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Volunteer Tourism - International

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Abstract

Driven by the desire to deeply understand and experience the place they are visiting, tourists are seeking more hands-on travel opportunities. Volunteer tourism, an emerging new trend, seeks to fulfil this desire to visit, experience and give back. Tourists seeking to provide a volunteer service as part of their holiday experience are part of a growing trend. In fact, industry statistics and media reports suggest that it is one of the most promising trends in travel. Many find that tourism and volunteering are two important ways to spend leisure time. It is not hard to imagine, in today’s fast-paced world, demand that combines these two activities. As the global community shrinks in size, the notion of ‘helping your neighbour’ is expanding. People are seeking ways to give back – within their local community as well as throughout the world. However, time is a significant factor, with tourists seeking ways to travel, experience the local culture as much as possible and still do something to help others. Additionally, some tourists are more comfortable with enjoying their experience in a destination if they feel that they are helping in some way. At its most basic, volunteer tourism has evolved from what some would call volunteer travel. Travelling for the purpose of volunteering is not a new concept. What differentiates this trend from its predecessors, such as taking a gap year or long-term overseas volunteering, is the time frame and combination of activities. Volunteer tourism is diversifying, with options for those seeking anything from a 12-day safari with the occasional volunteer day at a local orphanage, to a 20-day sea turtle recovery project with a two-day mountain bike ride. While the industry is in its infancy, those that have grown from the traditional volunteer travel programmes as well as new hybrid options are poised to meet promising demand. For the first time, we are beginning to see an emergence of shorter-length activities that include social or environmental volunteer activities, as well as pure leisure. Alternatively, new directions that share many of the same principles of volunteer tourism have begun to emerge, such as travellers’ philanthropy and facilitated community interaction tourism experiences. Despite all this, the industry is struggling to brand itself. There are those who feel that short-term volunteer tourism trips do not really help the local destination. Others believe that even one day of volunteering paired with six days of surfing or sightseeing is better than not volunteering at all. Some industry veterans are concerned that with the surge of media coverage, the market may be flooded with new entrants that have failed to vet their projects sufficiently or want to make money through poorly planned, ill-conceived volunteer projects. Emerging communication technology such as Web 2.0, social media and other information sources are especially prevalent among some volunteer tourism segments. Awareness of volunteer tourism opportunities continues to expand through viral marketing, social networks, grass roots communication and consumer to consumer information sharing. This is causing a shift in the way in which the traditional tourism consumer and provider interact.
Volunteer Tourism -
International,
Travel & Tourism Analyst
No 16
September 2008
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Table of contents Volunteer Tourism - International
Travel & Tourism Analyst No 16, September 2008
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INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................... 1
DATA SOURCES.................................................................................................................................... 3
WHAT IS VOLUNTEER TOURISM? ......................................................................................................5
Tourism ........................................................................................................................................... 5
Volunteerism ................................................................................................................................... 5
Volunteer tourism............................................................................................................................ 6
Definitions ....................................................................................................................................... 6
Principles and guidelines ................................................................................................................ 7
MARKET CHARACTERISTICS.............................................................................................................. 9
Retiree Generation and Baby Boomers.......................................................................................... 9
Generation X................................................................................................................................. 10
Generation Y................................................................................................................................. 10
Figure 1: Motivation for Australian Generation Y volunteer leisure travellers, April 2008 .................................. 10
Gappers ........................................................................................................................................ 11
Families......................................................................................................................................... 11
Traveller philanthropy ................................................................................................................... 12
Corporate travel or team building ................................................................................................. 12
Scientific and academic volunteers .............................................................................................. 13
MARKET SIZE AND TRENDS.............................................................................................................. 15
PROFILES OF MAIN SOURCE MARKETS ................................................................................................... 15
Western Europe ............................................................................................................................ 15
Figure 2: Total voluntary work holidays in the UK, 2006 and 2007..................................................................... 15
Figure 3: International versus domestic voluntary work holidays in the UK, 2006.............................................. 16
US ................................................................................................................................................. 16
Figure 4: US professionals who would consider taking a leave from the workforce, 2007................................. 17
Australia ........................................................................................................................................ 18
DESTINATIONS OVERVIEW ............................................................................................................... 19
POPULAR VOLUNTEER TOURISM DESTINATIONS ..................................................................................... 19
Figure 5: Most desired international destinations for US-based volunteer tourists, 2007 .................................. 19
Figure 6: Most popular overseas destinations for UK-based volunteer tourists, 2007 ....................................... 20
Africa and the Middle East............................................................................................................ 20
Central and South America........................................................................................................... 21
Europe........................................................................................................................................... 21
North America ............................................................................................................................... 21
Figure 7: Top ten destination states for long-distance volunteers, 2007 ............................................................ 22
TYPICAL VOLUNTEER TOURISM ACTIVITIES ................................................................................. 23
Figure 8: Most popular volunteer tourism activities for US-based volunteer tourists, 2008................................ 23
CONSTRUCTION................................................................................................................................... 24
TEACHING ........................................................................................................................................... 24
HEALTH-RELATED ASSISTANCE ............................................................................................................. 24
DISASTER RELIEF................................................................................................................................. 25
KEY VOLUNTEER TOURISM MARKET PLAYERS............................................................................ 27
THE PARTNERSHIP CHALLENGE............................................................................................................. 27
VOLUNTEER-SENDING ORGANISATIONS ................................................................................................. 28
Cross-Cultural Solutions ............................................................................................................... 28
Earthwatch .................................................................................................................................... 29
GLOBAL VISION INTERNATIONAL (SEE CASE STUDIES OF VOLUNTEER TOURISM PROVIDERS) .................. 29
Global Volunteers ......................................................................................................................... 29
i-to-i ............................................................................................................................................... 30
Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) .............................................................................................. 31
Table of contents Volunteer Tourism - International
Travel & Tourism Analyst No 16, September 2008
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OTHER VOLUNTEER-SENDING ORGANISATIONS ...................................................................................... 32
VOLUNTEER-RECEIVING AGENCIES........................................................................................................ 32
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) .................................................................................... 32
National Trust (UK) ....................................................................................................................... 33
HOTELS, CRUISE LINES, AIRLINES AND TRAVEL DISTRIBUTORS – INNOVATION IN
VOLUNTEER TOURISM....................................................................................................................... 35
Hotels ............................................................................................................................................ 35
Cruise lines ................................................................................................................................... 35
Airlines .......................................................................................................................................... 35
Travel distributors ......................................................................................................................... 36
Web 2.0, social networking, blogs and electronic media.............................................................. 36
VOLUNTEER TOURISM ASSOCIATIONS AND ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SOURCES ........... 37
Volunteer tourism associations..................................................................................................... 37
Blogs ............................................................................................................................................. 37
E-information sources ................................................................................................................... 38
CASE STUDIES OF VOLUNTEER TOURISM PROVIDERS............................................................... 39
GLOBAL VISION INTERNATIONAL ........................................................................................................... 39
Industry comment: interview with Richard Walton, director and founder, GVI International ........ 39
BRIDGE LINGUATEC, INC; BRIDGE VOLUNTEERS AND VOLUNTEER ADVENTURES .................................... 41
Industry comment: interview with Jean-Marc Alberola, president, Bridge Linguatec, Inc ............ 42
WHAT NEXT? ....................................................................................................................................... 45
Credibility issues ........................................................................................................................... 45
Travelling closer to home.............................................................................................................. 45
Continued market growth.............................................................................................................. 46
Blurred boundaries in the industry ................................................................................................ 46
Age-specific volunteer tourism products....................................................................................... 46
Social networks and Web 2.0 ....................................................................................................... 47
Diversification of volunteer service travel options......................................................................... 47
INDEX TO TTI DESTINATION REPORTS ........................................................................................... 49
Country reports ............................................................................................................................. 49
City reports.................................................................................................................................... 50
INDEX TO TRAVEL AND TOURISM ANALYST.................................................................................. 51
Index grouped by geographic area ...............................................................................................51
SPECIAL REPORTS INDEX................................................................................................................. 61
2003 .............................................................................................................................................. 61
2004 .............................................................................................................................................. 61
2005 .............................................................................................................................................. 61
2006 .............................................................................................................................................. 61
2007 .............................................................................................................................................. 61
2008 .............................................................................................................................................. 61
Introduction Volunteer Tourism - International
Travel & Tourism Analyst No 16, September 2008
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1
Introduction
Driven by the desire to deeply understand and experience the place they are visiting, tourists are
seeking more hands-on travel opportunities. Volunteer tourism, an emerging new trend, seeks to fulfil
this desire to visit, experience and give back. Tourists seeking to provide a volunteer service as part of
their holiday experience are part of a growing trend. In fact, industry statistics and media reports
suggest that it is one of the most promising trends in travel.
Many find that tourism and volunteering are two important ways to spend leisure time. It is not hard to
imagine, in today’s fast-paced world, demand that combines these two activities. As the global
community shrinks in size, the notion of ‘helping your neighbour’ is expanding. People are seeking
ways to give back – within their local community as well as throughout the world. However, time is a
significant factor, with tourists seeking ways to travel, experience the local culture as much as possible
and still do something to help others. Additionally, some tourists are more comfortable with enjoying
their experience in a destination if they feel that they are helping in some way.
At its most basic, volunteer tourism has evolved from what some would call volunteer travel.
Travelling for the purpose of volunteering is not a new concept. What differentiates this trend from its
predecessors, such as taking a gap year or long-term overseas volunteering, is the time frame and
combination of activities. Volunteer tourism is diversifying, with options for those seeking anything
from a 12-day safari with the occasional volunteer day at a local orphanage, to a 20-day sea turtle
recovery project with a two-day mountain bike ride. While the industry is in its infancy, those that
have grown from the traditional volunteer travel programmes as well as new hybrid options are poised
to meet promising demand. For the first time, we are beginning to see an emergence of shorter-length
activities that include social or environmental volunteer activities, as well as pure leisure.
Alternatively, new directions that share many of the same principles of volunteer tourism have begun
to emerge, such as travellers’ philanthropy and facilitated community interaction tourism experiences.
Despite all this, the industry is struggling to brand itself. There are those who feel that short-term
volunteer tourism trips do not really help the local destination. Others believe that even one day of
volunteering paired with six days of surfing or sightseeing is better than not volunteering at all. Some
industry veterans are concerned that with the surge of media coverage, the market may be flooded with
new entrants that have failed to vet their projects sufficiently or want to make money through poorly
planned, ill-conceived volunteer projects.
Emerging communication technology such as Web 2.0, social media and other information sources are
especially prevalent among some volunteer tourism segments. Awareness of volunteer tourism
opportunities continues to expand through viral marketing, social networks, grass roots
communication and consumer to consumer information sharing. This is causing a shift in the way in
which the traditional tourism consumer and provider interact.
