to become part of a new community, to experience life from a different perspective" (Ellis, 2007) What is Volunteer Tourism? Complex niche of the tourism industry that combines vacation travel with volunteering at the destination visited (Ellis, 2007)

Experience that is mutually beneficial (contribute to personal development and to where they are working)

No agreement over the definition of VT "Volunteer Tourism applies to those tourists who, for various reasons, volunteer in an organized way to undertake holidays that might involve aiding or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in society, the restoration of certain environments or research into aspects of society or environment" (Wearing, 2002) "Sustainable Tourism" So What? VT = Growing Global Phenomenon

Increasingly "guilt conscious" society (Kacpryzk)

One of the fastest growing tourism markets (Wearing, 2002)

2008 expenditure generated by VT - $1.66 billion - $2.6 billion

More than 55 million Americans have participated (Wearing, 2002)

Hundreds of projects

What recession? And Why? "Consumers want to experience a new kind of tourism - one that is rich in authentic culture, by interacting with the "other" as part of their tourism experience while at the same time satisfying their desires to "help" and "give back" to the world (Alexander, 2012) Government interest
Economic benefits
Sustainable Solutions
(Alexander, 2012) Expectations: Goals: Agenda: What's Involved?
Altruism
Travel and Adventure
Personal Growth
Cultural exchange and learning
Pro-D
The Program Motivations: "Voluntourism, Charity Short-Break, Pro-poor Tourism,
Luxury Volunteer Tourism, Orphanage Tourism, Ethical Tourism" Varied in length
Popular locations: African countries, Central/South America (Carter, 2008) where poverty and social/political/environmental issues prevent development
Activities: research, conservation projects, medical assistance, development, cultural restoration (Wearing, 2002)
Local activity participation - bilateral
High prices - wider nature of experience
Ongoing experience to explore "oneself"

"It is easy enough to offer a trip that is easy to sell, first with travelers demands, appears to have a plan for a positive impact but ends up being a waste of time for local community partners and causes more harm that good" (Wearing, 2002) Who should receive more benefit, the volunteer, organization, or community? It may seem simple... Volunteer Tourism Team #1: Positive Impacts of Volunteer Tourism
Team #2: Negative Impacts of Volunteer Tourism 1. Meets needs of people who want to volunteer and travel (families, young adults, baby boomers)
2. Improved cross-cultural understanding
3. Well managed can be productive
4. People-to-people experience
5. Positive experiences lead to "sustained service"
6. Brings value to nature
7. Transition to an eco centric view
8. Economically viable alternatives to resource management priorities (governments) Case Study - People and Places 1. Short term solutions for long term problems
2. Exploit local culture in order to enhance tourist experience
3. Companies often focused on profit motives
5. Failure by operators to change "developed world" philosophies and behaviors - leads to mass tourism in developing countries
6. Management positions in outside companies - reduce opportunities for locals
7. Marketing commodifies cultures to better serve profit margins
8. Program selection/application process?
9. Unfinished work
10. Real needs of a project not things volunteers can support
11. Moral imperialism - should be our job to support communities in doing what they know how to do Case Study - Countries doing it all Wrong Why do we only think of volunteer tourism as being away from home?

Ellis says that "problems away from home can be more appealing to support than those close to home" (2007) "No one needs to travel around the world to find a good and worthy cause to dedicate their efforts. Volunteering should be something we do as a regular part of our lives, not just when we can take a month or two off, or when we have extra money to spend on travel. Your actions are you voice in the world, saying loudly and clearly what you think is important, what you believe is right, what you support" (Ellis, 2007) NOW ITS YOUR TURN! Ensure VT remains tourism without the commodification (profit rather than benefits to communities)(Coren & Gray)

Importance of matching expectations of VT's to the realities of the projects (Coren & Gray)

Reduce cultural stereotypes - mismanagement

Be well organized

Step outside the box References: Any entrepreneurial ideas?
Further research?
Any other thoughts? THANK YOU!! Alexander, Z. (2012) International Volunteer Tourism Experience in South Africa: An Investigation into the Impact on the Tourist. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Research. Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 21: 779-799.

Carter, K.A. (2008) Volunteer Tourism: An Exploration of the Perceptions and Experiences of Volunteer Tourists and the Role of Authenticity in those Experiences. Lincoln Univesity. 13-15.

Coren, N. & Gray, T. (2011) Commodification of Volunteer Tourism: a Comparative Study of Volunteer Tourists in Vietnam and in Thailand. International Journal of Tourism Research. Wiley Online Library. 14: 222-234.

Baker, V. (2006). Saving the World in a Weekend. World Volunteer Web. Retrieved on February 11, 2013 from http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org/news-views/volunteer-stories/doc/saving-the-world-in.html

Ellis, S. (2007). Voluntourism: Pros, cons & possibilities. World Volunteer Web. Retrieved on February 11, 2013 from http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org/browse/volunteering-issues/vacation-volunteering/doc/voluntourism-pros-cons.html

Jamal, T. & Taillon, J. (2009) Understanding the Volunteer Tourist: A Qualitative Inquiry. Retrieved on February 10, 2013 from http://www.voluntourism.org/news-studyandresearch44.htm

Kacpryzyk, M. (n.d) The Voluntousim Debate: Poverty Tourism. Social Enterprise institute. Northeastern University. Retrieved on February 8, 2013 from http://www.northeastern.edu/sei/2011/11/the-voluntourism-debate-poverty-tourism/

Papi, D. (2010) Voluntourism: What could go wrong when trying to do right? Good Intentions are not enough. Retrieved on February 11, 2013 from http://goodintents.org/staffing-or-employment/voluntourism-what-could-go-wrong

Wearing, S.(2002) Volunteer Tourism : Experiences That Make a Difference. Cambridge, MA, USA: CABI Publishing, 2002 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/viu/Doc?id=10060465&ppg=14
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