Alright so you have visited natural sites, engaged in high adrenaline adventure, tried luxury hotels and the whole travel for leisure and excitement is part of you. What if we told you that you haven’t seen it all? What if there was a way you could do the same thing and more on top of doing well for the people in those ‘’exotic’’ places you visit without necessarily altering your itinerary or budget?
That, dear traveller is possible with the new ‘’voluntourism’’ style of travel
Voluntourism is “the practice of individuals going on a working holiday, volunteering their labour for worthy causes” such as “aiding or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in society; the restoration of certain specific environments or research into aspects of society or environment”, “for various reasons”, “in an organised way”, “alongside touristic activities”.
Visitors whose work is remunerated at a destination are excluded from tourism (UNWTO, 1998), thus paid working holidays or international development volunteering difer from voluntourism. Rather, voluntourism usually involves some fee to participate. According to the UNWTO definition (1995), tourism thus voluntourism, can be domestic or international, from any originating market and up to one consecutive year.
What are the benefits of ‘’voluntourism’’?
The first & most obvious benefit is Working in a community offers a perspective on a place that you simply can’t get by sightseeing. If you’re working alongside locals, you just might find yourself bonding with them. Rather than feeling like an outsider, or a
tourist taking in the sights, you might begin to feel a deeper connection to the place and people. Many volunteer service trips utilize homestays to house
participants. Homestays offer a great way to make friends with locals and eat authentic local food.
Because volunteer trips are
often run by philanthropic organizations and utilize homestays or other inexpensive
methods of housing, they can be a great way to travel on a budget. The price of a trip often includes lodging and meals.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Last but not least, the greatest benefit of a
volunteer trip is the difference you can make in the lives of people who could
use some help, and the gratitude they share with you. There’s no limit to the number of people in the world who are in need of your help. Likewise, there’s no limit to the magnitude of help you can offer in this world.
As a privileged group or individual, it is only fair that you take off sometime and a bit of resources to make a difference in the lives of the less privileged.
At HIGH FLYING TOURS, in partnership with whisper orphans; a non profit organization in Uganda, we organise and manage volunteer trips all year round. Contact us to know more or visit www.whisperorphans.org to learn more about their work and how you can be involved