Introduction Volunteer Tourism - International
Travel & Tourism Analyst No 16, September 2008
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Data Sources Volunteer Tourism - International
Travel & Tourism Analyst No 16, September 2008
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Data Sources
The following volunteer tourism providers participated as case studies or interviewees for this report:
Global Vision International (GVI); Bridge Linguatec; Bridge Volunteers and Volunteer Adventures;
Ritz-Carlton; Lasso Communications; Adventure Travel Trade Association; Xola Consulting; Pepy
Ride Tours (Cambodia); Solimar International; Explorandes (Peru); Jordan Tourism Board; Off the
Radar E-Travel Newsletter; Thomson Family Adventures and the British Office for National Statistics.
Data and statistics used in this report were drawn from the following sources: the United Nations
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); the British Office of National Statistics; the US Department
of Labour; Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS); the University of California at San Diego (UCSD);
Condé Nast Traveler, British Office for National Statistics; Time Magazine; MSNBC; Travelocity;
Cheaptickets.com; the Travel Industry Association (TIA); US Corporation for National & Community
Service; Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; Year Out Group; HealthCare.com; Global Healthcare
Volunteering Trends by Healthcare.com and Dentalcare.com; 2007 Country Brand Index by Future
Brand; Volunteer Tourism by Stephen Wearing; Exquisite Safaris; Year Out Group; Australian
Volunteers International; International Development from Australia.
Examples and information provided in this report were also drawn from the following websites:
Students Today, Leaders Forever (STLF); Voluntourism.org; Idealist.org; Volunteering England; The
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations;
Voluntary Service Overseas; International Volunteer Program Association (IVPA) website; The
Boomers Project; Habitat for Humanity website; Whole Planet Foundation website; the GVI website;
youtube.com; Facebook.com; Rein Teen Tours website; i-to-i website; Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS)
website; Earthwatch website; UK National Trust website; CruiseWest website; Rein Teen Tours
website; Airline Ambassadors website; Lattitude Global Volunteering website; Projects Abroad
website; Madventurer; AFS Intercultural Programs website; Global Village Program website; The
Collegiate Challenge website; The RV Care-A-Vanner programme website; National Trust UK;
United Nations website.
Disclaimer: due to the differing way in which data are gathered/collated/calculated, there may be a
discrepancy between figures sourced from the UNWTO and certain tourist boards within this report.
Data Sources Volunteer Tourism - International
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What is Volunteer Tourism? Volunteer Tourism - International
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What is Volunteer Tourism?
Tourism
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and one of the most dynamic economic activities
in existence. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in 2007,
international tourism arrivals hit an all time record of nearly 900 million worldwide. At the same time,
in the US, the Travel Industry Association (TIA) estimated that domestic and international travellers
spent nearly US$379 billion that year.
Much of the tourism development over the last 50 years has focused on mass tourism – for example,
large-scale, all-inclusive resorts. Often, these do not afford the tourist sufficient opportunity to
‘experience’ the destination or its people. However, in recent years, many travellers have sought a
more ‘hands on’ experience with the place they are visiting. More and more, tourists are opting for
alternative experiences such as cultural heritage, eco- or adventure tourism. These experiences are
typically offered through locally based, small-scale operators who enable the visitor to form a closer
tie to the place and people they are visiting.
Volunteerism
Volunteers have an enormous impact throughout the world. The United Nations has stated that
“volunteerism is an important component of any strategy aimed at poverty reduction, sustainable
development and social integration.” Throughout the world, the number of people participating in
volunteer activities is increasing.
! In the UK, 73% of all adults participated in at least one volunteer activity in 2007, according
to the British Office for National Statistics.
! In the US, volunteers provided free or inexpensive labour for more than 40,000 non-profit or
governmental organisations in 2007; national and local level initiatives such as the US
Freedom Corps continue to grow in popularity, while promoting volunteerism has been a
major agenda item of recent US presidents including Clinton and Bush Jr.
! In Australia, 5.2 million people or 34% of the adult population participated in some form of
volunteer work in 2006, according the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
While the definition of volunteerism varies, it is generally assumed that a volunteer is a person who
contributes services to a cause without gaining financially. In many non-profit organisations,
volunteers form an essential part. In some cases, they equal or outnumber the amount of paid staff an
organisation may have. One area where volunteers are often utilised by non-profit organisations is in
the delivery of services. These are often referred to as ‘service volunteers’. While they may have
different motivations from a normal employee, non-profit organisations use these individuals as much
as they do regular employees.
What is Volunteer Tourism? Volunteer Tourism - International
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Volunteer tourism
Volunteer services and tourism have shared a long history. Tourism is an ever-evolving industry. New
types of alternative tourism or ‘niches’ develop as the wants and desires of the modern traveller
change. Volunteer tourism – also known as voluntary work holidays, voluntourism or volunteer
vacations – is an outgrowth of the evolving needs of today’s travellers. Retired seniors, university
students, families and young professionals are all seeking a more meaningful holiday experience.
Whether this means teaching English in Cambodia, tracking migrating bird populations in Ecuador,
dishing out meals at a soup kitchen in the US or helping doctors give medical attention to children in
India, volunteer tourism is quickly becoming an emerging growth area in the overall tourism industry.
Tourists are seeking to incorporate into their holiday experience an opportunity to give something
back.
Recently, FutureBrand released their 2007 Country Brand Index, an annual study that looks at the way
a country is branded and ranked as well as outlining key trends in the global travel and tourism
industry. Among the major findings was a growing demand for voluntourism. According to the report:
“As a response to disaster aid, growing global village consciousness and a need to contribute to
society in ways big and small, more travellers are planning their trips around humanitarian
purposes. From building homes and teaching English to working at refugee camps and
participating in animal conservation research, the menu of volunteer vacation options is
growing.”
Volunteer tourism is a niche market driven by many forces, with many tourists opting to forego the
more traditional holiday for alternative experiences that provide opportunities to enhance their own
lives or the lives of others. Over the last 20 years, alternative tourism experiences such as ecotourism,
adventure tourism or cultural heritage tourism have surfaced to satisfy the desire to get more out of a
trip. Most recently, driven by a society that is increasingly aware of the ‘have and have not’ global
situation, tourists are seeking ways to go beyond the confines of their resorts.
Definitions
Volunteer tourism represents a combination of volunteerism and tourism. It normally involves a travel
experience during which the traveller dedicates a portion of time to rendering voluntary services to a
destination – its residents, environment, or infrastructure – in an effort to create a positive impact on
the destination. Typical of an emerging niche, a consensus of one definition for volunteer tourism does
not exist.
In his 2001 book Volunteer Tourism, Stephan Wearing defines the volunteer tourist as:
“Those tourists who, for various reasons, volunteer in an organised 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.”
Voluntourism.org, a website devoted to providing information on the volunteer tourism industry,
defines voluntourism as:
“A seamlessly integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination and the best,
traditional elements of travel – arts, culture, geography, and history – in that destination.”
What is Volunteer Tourism? Volunteer Tourism - International
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The key element is the existence of both a volunteer component and a tourism component. Other terms
such as volunteer vacations and gap years etc have all been applied to the volunteer tourism concept.
In a recent study conducted by Xola Consulting and the George Washington University, three models
of tourism that gives back to the local population or destination were identified. In many cases, tour
operators or non-profit organisations may incorporate more than one model.
! Traveller philanthropy: contribution is financial; frequently inspired, directed and facilitated
through travel experiences and contacts – tour operators or NGOs
! Facilitated traveller community interaction: tour operator or NGO facilitates quality
interaction for the express purpose of cultural exchange and learning between local
communities and travellers
! Travellers physically volunteer: traveller is physically engaged in a community or
environmental project, hosted by either an NGO or a tour operator
At present, volunteer tourism is a rapidly emerging form of alternative tourism. Unlike some of the
other alternative tourism activities, volunteer tourism can incorporate culture, education, science,
adventure and agricultural tourism, among others.
Principles and guidelines
“The ethos of VSO is that we get the volunteers to where they are needed, but with the rise of
consumer-driven volunteer tourism, increasingly people are coming to us with a clear idea of
where they’d like to go, as if it’s a holiday. We’re concerned this attitude is not good for
development. If people are encouraged to pick and choose where they give help, instead of
making the choice based on the community’s need for their skills, some countries will inevitably
suffer.”
Richard Hawkes, VSO’s international programmes director
As the industry continues to grow, so does the propensity for standards, principles and best practice.
There are many organisations involved in volunteer tourism. Some of the more established dislike the
terms ‘voluntourism’ or ‘volunteer tourism’, perhaps as it lends to the notion of being on holiday
rather than the important work that is being accomplished. Others question whether real change can be
made during a short trip. The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) has developed a
set of best practices and guidelines. Their most important recommendation is that volunteer-sending
organisations (VSOs) should place volunteers with existing charities as much as possible rather than
attempting to create new volunteer projects on their own. Pairing with existing organisations provides
the continuity necessary between volunteer opportunities.
“I know it’s possible, anything is possible, but the people doing the best work here are going to
be the NGOs on the ground who then take travellers in on some project. If you’re a tour
operator, you have two options you can try to create your own little NGO and the projects
you’re going to do, but you’re unlikely to be as successful. You’re better off learning from the
people who have made all the mistakes.”
Daniela Papi, director, Pepy Ride Tours, volunteer tourism non-profit organisation,
Cambodia
What is Volunteer Tourism? Volunteer Tourism - International
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Market Characteristics Volunteer Tourism - International
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Market Characteristics
“A key point for any organisation would be to determine which market to go after. The
university market is saturated and high schools programmes are also gaining. I would
recommend one find a niche no one has targeted yet, and then develop a strategy around that.
Let everyone else fight for the tried and true markets, be daring and branch off into a new
segment.”
Alexia Nestora, Lasso Communications, volunteer tourism strategic consulting firm
Volunteer tourists range from young to old. A recent study conducted by the University of California,
San Diego (UCSD) found a relationship between a volunteer’s age and type of activity in which they
choose to engage. They polled 1,400 US adults, dividing them into four categories: Retiree Generation
(aged 65+), Baby Boomers (aged 45-64), Generation X (aged 25-44) and Generation Y (aged 18-24).
Discussion of these segments and their demand patterns follows.
Retiree Generation and Baby Boomers
It is no surprise that Baby Boomers make up one of the largest groups of volunteer travellers.
According to the Baby Boomer Project, a US-based market research firm, volunteer tourism is among
the top ten travel trends for travellers over 50. They claim that Boomers, or ‘empty-nesters’, have
moved beyond wanting to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and are now looking for ways to enrich their
lives beyond material goods. The Baby Boomers of today grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and ideas
such as giving back and helping ones neighbour were very much a part of life. The Peace Corps was
born during that time, as were many social and environmental movements throughout the world. This
generation is comfortable with the notion of giving back. Now they are seeking ways to use their
disposable income to grow personally while helping worthy causes. In the US, the UCSD showed that
retirees have different volunteer preferences than younger generations. They are very much interested
in volunteering on projects that involve adult education, historic research or cultural development, are
much more likely to volunteer in their own country and have a preference for longer periods (multiple
weeks) of volunteering.
Traditional senior-friendly tour operators and non-profits have begun to include volunteer programmes
within their offerings. For example, Elderhostel, a leading educational travel provider for those aged
55+ now includes an array of volunteer and educational trips geared towards the retiree or Baby
Boomer markets. Some trips include habitat restoration within park areas, teaching English or the
preservation of cultural buildings.
Market Characteristics Volunteer Tourism - International
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Generation X
The portion of the population known as Generation X or ‘Gen-Xers’ includes those from 25-44 years
old and ranges from the recently graduated to young professionals. Many are children of Baby
Boomers and share similar values. Additionally, this generation grew up with an increased awareness
of environmental issues as well as the impacts of globalisation.
The UCSD study found that Gen-Xers are very balanced in their volunteer tourism preferences. They
like a variety of volunteer activities, with youth education/outreach and healthcare and medical
assistance as their favourite activities. They are the market segment that is most interested in
volunteering in Africa but they also like to travel within the US and Mexico. They prefer to either
volunteer for one week or multiple weeks.
Generation Y
Generation Y, or individuals between the ages of 18-24 years, have grown up with a greater
understanding of their impact on global society and are familiar with the notion of service learning as a
requirement in school. Therefore, community service is a natural extension of their normal activities.
A recent Internet survey of Generation Y travel preferences, conducted by Offtheradar.com, found
that:
! 41% have taken a volunteer trip
! 45% would like to take a volunteer trip
! 14% were not interested
Additionally, technology vehicles such as blogs, wikis and social networks provide a viral means of
communicating environmental and social needs throughout the world. Many of this generation are
seeking to give back as part of their university or pre-university experience. There is also a growing
recognition that volunteering offers an opportunity for personal development, as shown in the example
of Australian Generation Y travellers in the figure below. This offers a competitive advantage for
applying to university or landing a high-quality job. Motivation for the trips is varied but personal
development is the most popular reason demonstrated.
FIGURE 1: MOTIVATION FOR AUSTRALIAN GENERATION Y VOLUNTEER LEISURE TRAVELLERS, APRIL 2008
Reason for volunteering % of total
For my own personal development 88
To discover a different culture/environment 64
To help a community 48
To see the world 40
To meet new people 15
For an intellectual challenge 10
To escape from reality 10
For a physical challenge 6
Other 6
To enhance my resumé 2
SOURCE: SIMONE GRABOWSKI, STEPHEN WEARING AND DANIELLE LEIGH, COMING HOME TO CULTURE SHOCK: A
PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES, THE VOLUNTOURIST, VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1
Market Characteristics Volunteer Tourism - International
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The UCSD survey showed that Generation Y prefers to work with children or youths while
volunteering. It also showed that they are relatively disinterested in volunteering in the US and prefer
Mexico, the Caribbean islands and Australia. Of the total respondents, 57% preferred to volunteer
during school breaks.
One of the best examples of the Generation Y propensity to combine service and travel can be found in
the annual Pay It Forward Tour, organised by the Students Today, Leaders Forever organisation
(STLF), a non-profit organisation founded by three university business school students in 2004. Since
beginning with just a handful of students, STLF has organised 78 trips, accounted for 38,500 volunteer
hours and had over 3,000 participants, according to their website. The Pay It Forward Tour begins in
several cities at once, with service stops along the way such as food banks or inner-city clean-up
projects. Participants spend one day in each city, with the trip culminating in a central location.
Individual STLF chapters have been started on several university campuses in the US. The group has
moved beyond university trips and now also helps organise mini-trips for high schools.
Gappers
The gap year phenomenon has encouraged modern volunteer tourism. Most popular in the UK, the gap
year is the common term known for the practice of taking a year off to travel the world prior to
beginning or just after university studies. In 2006, the total UK gap year market was estimated by
Mintel at 520,000 people, including 230,000 student gappers, 90,000 career-break gappers and
200,000 pre-retirement gappers, spending a total of US$5 billion. For the US market, there are no
reliable figures available but the trend is becoming popular as more universities start to encourage
students to take a break between high school and their freshman year. In 2008, Tom Griffiths, founder
of UK-based Gapyear.com, stated in a USA Today article:
"The US is viewed in our sector as the sleeping giant, with the potential to surpass the rest of
the world in numbers and possibly spending within the next five years.”
Volunteer tourism has become an important element of UK gap year experiences, with gap years in the
US expected to become more popular, increasing demand for volunteer tourism offerings. Further
information on gap year trends and demand are presented in Mintel’s Adult Gap Years report (July
2008).
Families
Although families are not the largest segment of the volunteer tourist demand, recent positive growth
trends in adventure and educational family travel have increased the popularity of family volunteer
trips as a bonding experience that will teach their children values and provides them with a learning
experience. Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program is one of the few non-profit organisations
that accepts young children on its international programmes. There are, however, numerous
commercial organisations that offer volunteer trips catering to families. The Leap offers two- or three-
week trips for families with children a minimum of eight years old. Families can choose how much
volunteer work they would like to do during their stay. The company offers trips to Mozambique,
Kenya and Ecuador where families can assist with community service work or conservation projects.
Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) offers 20 programme sites for families with children eight years of age
and older, with trips ranging from one week to several months in length.
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Traveller philanthropy
Inspired by the increase in non-profit aid groups organising tours for major donors, tour operators are
now offering high-end trips where travellers can combine a luxury travel experience with visiting
schools, orphanages, hospitals and conservation projects.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has indicated that
philanthropic travel can help bridge the gap between the traveller seeking the opportunity to help and
the socio-economic needs of some natural and cultural sites.
Volunteer tourism may be a natural outcrop of philanthropy. According to Sue Stephenson, the vice
president of Community Footprints at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company:
“Many of our guests are philanthropic financially, they also want to volunteer but are often too
busy at home. Almost 30% of our guests globally have expressed a strong interest in volunteer
tourism and want us to put together the volunteer programme so they can participate during
their vacation. They count on us to create a tailored event that is vetted so they do not need to
be concerned with the logistics and can spend their time participating in the volunteer activity.”
Exquisite Safaris, a San Francisco-based tour operator specialising in philanthropic travel, offers
luxury trips with customised itineraries that include visits to local humanitarian outreach organisations.
Exquisite Safaris donates US$250 per traveller to the project visited. Most travellers also decide to
donate money to the projects directly. Philanthropic travel is seen by some as an alternative to
volunteer tourism as it helps communities in need without the possible negative impact of foreign
volunteer workers. This is an important distinction and one that may be the basis for future
segmentation within the market.
Corporate travel or team building
Companies, both large and small, are jumping on the volunteer tourism bandwagon as consumers in
several ways. First, as an incentive for employees, for example, Whole Foods International’s Whole
Planet Foundation Trips. Whole Foods has partnered with Global Vision International (GVI) to offer
‘reward’ trips to their employees. Those wishing to participate are selected by the company. They are
given the opportunity to volunteer in one of several sites in Central America. According to the GVI
website, Whole Foods market chairman and CEO, John Mackey, states that their
“volunteering programmes offer Whole Foods Market Team Members the chance to put
something back into society, to experience first-hand the mission of Whole Planet Foundation,
while learning valuable life skills in a safe, supported environment.”
Alternatively, companies may seek to incorporate volunteer tourism as a means of giving back to the
communities in which the company operates. Specific benefits to businesses seeking to incorporate
volunteer tourism into their corporate events or incentives include:
! enhancement of public image: strengthening the business image as a company that cares and gives
back
! enhancement of corporate culture and improvement of staff retention: strengthening local and
corporate employees’ pride and connection with the company as a business that cares about
people, particularly in locations where the local economy may be depressed
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! strengthening of relationships with ‘supplier’ communities: encouraging relations with supplier
destinations, for example, Whole Planet Foundation Trips work in areas where Whole Foods
International may have a supplier of produce or other products
Lastly, companies may choose to incorporate volunteer tourism programmes into their operations as an
extension of existing activities. In the case of Ritz-Carlton Hotels, the company chose to launch a
system-wide volunteer tourism programme. In April of 2008, Give-back Getaways was created and
implemented in 71 properties throughout their system. Each property selected one local cause or
organisation with which to work. In general, these were existing relationships that the properties had
already established through their own corporate social responsibility efforts. Each project is different
and allows guests and employees of the hotel property to participate as part of their stay.
Scientific and academic volunteers
“Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Educational (SAVE) tourists represent an attractive
market, especially in emerging destinations for which they can generate significant positive
buzz. Just as the scientists and academics helped Costa Rica blossom into a successful tourism
destination, so too could be the case with other destinations throughout the world.”
Chris Seek, president, Solimar International, travel company and sustainable tourism
development firm
An offshoot of the volunteer tourism market is that of the scientific, academic, volunteer and
educational tourists. This market, known as the ‘SAVE’ market, is made up of individuals or groups
whose main purpose of travel is scientific or academic research. The SAVE market integrates market
demand of four specific niche markets: scientific, academic, volunteer and education. Destinations
such as Costa Rica owe much of their success as a tourism destination to these market niches.
Originally, scientists studying flora and fauna travelled to Costa Rica for research purposes, later
returning with their families. This is an interesting alternative for destinations that may have rich
cultural or environmental resources but lack the high-quality tourism facilities of other destinations.
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Market Size and Trends Volunteer Tourism - International
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Market Size and Trends
As this market evolves, it is difficult to quantify its size. No one study exists to measure the overall
size of the global market for volunteer tourism. There have been limited studies of market size in the
UK and the US but for many other countries, statistics are sparse, incomplete or unavailable. The
overall trend in the global volunteer tourism market is one of growth in existing source markets as well
as expansion to new source markets. According to TIME Magazine, August 2007, volunteer tourism is
one of the fastest-growing trends in the tourism industry. Condé Nast, May 2008, also found that one
of the most “encouraging trends within the industry is that of the growth of voluntourism.” While
much of the media attention is promising, some feel that media coverage can be sensationalist.
According to Jim Kackley, general manager of Thomson Family Adventures:
“The press is driving the demand. Volunteer tourism is like ecotourism 20 years ago. Back then
it was the cool thing to go to a national park. Now it is volunteering.”
Profiles of main source markets
“What is great to see is that people who wouldn’t normally volunteer are getting out and getting
involved.”
Morgan Adams, Business Development and Outreach, Global Vision International
The three main source markets are Western Europe – with the UK being the dominant market within
the region, the US and Australia. The UK has been considered the forerunner of volunteer tourism in
recent years but now the US is catching up with the trend.
Western Europe
The volunteer tourism market in Western Europe is dominated by the UK, with the next largest
markets being Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Volunteer tourism in the UK is an
outgrowth of the gap year trend, which has been popular among UK university students since the
1960s.
Over the past year, the market for volunteer tourism or voluntary work holidays has grown around 5-
10% over the last five years and reached US$150 million in 2006, according to Mintel estimates.
Mintel’s Working and Experience Holidays 2007 report estimated that 75% of the UK volunteer
tourism market consists of people 25 years or younger, 15% are between 25-45 and 10% are over 45
years of age. Around 30% of the overall market consists of pre-university gappers, while 45% are
students or post-university gappers. Of all volunteer travellers, 60% are female.
While the younger gappers are experiencing steady growth, the fastest growth in the market is caused
by the older career breakers and post-50 market.
FIGURE 2: TOTAL VOLUNTARY WORK HOLIDAYS IN THE UK, 2006 AND 2007
Year Number of holidays US$ million Average cost per trip in US$
2006 63,000 153 2,428
2007 67,410 165 2,463
SOURCE: MINTEL
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Of all UK volunteer tourists, 76% travel internationally and 24% volunteer within the UK. The value
of international volunteer trips accounts for 97% of all travel in the working holiday category. The
domestic market has remained relatively flat over the past several years and growth within the sector
has come from the international segment.
FIGURE 3: INTERNATIONAL VERSUS DOMESTIC VOLUNTARY WORK HOLIDAYS IN THE UK, 2006
International voluntary work
holidays
Domestic voluntary
work holidays
Number of holidays 48,000 15,000
Total value (in US$ million) 150 3
Average cost per trip (in US$)) 3,141 200
SOURCE: MINTEL
US
According to US Department of Labor, 60.8 million Americans – or 26.2% of the total US population
– volunteered through an organisation at least once in 2007. Volunteer work is more popular among
women than men in the US, with 29.3% of American women being active volunteers compared to
22.9% of American men. American volunteers spent a median of 52 hours on volunteer activities in
2007. Americans between 35-54 years old are more likely to volunteer than those in their early
twenties. Other statistics related to US volunteering activity are:
! married people (31.9%) volunteer at a higher rate than those who have never been married
(19.2%) and parents with children under 18 (33.7%) volunteer more than people without children
of that age (23.2%)
! those who have had a high standard of education (40%) are morel likely to volunteer than people
with less education (20%)
Many high schools in the US require community service as part of their graduation prerequisite. While
students traditionally volunteered in their local areas, there has been a growing trend for them to travel
nationally or internationally to fulfil their requirement or as a way to enrich their university
applications. Most students either travel on trips organised by their school or a commercial
organisation.
Taking a gap year has not been as popular for US students as it has been in the UK. It is unusual for
students in high school to take a year off before starting university as they traditionally apply for
university in their final year of high school and are accepted at a university for the following year.
Backpacking in Europe for the summer has been the equivalent of a gap year for American high-
school graduates. Taking a year off after university has also been less popular compared to this activity
in the UK. The cost of university education in the US is high compared to Western Europe and most
graduates are not able to take a year off financially. According to industry experts, there has been
considerable growth in the number of college gaps over the past five years.
Besides the traditional college gap, a career gap is also becoming more popular in the US. The younger
generation is increasingly interested in taking a few months to a year off to explore personal interests
or do volunteer work. Their main concern, however, is the possibility of making less money after their
return or not being able to find a new job after their break.
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FIGURE 4: US PROFESSIONALS WHO WOULD CONSIDER TAKING A LEAVE FROM THE WORKFORCE, 2007
Age group Male (%) Female (%)
Generation X (age 26-41) 57 66
Baby Boomer (age 42-60) 43 34
Overall 58 68
SOURCE: CHANGING THE CAREER LADDER: PAVING FLEXIBLE PATHWAYS FOR TODAYS TALENT; TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
AT DARTMOUTH, AQUENT AND WORK+LIFE FIT, INC
Several industry studies provide ‘snapshots’ of the potential size of the volunteer tourism industry.
Some examples follow:
! Condé Nast Traveler and MSNBC, in 2008, found that 55% of the 1,600 people surveyed were
interested in taking a volunteer holiday. Some 20% had already taken one. Of those that had not,
62% said they would likely do so in the future. The most enlightening finding of this survey was
that 95% of respondents who had taken a volunteer trip said they would likely take another in the
future.
! In 2007, Cheaptickets.com also conducted a survey of 430 US adult travellers. Their findings are
some of the most complete to date. Almost half – 48% – have heard of a volunteer holiday while
5% had already taken one. Half of the respondents indicated that they would consider taking a
holiday for the sole purpose of volunteering. Even more – 55% – indicated they would consider
including one or more days of volunteer activity into an already planned holiday. Over half – 68%
– indicated that they would seek volunteer tourism information from a travel website such as
Cheaptickets.com.
! In 2006, the TIA of America included volunteer tourism in their Annual Industry Overview Report.
They found that of the 1,100 travellers polled, 24% expressed an interest in including a volunteer
activity within their travel plans in 2007.
! In their 2007 Travel Forecast, Travelocity.com polled 1,280 of their members who had booked or
shopped for a trip within 12 months of the survey. Some 38% of respondents indicated that they
plan to volunteer during a holiday in 2008. This is up from 11% the year before and only 6% in
2006.
It is key to note that these travel organisations have begun asking the questions about volunteer
activities in conjunction with travel – this, in itself, is relatively new.
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Australia
Australia-specific statistics on volunteer tourism are not readily available. However, Australia does
have a strong culture of volunteering. According to the ABS’ Voluntary Work Survey (2006):
! 34% of the adult population (5.4 million people) volunteer
! slightly more women (36%) than men (32%) volunteer
! 44% of those aged 35-44 year volunteer – the highest participation level of any age group
! the median annual number of hours volunteered is 56
Gap year travel has also been a popular trend for the last 20 years for Australian youth. Volunteer
travellers originating from Australia and New Zealand tend to volunteer in their own country or stay
within the Asia-Pacific region. Australian volunteers, for example, assisted in rebuilding areas affected
by the tsunami in South East Asia in 2004. Australian Volunteers International (AVI), which is funded
through the Australian government’s overseas aid programme, pays the transport and accommodation
for their volunteers. In 2006, they sent 765 volunteers to 48 countries. The International Development
from Australia (VIDA), which is also funded by the Australian government’s overseas aid agency,
only sends volunteers to the South Asian Pacific region, including Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia,
Vietnam and many Pacific islands.
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Destinations Overview
There are very few statistics available from regional or national agencies on tourists visiting
destinations for the purpose of volunteering. Visitor entry cards generally do not provide a ‘volunteer’
box under ‘purpose of travel’ so this specific type of visitor is most likely counted under leisure or
‘other’. The information that is available is either provided by non-profit and commercial
organisations or through market research studies. However, there are destination management
organisations (DMOs) that actively promote volunteer tourism. In 2006, Jordan was the first country to
officially announce volunteer tourists as a target market segment. Other destinations, such as Honduras
and Costa Rica, have also promoted volunteer tourism over the years.
Popular volunteer tourism destinations
There are several lists of top volunteer destinations compiled by organisations and companies such as
Forbes, Condé Nast and Voluntourism.org. In 2008, the UCSD published a survey of 1,400 US adults
regarding volunteer tourism. Africa came out on top as the most desired international destination for a
volunteer trip, followed by East Asia and South America. While international destinations are
especially popular among the younger travellers, 36% of retirees and Baby Boomers surveyed
indicated a preference to stay in North America.
FIGURE 5: MOST DESIRED INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS FOR US-BASED VOLUNTEER TOURISTS, 2007
Destination Estimated share of the market
Africa 17
East Asia 12
South America 9
Mexico 8
Western Europe 8
Eastern Europe 7
Central America 6
Pacific Islands 5
Australia 4
Middle East 3
SOURCE: UCSD
A study by the Year Out Group, a UK non-profit umbrella organisation representing 35 volunteer
tourism providers, showed similar results for trips organised through UK-based operators. In contrast
to the US study, the UK study lists the actual best-selling destinations according to operators. In 2006,
two of the top three countries on this list were in Africa. However, a shift occurred in 2007. India was
listed as the most popular destination for UK volunteer travellers, followed by Peru. India has seen an
increase in international travellers in general so it could be that volunteer travellers follow the general
trends or could even be considered trendsetters. China is another destination that saw increased
demand in 2007 for volunteer travellers from the UK.
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FIGURE 6: MOST POPULAR OVERSEAS DESTINATIONS FOR UK-BASED VOLUNTEER TOURISTS, 2007
Rank 2007 Rank 2006 Destination
1 4 India
2 5 Peru
3 2 Tanzania
4 9 China
5 1 South Africa
6 3 Canada
7 8 Ghana
8 - Kenya
9 - Thailand
10 - Australia
10 7 Costa Rica
SOURCE: YEAR OUT GROUP, UK
Africa and the Middle East
Diverse environmental and social needs throughout the African continent make it a popular destination
for volunteer tourists. By some accounts, Africa is the most popular region for a volunteer trip. Within
the continent, top destinations for volunteering include Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
With the increase in popularity of volunteer trips, some organisations’ representatives are concerned
that travellers will select a destination based on travel preference rather than possible needs. For
example, in 2008, Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) one of the world’s leading non-commercial
development charities, made an appeal to volunteers willing to travel to the five least popular tourism
destination countries in Africa, which include Nigeria and Eritrea. Their purpose is to draw attention to
those places with greatest need, rather than just the most popular tourism destinations.
In the Middle East, many volunteer opportunities also exist. One example is the Kingdom of Jordan.
Capitalising on the rise in volunteer tourism, Jordan became the first country to launch a national
volunteer tourism programme last year. Recognising the popularity of the niche globally, the Jordanian
Tourism Board sought to promote this concept as a new type of travel experience for visitors seeking a
more hands-on experience. According to the JTB North America director, Malia Asfour, who led this
effort:
“The voluntourism concept was developed as a way of enriching the travel experience to
Jordan so that visitors can go beyond the typical experiences to a more in-depth experience of
engaging with the local people. The project not only brings together people with visitors in a
meaningful way, it also has provided the country of Jordan with increased interest within the
tourism trade. Many companies now want to make direct links with Jordan as a result.”
When asked what impact the programme has had, Mrs Asfour indicated that it is “difficult to know as
the project is still in its infancy but the interest is there. The publicity we have received has also been
quite large and good for Jordan and the concept.”
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Central and South America
Central and South American have long been tourism hot spots for American and European tourists.
The proximity and relatively good exchange rate make this section of the world a good home for many
volunteer tourism opportunities.
The founder of Explorandes, a Peruvian-based tour operator that focuses on Ecuador and Peru, was
recently awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, largely
based on his company’s efforts to assist local communities through volunteer tourism. Explorandes has
developed a cyclical system that rotates the volunteer experiences so no one single community benefits
more than any other in the regions they operate. The lesson learned was the result of trying to create an
equitable system so as many communities as possible would benefit from volunteer tourist activities.
According to Miquel Vegas, Marketing Manageer of Explorandes, the trend for volunteer tourism is
growing.
Our company has experienced growth of this trend due to the interest of our partners that are
offering it to their clients, and request this sort of activities from us. Now we see this as a market
with huge potential and we are now opening new options by working hand in hand with a non-
profit that certifies viable projects where travellers can provide help in a sustainable way.
Europe
Both domestic and international volunteer tourism exists in Europe. Several countries have developed
systems by which to facilitate the sector. For example, Volunteering England is the national
volunteering development agency, committed to supporting volunteering in England as well as abroad.
Apart from domestic tourism, volunteer tourism in Europe is mainly concentrated in Eastern Europe.
This can be explained by the fact that this region is less affluent than Western Europe and thus, there is
a greater need for volunteers to assist in either conservation or community work. Habitat for
Humanity, for example, sends volunteers to Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Russia for two-week trips
under their Global Village programme.
North America
Much of the volunteer tourism within the US is comprised of domestic volunteers. The market
segment has experienced an increase in awareness and interest in the US since Hurricane Katrina hit
New Orleans in 2005. Americans realised that there was and still is a need for volunteers in their own
country.
A 2007 research by the US National & Community Service revealed the top ten states that received the
most long-distance volunteers (more than 120 miles away from home). The top ten include the most
populous states plus the states that were affected by the 2005 Gulf hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
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FIGURE 7: TOP TEN DESTINATION STATES FOR LONG-DISTANCE VOLUNTEERS, 2007
Rank State No of long-distance
volunteers serving there
2007
State population rank
(2007)
1 California 362,184 1
2 Texas 335,507 2
3 New York 281,044 3
4 Florida 260,386 4
5 Illinois 195,600 5
6 Louisiana 174,648 25
7 Mississippi 165,276 31
8 Georgia 156,453 9
9 Pennsylvania 155,349 6
10 Ohio 149,441 7
SOURCE: CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL & COMMUNITY SERVICE
In the North American market, much like elsewhere in the world, demand for volunteer tourism is met
by both non-profit organisations or for profit, commercial firms. An example of one of the largest
volunteer organisations in the US is Habitat for Humanity. They are best known for building houses
for people who are homeless or living in poverty housing. Teams of skilled and non-skilled volunteers
build or repair a house for a specific family. CheapTickets and Habitat for Humanity are working
together by providing a search engine available through Cheaptickets.com, which lists volunteer
positions within Habitat for Humanity and affiliated grass root organisations. Cheaptickets.com offers
discounts for travellers offering a few days’ volunteering on the different projects.
The ‘Top Five US Spring Break volunteer destinations for 2008’, as suggested by CheapTickets and
Habitat for Humanity were:
! New Orleans – rebuilding homes with Habitat for Humanity
! South west Louisiana – reconstruction efforts from Hurricane Rita with United Way
! Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast – rebuilding in Gulf Coast areas that were affected by
Hurricane Katrina with United Way
! New York City – mentoring inner-city youths with the Appalachian State University of North
Carolina and the YMCA
! Washington, DC – preparing and delivering meals for those suffering from HIV/Aids, cancer and
other life-changing illnesses with Ohio State University
Commercial organisations also help to meet volunteer tourism supply. There are a number, such as
Rein Teen Tours, that organise domestic trips specifically for high school and university students
during spring and summer breaks. Rein Teen Tours offers four-week community service programmes
in California and Hawaii, where high-school students can combine half-days of volunteering with
excursions and activities. The four-week trip in California will earn the students 80 hours of
community service at the local Boys & Girls Club and costs US$5,900 excluding airfare but including
lodging, all meals and excursions.
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Typical Volunteer Tourism Activities
Around the world, the types of volunteer tourism activities are vast. Tourists seeking to incorporate
such an experience into their holiday can pick from any number of activities including environmental
conservation, teaching, providing medical assistance and health services, working with children, sea
turtle monitoring and construction and disaster relief, among many others.
According to an online survey taken of 1,600 people by Condé Nast and MSNBC.com, the following
are the most popular volunteer tourism activities in order of importance:
! construction
! teaching English and other subjects
! working with children
! other volunteer activities
! health-related volunteer assistance
! providing scientific and environmental assistance (such as disaster relief)
! providing administrative assistance.
The same study also found that more than half of those respondents with volunteer experience had
participated in a construction project. This is more than all the other options combined.
A 2008 study by the UCSD showed a slightly different result, with youth education and outreach being
the most popular volunteer tourism activity, followed by adult education.
FIGURE 8: MOST POPULAR VOLUNTEER TOURISM ACTIVITIES FOR US-BASED VOLUNTEER TOURISTS, 2008
Activity % of total
Youth education or outreach 30
Adult education, historic research or cultural development 15
Small business development 9
Environmental clean-up or water and waste management 9
Agricultural assistance or planting community gardens 1
Healthcare and medical assistance 15
Construction of homes, roads or other buildings 6
Information and communications technology 5
Providing spiritual/emotional assistance 6
Other 4
Total 100
SOURCE: UCSD
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Construction
As one of the most popular volunteer tourism activities, construction opportunities are well established
in this market. According to their annual report, Habitat for Humanity alone had built more than
279,000 homes around the world as of 2007. Construction projects provide a tangible ‘product’ for
visitors to see the outcome of their volunteer work. First-time volunteers may seek construction
projects as a manageable experience with tangible benefits.
Teaching
Long before volunteer tourism became popular, prolific opportunities for English-speakers to teach
English to non-native speakers existed. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) opportunities
are promoted by many non-profit and for-profit entities. Organisations such as GVI or TEFL.com have
served as an intermediary between those wishing to travel to foreign lands and teach and those that
would benefit from that instruction. Previously, most of these experiences were long-term volunteer
opportunities. In recent years, groups such as i-to-i now offer short-term TEFL trips. Critics of this
approach claim that short-term, non-professional volunteers can do little to educate a student
population and may actually be disruptive to the learning process. Many organisations offer TEFL
certification to provide volunteers with the skills needed to teach English as a second language.
Health-related assistance
One of the most established and fastest-growing demand areas in volunteer tourism is volunteering for
health-related projects. In 2006, a medical student and a dental student launched HealthCare
Volunteer, a non-profit organisation that serves to connect volunteers and job seekers in the health care
community with opportunities to provide assistance. Later, HealthCare Volunteer merged with
DentalVolunteer, an organisation providing similar services in the dental field. The combined
organisation now offers the largest listing of health-related volunteer opportunities.
According to the HealthCare Volunteer 2007 report Global Healthcare Volunteering Trends, the
authors, Dr Ravi Raghavan and Dr Neilesh Patel, found that in 2007 over 26,000 individual Internet
searches for volunteer opportunities had been conducted on the Healthcarevolunteer.com and
Dentalvolunteer.com websites. Of those seeking opportunities via these two websites, North America
was the leading volunteer travel destination, with 51% of the DentalVolunteer participants and 66% of
the HealthCare participants. After North America, India followed as the next most popular destination
but with only 3% of dental volunteers and 2% of healthcare volunteers. As the report estimates, there
are currently 1.3 billion people worldwide without access to basic health care. At the same time, the
number of health-care workers is stagnant; therefore, it is likely that the need for health care-related
volunteers throughout the world will continue to grow.
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Disaster relief
After a natural or man-made disaster, many people seek opportunities to assist those affected.
Volunteer tourism represents an outlet to assist those in need while providing important economic
income to the affected destination.
In 2004, following the tsunami in South East Asia, which killed over 250,000 people, organisations
such as CARE and Save the Children sought the help of volunteers willing to travel to the devastated
areas once it was safe to involve volunteers.
In 2005, New Orleans and surrounding areas were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Within days,
hundreds of volunteers sought to provide assistance to those in need. Volunteer efforts were set up to
help both the people and animals affected by the storm.
According to Voluntourism.org, “the Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau and the New Orleans
Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to adopt volunteer tourism as a means to help rebuild the
cities that were devastated by the hurricanes and to promote tourism. More than 50,000 travellers came
to the Gulf coast in late 2005 and 2006 to support this initiative.”
In the case of volunteer tourism and disaster relief, most experts agree that only professionals skilled in
the specific needs of a disaster area – such as medical professionals, engineers and construction – are
needed immediately following a disaster. However, the need for volunteers often extends far beyond
the period directly following the event.
Typical Volunteer Tourism Activities Volunteer Tourism - International
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Key Volunteer Tourism Market Players Volunteer Tourism - International
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Key Volunteer Tourism Market Players
Worldwide Volunteering, a non-profit organisation that provides information on volunteer
opportunities, manages a database, which, in 2008, counted 1,450 volunteer organisations offering 1.1
million placements annually worldwide. Volunteer positions can last from a few days to two years.
Potential volunteers can opt to work with a VSO, which can be profit or non-profit. Alternatively,
volunteers can arrange their placement directly with the organisation that receives volunteers, or a
volunteer-receiving organisation (VRO). VROs can be international such as Earthwatch or a local
NGO such as Los Niños in Mexico. Some VROs, like Earthwatch, handle arrangements for their own
volunteers and other VROs rely on VSOs to arrange volunteers for them.
Volunteer tourism operators are therefore heavily reliant on cross-sector collaboration. Volunteer
tourism activities often involve a number of players including government, private sector and non-
profit organisations. Stakeholders involved in managing volunteer tourism, either from the perspective
of the VSO or the VRO, are faced with significant challenges regarding the management of the partner
relationship.
The partnership challenge
The development of volunteer tourism has created the need for partnerships beyond the traditional
tourism supply chain. Private sector tour operators seeking meaningful volunteer experiences for their
consumers often look to partner with either a non-profit community-based organisation or a branch of
local or national government. Non-profit organisations, in an effort to achieve their mission, must also
now look for partnerships that extend beyond the traditional business model. Government agencies are
under increased pressure to work with volunteers and incorporate the public into their activities. All of
this creates the need for partnerships, which are formed in a variety of ways. In some cases, the VSO
has an existing relationship with a local organisation or government agency – or a combination of
these.
While the Internet has made it easier for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments to
get in touch with potential volunteers worldwide, there has also been an increase in tour operators
focusing on this niche within the travel market. The largest commercial tour operator offering
volunteer trips is i-to-i, which is based in the UK and has sales offices across the world. This company
and other commercial companies have made volunteer trips more accessible for the mass market by
offering shorter trips that require no previous experience and provide travellers with security by
offering in-country co-ordinators who are there to guide and support them. The number of non-profit
organisations that offer volunteer trips similar to the ones offered by commercial organisations has
also increased, especially in the US.
Many of these organisations have a non-profit status, such as the 501 (c) (3) charity status in the US,
whereby people donate money to charity and then deduct these gifts from their income at the end of
the year thus paying fewer taxes. This means that some of the programme costs – as well as the airfare
– may be tax deductible for their clients. The largest non-profit organisation sending volunteers
worldwide is Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO), based in the UK. Historically, VSO sent skilled
experienced volunteers on extended placements. After noticing a demand shift a few years ago, it has
since introduced shorter volunteer positions for younger, older or less experienced volunteers.
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There are a wide variety of costs for volunteer trips. Some organisations such as VSO pay all costs
including the airfare for their experienced and skilled volunteers and also provide volunteers with a
daily allowance. VSO volunteers that are younger and have no experience have to fundraise a
significant amount of money in order to be able to participate. Most of the shorter volunteer trips
offered by commercial as well as non-profit organisations are relatively expensive. Two-week
volunteer trips average at about US$2,000 excluding the airfare. Additional weeks are usually a
nominal amount.
Below is an overview of some of the established and larger organisations associated with volunteer
tourism. All of these are organisations and companies that have been operating for ten years or more.
Although there has been an increase in volunteer tourism, there has also been tremendous growth in
the number of companies offering some sort of volunteer tourism experience.
Volunteer-sending organisations
Cross-Cultural Solutions
Established in 1994, Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is a non-profit organisation originally offering
trips to US travellers only but now also have offices in Canada, Australia and the UK. They have
arranged trips for 15,000 people over the last 14 years. With a staff of 300 in 12 countries, they
organise trips for 4,000 travellers annually. Unlike Global Volunteers, CCS follows a 40-hour working
week with volunteers usually working half-days, and going sightseeing or having informal meetings
with locals in the afternoon. The organisation markets to a wide array of segments, ranging from
university students to Baby Boomers and families. During the summer months, CCS offers trips to
Guatemala and Costa Rica for teenagers between 15 and 16 years who are travelling without an adult
or guardian.
The organisation offers three different types of programmes: Volunteer Abroad, Intern Abroad and
Insight Abroad. Volunteer Abroad offers trips from two weeks to 12 weeks in 20 different sites in 12
different countries. Prices start at US$2,600 for two weeks with US$300 for each additional week. An
example of a trip is a three-week stay in Daramsala, India, helping locally run organisations improve
the lives of residents.
Intern Abroad ranges from three to 12 weeks and is being offered in 11 sites in nine different
countries. The programme is developed for students seeking academic credit, international work
experience or field research. Volunteers are guaranteed to be placed in their area of interest and are
guided by an Intern Supervisor. Volunteers in Guatemala City, for example, work with disabled
children or the elderly. Prices start at US$3,080 for three weeks with US$330 for each additional
week.
Insight Abroad is a one-week volunteer trip offered at seven sites in five countries. The programme is
designed for students as a spring break alternative and for families and/or people with limited holiday
time. The one-week volunteer trips are offered in Russia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru and Brazil and
cost US$1,695.
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Earthwatch
Earthwatch, established in 1971, is a global non-profit organisation with a mission to:
“engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education in order to promote the
understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Earthwatch supports
science by offering members of the public unique opportunities to work alongside leading field
researchers around the world.”
In 2007, 3,800 volunteers from the US and 80 other countries participated in their volunteer
programme. According to Earthwatch, 94% of their volunteers have attended or graduated from
university and 41% have a post-graduate degree. One third of Earthwatch volunteers each year are
returning. In 2007, expedition costs ranged from US$199 to more than US$4,000, averaging US$2,500
for 1-20-day duration. Individual volunteers have to be at least 18 and there is no maximum age limit
or expertise required. Children aged ten years and older are welcome on family teams and teenagers
between 16-18 without adults can join special teen teams. Volunteers usually work on a team with four
to ten other volunteers supporting a professional scientist. Trips range from two days to three weeks.
The programme offers volunteer options in 50 different countries.
A seven-day volunteer placement in Mexico’s Baja California tracking Black Sea turtles costs
US$2,546 including accommodation, food, on-site travel and medical insurance. A two-week trip in
Namibia helping to preserve cheetahs costs US$3,846, which covers the stay in a camp bungalow,
food and insurance.
Global Vision International (see Case Studies of Volunteer
Tourism Providers)
Global Volunteers
Global Volunteers is a US-based non-profit organisation and has been organising volunteer trips since
1984. The programme and all other project-related costs such as airfares are tax deductible for US
citizens. The programme has sent over 22,000 volunteers around the world since its inception and is
presently placing 2,500 volunteers annually. In 2007, Global Volunteers organised 185 teams of
volunteers that served over 100 communities in 20 countries. Programmes are offered in Australia,
Brazil, China, the Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Northern
Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South America, Tanzania, Vietnam
and the US.
Standard programmes in the US are one week; most international programmes are based on a stay of
either two or three weeks. Shorter or longer programmes are possible, with an additional per-week fee
ranging from US$200-400. Projects can involve the following scope of work:
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! teaching English language
! teaching conservation skills
! caring for disabled or orphaned children
! building and repairing homes and community facilities
! tutoring and advancing literacy
! improving basic health care services.
Volunteers work on long-term development projects together with residents and co-ordinators. Most of
the programmes are offered back to back, with volunteers changing every two weeks. Each of the
programmes are well documented on the organisation’s website and prospective volunteers can see
pictures of the site, read testimonials of volunteers who worked on the specific project and learn more
about their on-site co-ordinator. A one-week trip to Costa Rica to volunteer on various projects in the
Monteverde region costs US$2,295 (a two-week trip would cost US$2,495). Students and returning
volunteers receive a US$200 discount. A one-week trip to help renovate homes and tutor young people
in West Virginia is priced at US$795. Volunteers sleep in dormitory-style lodging and the teams
prepare most of their own meals or eat in local restaurants.
i-to-i
i-to-i was started in the UK in 1994 offering TEFL courses and now has offices in the UK, Ireland and
Australia. The company was one of the first commercial organisations to offer voluntary work
programmes and grew to be one of the largest organisations placing volunteers globally. After being
acquired by First Choice Holidays in 2007, i-to-i is now part of the TUI Travel Group but operates as a
separate subsidiary. I-to-i partners with STA Travel, the largest student travel organisation in the
world, who offers i-to-i products through their sales offices worldwide and online. The company
employs 150 people globally, with 60% of their travelling volunteers being UK based. Certifying
TEFL teachers has remained an important part of their business, with over 15,000 people per year
enlisted as TEFL teachers.
The company sends more than 6,000 people around the world to work on 500 different projects
annually. Trips range from one week to two months and are offered in 34 countries. The company
offers 24/7 in-country support such as airport pick-up and guidance during the stay. They work with
local partners at the different locations, with trips in the following categories:
! wildlife
! construction
! teaching
! community development
! conservation
! working with children
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! sports coaching
! internships.
According to i-to-i, their most popular projects involve working with children and wildlife. Trips range
from a two-week nature conservation trip in New Zealand for US$800 to a US$3,000 four-week trip to
help preserve dolphins in Mozambique. All trips include housing and food but travel arrangements to
and from the destination have to be arranged by the individual traveller. Sports-coaching volunteer
work includes trips such as a two-week visit to Argentina, where volunteers help by coaching football
for kids living in underprivileged neighbourhoods.
Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO)
VSO is an international non-profit organisation that has been operating since 1958 and placed 32,000
volunteers globally. Starting up in the UK, it now recruits in Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands, the
Philippines and Kenya. The average age of volunteers has increased over the years and was 41 in
2007. They work in 34 countries with 1,500 volunteers overseas annually. VSO’s philosophy is for
volunteers to use their skills in less-developed countries where they will work with local residents to
support local development. VSO volunteers work with grass roots organisations on community
initiatives, hospitals, educational institutions and local governments. They manage projects in
countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and the Caribbean.
VSO offers three different programmes for volunteers: volunteer jobs, special assignments and youth
volunteering. Candidates for the traditional volunteer jobs have to be between 18-75 years old and
must be qualified and experienced professionals. Assignments are for one to two years where
volunteers use their professional skills to train and advise local colleagues in their area of expertise.
Special assignment volunteers stay for a period of one to six months and are highly experienced
professionals who can provide advice at a senior level. Short-term volunteers are seen as trouble-
shooters that are flexible and assist a community effectively for a short period of time. For both
programmes, VSO provides accommodation, flights, insurance, visas and training. Volunteers also
receive a local living allowance and support by local VSO staff.
In response to commercial volunteer companies targeting younger volunteers, VSO has created two
programmes for young people between 18-25 who would like to volunteer. During the Global
Xchange programme, volunteers join a team of 18 volunteers – 50% from the UK and 50% from the
exchange country. The team spends three months in the exchange country and three months working
in the UK. Nigeria, Nepal, Ghana and Bangladesh are recent exchange countries. VSO pays for travel,
accommodation, visas, medical needs and food, and provides an allowance for the volunteers. In
return, VSO asks volunteers to fundraise US$1,200 to cover the costs.
The Youth for Development programme was created for young people with no specific expertise to
work with a VSO partner in one of the 34 countries in which they operate. All costs for the volunteers
are paid but they are expected to fundraise US$1,800.
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Other volunteer-sending organisations
In addition to those discussed above, there is a broad array of VSOs – both for-profit and non-profit –
to choose from. For example, additional sending organisations include:
! Lattitude Global Volunteering (formerly know as Gap Activity Projects) – a UK charity that sends
17-25-year-old UK or Irish passport-holders on worldwide placements for three to six months.
! Projects Abroad – an international for-profit organisation sending mostly young people to
volunteer on a variety of different projects worldwide. Many volunteers are students volunteering
for a few months to gain work experience abroad.
! Madventurer – a UK-based commercial tour operator offering trips that combine volunteer work
with adventure tourism. Travellers can create a custom experience combining the two components.
The average trip is five weeks.
! AFS Intercultural Programs – an international non-profit organisation that offers volunteer
opportunities worldwide as part of their mission to achieve intercultural awareness. Volunteers
have to be between 18-29, and live with host families. The average volunteer time is four months.
! Globe Aware – a US-based non-profit organisation that mainly focuses on the US and Canadian
markets. The organisation’s mission is to promote cultural awareness and sustainability. Ages
range from children to adults, with one- to three-week volunteer holidays. Families with children
are encouraged to participate in the programme.
Volunteer-receiving agencies
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 in the US and is a non-profit Christian
organisation that builds houses that are sold for no profit to those that are in need of shelter. With the
help of volunteers, the organisation has built over 250,000 houses worldwide. HFHI currently has a
presence in 90 countries. The organisation has evolved from working on local projects with volunteers
from neighbouring areas to offering a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. Examples of volunteer
programmes are:
! Global Village Program where international volunteers work with local counterparts. A ten-
day trip to Mongolia would include four days of building with the remainder of the days
organised for volunteers to participate in sightseeing activities. The trip costs US$1,425,
excluding the roundtrip airfare.
! IVPA offers volunteers the opportunity to work in an international location for 6-12 months on
a specific position. An example position is a volunteer programmes assistant for six months in
Delhi, India. The volunteers are not paid and are responsible for all costs associated with
living in the country.
! The Collegiate Challenge is a spring break programme for people 16 years and older in groups
of at least five. Basic housing is provided and volunteers are responsible for their own food.
The groups work on houses across the US for a week during spring break.
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! The RV Care-A-Vanner programme offers people travelling in RVs the opportunity to work
on two-week projects around the US. Volunteers bring their own tools and get a basic RV
parking spot and hook-up for free.
National Trust (UK)
The National Trust is a UK charity involved in the preservation and protection of buildings,
countryside and coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1895 and has
been offering working holidays for over 40 years. It runs 350 programmes annually and in 2006, had a
total of 4,000 volunteers participating in these programmes. Volunteer activities range from vegetation
clearance and footpath construction to documenting historic costume collections.
The National Trust offers five different types of working holidays:
! Trust holidays, where volunteers stay in basic, dormitory-style accommodation and share domestic
tasks – costs are from US$150.
! Short-break holidays have the same accommodation set-up as the Trust holidays but are for two or
three days only – costs are from US$80.
! Premium holidays – volunteers stay in twin-bedded rooms or holiday cottages, with more
luxurious communal areas than the Trust holidays. Groups share domestic tasks, including meal
preparation and social times. Costs are from US$300.
! Youth Discovery holidays are exclusively for people between 16-18 years old. The group of
volunteers is guided by specially trained leaders who provide a programme of activities. Costs are
from US$150.
! Touchwood holidays are especially for volunteers that have physical, sensory or intellectual
disabilities. Accommodation is the same as that for Trust holidays and the costs are from US$100.
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Hotels, Cruise Lines, Airlines and Travel Volunteer Tourism – International
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Hotels, Cruise Lines, Airlines and Travel Distributors
– innovation in volunteer tourism
In addition to tour operators and non-profit organisations, other tourism services are beginning to
incorporate volunteer opportunities into their client offerings. Some examples include:
Hotels
Ritz Carlton has expanded its existing employee-based ‘Community Footprint’ corporate social
responsibility programme to its guests with the introduction of ‘Give Back Getaways.’ These
programmes are half-day volunteer opportunities at each Ritz Carlton property. Ritz Carlton is the first
hotel brand to institute a volunteering programme in all of its properties.
Loews Hotel Coronado Bay Resort in California offers a volunteer package for its guests in
collaboration with the California State Parks.
Cruise lines
Cruise West became one of the first cruise lines to incorporate volunteering into its cruise
programmes. One of their cruise and volunteer options is an add-on component to an existing trip. For
example, Cruise West offers guests travelling on their ‘Whales and Wildlife’ trip in Mexico the
opportunity to stay after their cruise to volunteer for a day in a nearby city. Volunteers spend the day
painting a local school for orphaned children and present the school with needed supplies. They are
also invited to share a lunch with the school children.
Airlines
Inspired by the UN Millennium Development Goals (eight goals agreed upon by all the world’s
countries and many of the world’s leading development institutions that were developed to serve as a
blueprint to address the needs of the worldest poorest populations), a group of airline employees
formed Airline Ambassadors International (AAI), a non-profit humanitarian aid organisation. The
programme began with airline employees using their flight privileges to provide aid and supplies to
those in need. According to the AAI website, the programme has since expanded to include students,
medical professionals and others who volunteer as ‘Ambassadors of Goodwill.’ AAI provides
humanitarian aid to children and families in need as well as relief and development to under-privileged
communities worldwide. They escort children in need, deliver humanitarian aid to orphanages, clinics
and remote communities, raise public awareness and involve youth in humanitarian efforts around the
world. The eight Millennium Development Goals, which were
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Travel distributors
In an effort to facilitate volunteer tourism to those that might not be able to afford to pay for it,
Travelocity, with support from Marriott, has developed the Travel for Good grant programme.
Travelocity will award three US$5,000 grants in 2008 to participants who apply and are selected as
Change Ambassadors. Travellers must select one of Travelocity’s ‘Travel for Good’ trips – specially
packaged volunteer tourism experiences – as part of the application process.
The aforementioned examples represent innovation and collaborative partnerships. In some cases they
facilitate the volunteer experience for people who may not otherwise be inclined to volunteer. This
suggests that in these activities there is potentially the ‘fertile soil’ for volunteer tourism to grow in the
future. A positive experience with volunteering during a holiday at, for example, the Ritz-Carlton,
might be an incentive for a traveller to decide to book a dedicated volunteer experience for his or her
next trip.
Web 2.0, social networking, blogs and electronic media
Technology affects most areas of the travel industry. However, social networking, blogs and other
forms of electronic media have a tremendous impact on the rise of volunteer tourism. Social
networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have numerous information sources for those seeking
such experiences. Unlike traditional tourism products, viral marketing is a major portion of the
volunteer tourism marketing approach. Sites such as youtube.com are replete with volunteers sharing
information about their experiences. A quick search on YouTube for the term ‘voluntourism’ provides
over 70 videos. Facebook boasts numerous groups with a focus on voluntourism. Some specific
examples include the following:
! YouTube offers a video from the Association Management Company Institute, which hosted a
volunteer experience for 40 participants in New Orleans.
! In 2006, Travelocity launched their Travel for Good programme. Through a partnership with four
major volunteer-receiving organisations – Earthwatch, Cross-Cultural Solutions, GlobalAware and
Take Pride in America, Travelocity sells volunteer tourism packages on their website. Travelocity
choose existing programmes that have a proven track record. The partner organisations provide
feedback on their volunteer packages.
! Tour operators and non-profits make their volunteer tourism experience available through viral
markets such as YouTube and Facebook. Alternatively, the consumer to consumer nature of such
electronic media provide an outlet for disgruntled volunteer tourists.
According to Mintel’s exclusive research as reported in Holidays on the Internet – Blogs and
Consumer Reviews UK 2008, 53% of Brits used the Internet to get information on an upcoming
international trip. Family and friends was the second most popular source, with 22%, while just 8%
used a travel agent as a source of information.
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Volunteer Tourism Associations and Electronic
Information Sources
“Word of mouth is still the most important marketing, especially now with all the social
networking. You can’t pay for word of mouth. Your reputation will grow and cement itself.”
Richard Morton, founder, Global Vision International
As volunteer tourism experiences grow, so does the presence of information and providers available
via the Internet. There are a multitude of sites that specialise in connecting volunteer opportunities to
travellers, as well as providing information and serving as an outlet for traveller critique of
programmes and providers. There are many of these sites, with new ones coming up everyday. Some
of the more popular or innovative sites include the following:
Volunteer tourism associations
! Association of Voluntary Service Organizations (www.avso.org) – based in Belgium, this
association provides information about voluntary service organisations that send and host
volunteers in Europe for periods of 6-12 months.
! American Council for Voluntary International Action and Interaction (www.interaction.org) – this
website provides placement opportunities for individuals (mainly professionals) interested in
volunteering for relief efforts or development activities.
! International Volunteer Programs Association or IVPA (www.volunteerinternational.org) is a
membership association made up of non-governmental organisations involved in providing
volunteer opportunities for travellers.
Blogs
! Volunteer Logue (www.volunteerlogue.com) – this is an online volunteer travel guide blog where
bloggers discuss new volunteer trips, areas for more information and other volunteer travel-related
resources.
! Volunteer Beat (www.travelbeat.net/volunteer) – London-based blog that discusses volunteer trips.
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E-information sources
! Fly for Good (www.flyforgood.com) – this website provides free space to non-profits to showcase
their volunteer programmes. Fly for Good is also the provider of the new ‘International Volunteer
Card’, which is the ‘first card of its kind to combine travel insurance, 24-Emergency
Travel Assistance and exclusive discounts from 10-50% on major international and national
retailers, airlines and travel providers.’ This is similar to the international student card but not
limited to students.
! Idealist (www.idealist.org) – as a project of Action Without Borders, this site serves as a clearing
house for volunteer resources, information sharing and opportunities related to volunteer travel.
! In the Know Traveler (www.intheknowtraveler.com) – this is a general travel website written by
first-hand travellers. The site features a list of voluntourism experiences.
! SAVE Travel Alliance (www.save-travel.org) – representing the SAVE market (scientific,
academic, volunteer and educational tourism). The SAVE Alliance is a non-profit ‘network of
networks’ that facilitates linkages between potential or developing tourism destinations and
attractions and the appropriate SAVE markets.
! Transitions Abroad (www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/volunteer) – this volunteer portion
of the Transitions Abroad website focuses on providing information about volunteering abroad for
various age groups.
! Travel Philanthropy (www.travaid.org) – this is an online resource that allows travellers to channel
money to projects in need. TP does not conduct its own projects but serves as a conduit to existing
initiatives in the UK and overseas.
! Volunteer Abroad (www.volunteerabroad.com) – as a sub-site of goabroad.com, this site serves as
an information source for those looking for international volunteer experiences.
! VolunTourism (www.voluntourism.org) – this site serves as a clearing house for volunteer tourism
including information for providers, media, researchers and travellers. The site also offers a free e-
newsletter for the volunteer tourism trade.
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Case Studies of Volunteer Tourism Providers
Global Vision International
Global Vision International (GVI) – a leading VSO – was founded in 1998. The company is based in
the UK, with offices in Ireland, Australia and the US.
As a for-profit organisation, GVI’s mission is to “offer qualifying projects the necessary financial and
volunteer assistance required to achieve their goals in conservation and community development.” To
achieve this mission, GVI clients participate in over 150 projects in 38 different countries each year.
Approximately 2,000 volunteers work with international charities, non-profits and governmental
agencies. All volunteers are supported and guided by over 150 GVI field staff. Approximately 70% of
funds paid by GVI clients was spent directly in the field in 2007.
The primary focus of the volunteer activities is environmental research and conservation. GVI partners
with an array of organisations, including the South African National Parks Board, Dian Fossey Gorilla
Fund, Jane Goodall Institute, Rainforest Concern and Kenyan Wildlife Service.
The company offers trips ranging from two weeks to 12 months. One example of a GVI trip is a two-
week river gorilla research excursion to Cameroon. The cost of this trip is US$2,000 and includes
accommodation in simple two-person tents and meals. Each group consists of a maximum of four
volunteers plus staff. Alternatively, GVI offers longer trips such as a volunteer project in the South
African National Park for one year, which costs US$6,000.
In addition to their business operations, GVI set up a charitable trust in 2005 to help with disaster
relief following the devastation caused by Hurricane Stan in Guatemala. The response from their past
volunteers was so well received that the trust continues to function and provide support for several
GVI partners.
Industry comment: interview with Richard Walton, director and founder,
GVI International
Q. What is volunteer tourism?
A. Actually, volunteer tourism is a term we are not very keen on. I believe it takes away from the
mission. There are always tourism aspects of any volunteer trip but it is a small part. As volunteering
overseas has become more popular, you have large travel companies that run volunteer tourism
projects. I believe it is almost like there are two parallel industries – volunteer travel and volunteer
tourism or voluntourism – and I wish the press would treat them as such. There are two ‘teams’ at the
moment. There are organisations that just focus on volunteering and then those that include some
volunteering and other tourism activities like surfing or hiking.
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Q. In your opinion, is volunteer tourism a growing trend or is it more of a passing fad?
A. It is difficult to know where it will go. There will always be an interest in volunteering overseas and
as travel gets safer, people want to give back to their local communities and the global community. As
long as volunteering can give people good, well-meaning experiences, it’s here to stay. The key is to
make sure that some of the tourism-type trips don’t damage the image. I believe voluntourism could be
a fad if people start to see it as a ‘gimmick’ and not something that does a huge amount of good.
That’s why a lot of volunteer travel organisations are keen to distance themselves.
I also think there may be a reversal back to what it used to be. You may have people going for a longer
term. People may see that it doesn’t make financial sense to just go for a few days. People will travel
and volunteer for longer periods.
Q. What types of volunteer trips does your company offer?
A. Understanding what we offer goes back to understanding our history and how we started. We were
founded to offer support and provide advice to charities, NGOs, governments and other organisations
that were deemed to be worthwhile to do great things. Therefore, we have a vast range of projects. We
do not dictate how they are set up and run. We set up a volunteering programme that meets their needs.
We have programmes from one week to two years. We have programmes that only accept one or two
year volunteers. The partner organisations determine the make-up of the programme. Our most popular
programmes are marine and wildlife conservation and teaching.
Q. What would you say are the characteristics of your typical volunteer tourist?
A. They are 70% female. The largest group is between 18-25 years old but we have people from 17-
85. Approximately 40% come from the US, 40% from Europe and the UK and 20% from Australia.
The average trip is 4-6 weeks but that is dropping. We get very few volunteers from developing
countries but we do get some through a National Scholarship Program that we run to allow host
country nations to participate in some of our trips.
Q. Is the model of your volunteer programmes to partner with a local non-profit or work
directly with a specific project or cause?
A. We work with partner programmes. How we help them differs depending on the programme. There
are a lot of organisations that have great projects but not good experience working with volunteers. In
some cases, when the programme is set and running, we put people in place to look after the
volunteers. In other cases, we are asked to run a whole programme or take over an existing
programme.
We have a huge network of over 150 field staff around the world. It’s absolutely essential to project
success. We really only like to work on projects that have long-term goals. Full-time staff is the only
way to guarantee that you are really doing everything you can to help a project succeed.
Q. How do you select the volunteer programmes?
A. It is very hard to decide. We get about 40 project applications every month and now, particularly
because of the rise in media attention around voluntourism, we are seeing some dubious projects. It
takes us about 6-9 months to vet a project. Having field staff all over allows us to send someone to
meet with the project. Later, a senior staff person will also visit the project. From the time we accept
the project, it normally takes about six months for the project to begin to receive volunteers. Each one
is a big undertaking.
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Q. Has your company experienced growth over the last two years in volunteer tourism?
A. It is growing but I don’t think it’s growing as much as the press is making out of it. There’s an
explosion of interest and not so much in actual volunteers. We’ve seen more growth in the US but
many organisations have not seen massive growth in North America. The UK has been our traditional
market. Mainland Europe is growing, especially Scandinavia, Holland and Germany. Australia has
doubled but that could be because we’ve had an office there just for a few years. People want to travel
to someplace exciting and adventurous but because of costs, they may be staying closer to home.
The volunteer trend is still growing but operators aren’t seeing large numbers of growth because of so
many organisations. The UK is saturated. When GVI started there were five organisations. Now there
are 60-70.
Q. What trends have you noticed in the volunteer tourism industry?
A. A trend is more short-term projects. There are great short-term projects out there but some might be
more beneficial to the individual than to the place. It really depends on the project. For example, we
have a project in Guatemala where volunteers help build fuel-efficient stoves, thus reducing firewood
use by 75%. It can be built in three days. The benefits are massive.
Q. In your opinion, what are the most popular volunteer destinations and activities?
A. That’s difficult but I would say for destination it is Africa. For activities, it is 50/50 between
community work and wildlife projects. Our clients especially like working with individual species in
Africa. It’s also easier to set up a wildlife conservation programme. Teaching may be more popular but
not by much.
A colleague recently said that people are more interested in a unique experience than the location.
Where they go is less important than what they are doing. I tend to agree.
Bridge Linguatec, Inc; Bridge Volunteers and Volunteer
Adventures
Bridge Linguatec Language Services is an ‘immersion’ language company focusing on providing
clients total immersion study abroad programmes where they are surrounded by the language and
culture of the local destination. Bridge Linguatec is the parent company of several travel-related
subsidiaries including the following:
! Bridge TEFL
! Bridge Abroad
! Bridge Adventures
! Volunteer Adventures
Volunteer Adventures (VA) was founded by Bridge Linguatec Language Services – its parent
company – to link volunteer opportunities with volunteers. The mission of Volunteer Adventures is “to
create and promote volunteer opportunities that improve the lives of others and the environment in
which we live. They seek to achieve this goal by connecting worthy local projects with volunteers
around the world.”
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VA’s first volunteer programmes began as an outcrop of students participating in the immersion study
abroad programmes in South America. In response, the company began involving students in local
conservation, teaching and other social projects. Founded on the premise that many community and
non-profit organisations do not have the resources to access international volunteers, Volunteer
Adventures was set up to serve as the bridge between the two.
VA offers over 25 programmes in Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America and Central America. Their
programmes are focused on conservation and wildlife, community development and English teaching.
They are also a provider of TEFL training to volunteers.
All volunteers pay for their experience. The company does allocate a portion of the fee to a donation to
the local community. The remainder is used to cover the cost of the travel accommodation. Their
prices range from US$995 to approximately US$5,000.
In addition to VA, the company also owns Bridge Volunteers, which specialises in creating customised
volunteer and service learning trips for groups. Many of these trips are appropriate for high school,
university or community organisations.
Industry comment: interview with Jean-Marc Alberola, president, Bridge
Linguatec, Inc
Q. What is volunteer tourism?
A. It accurately describes what so many of the established non-profit players are doing, albeit under
the guise of ‘charity’ volunteer service abroad. In addition, the term voluntourism isn’t 100%
compatible with the non-profit tax status of the organisations offering these services or the tax
deductions participants are making for the costs of their volunteer vacation. We also find that the
volunteer traveller doesn’t want to be perceived as a ‘tourist’ – they wish to consider volunteer work to
be the primary purpose of their trip. Volunteer travellers do not want to be confused with the average
tourist, even if only 25% of their trip is devoted to volunteer work and 75% to tourism.
Volunteer Tourism has many shapes and forms; it’s a broad term that may or may not fit very well
depending upon the particular programme. I do believe that one criterion used to define volunteer
tourism should be that the experience be relatively short in length – three months or less. If you stay
more than three months, or overstay your tourist visa, I think you’re no longer a tourist. Peace Corps
Volunteers, for example, are not tourists.
Q. What types of volunteer trips does your company offer?
A. Bridge Linguatec has two different brands and divisions in the volunteer travel space: Volunteer
Adventures and BridgeVolunteers. Each caters to a specific market segment and has different business
models.
Volunteer Adventures caters exclusively to individuals of all ages, what we call the ‘consumer
market.’ It can best be described as a hybrid of the ‘connector’ and ‘direct’ volunteer tour operator.
Connector is a nice euphemism for agent; we market and promote volunteer projects abroad and
provide them with volunteers. A portion of what we charge goes to cover our marketing and
administrative fees.
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As a connector we offer a wide variety of projects across the globe, and have categorised them into
three main categories – Community Development, Conservation & Wildlife and Teaching English.
Examples would be ‘Young Women’s Mentoring’ in Santiago, Chile, ‘Bat Rescue’ in Australia or
‘Teach English’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We have also focused on ‘teach English’ volunteer programmes where we are able to leverage
BridgeTEFL, our TEFL Certification division. Unlike many volunteer English-teaching programmes
that only require that English be a native language, our volunteers actually receive proper teacher
training.
Typically, where we have staff and infrastructure, such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile, we end up
designing, creating and managing the volunteer projects directly with local non-profits. In these cases,
we consider ourselves the project and hence use the term ‘direct’.
BridgeVolunteers differs from Volunteer Adventures in that it works exclusively with high schools
and universities to provide faculty-led ‘Service Learning’ trips. These programmes are not open to
consumers or individuals but are instead group trips with custom-built itineraries and programmes
influenced by and designed together with school faculty members. Academic credit is awarded to
students participating in these programmes. BridgeVolunteers acts as a ‘third-party provider’ for these
universities and high schools and provides value added by taking care of all logistics, partnering with
local non-profits, providing chaperones and guides among other things.
Q. Is the model of your volunteer programmes to partner with a local non-profit or work
directly with a specific project or cause?
A. We always work with local non-profits within the country. What varies is the degree to which we
manage or provide resources to the projects.
Q. In your opinion, is volunteer tourism a growing trend or is it more of a passing fad?
A. We think that volunteer tourism is here to stay, however, we do also believe that there is a certain
amount of froth and hype regarding this growing phenomenon. Many are attracted to what they
perceive to be a first-to-market business opportunity in what is being billed as the next big
phenomenon of travel since the advent of ecotourism and adventure travel.
We’re seeing a lot of creativity in the design and duration of volunteer tourism experiences. There is
an increasing variety of niche causes and specific market segments being catered to. Most of them are
wonderfully conceived ideas that are and will continue to be very successful. However, many of these
models will fail, and some may be so poorly conceived and executed that they may do more harm than
good. Certainly this is the fear many of us in the industry have and in the more mature UK market,
where they have a gap year, this has proven to be true.
We do believe that the surveys that have been conducted, which indicate that 55% of travellers
expressed an interest in taking a volunteer vacation, or that 62% would be likely to take one, are
misleading. These survey results are driven by good intentions but we don’t believe these numbers will
materialise. So, in that sense yes, we think there is definitely a fad factor to volunteer tourism.
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Q. Has your company experienced growth over the last two years in volunteer tourism?
A. Volunteer Adventures (the connector) began operations in the fall of 2004 and experienced almost
instantaneous growth and success. This was true through 2007. We were experiencing ‘first to market’
growth. However, we have recently begun to experience a drop in sales. We believe this is, in large
part, a result of the current economic recession in the US. As a form of tourism, volunteer tourism is
subject to the same economic ups and downs as the industry as a whole.
We also believe that the connector model, where we match volunteers to projects, is beginning to show
signs of stress on account of the large number of new connector volunteer travel companies entering
the market place. The barriers to entry are very low and many are offering very similar volunteer
programmes. Although the industry is growing, competition is absorbing new demand and margins are
getting squeezed. The days where connector volunteer travel companies could mark up the cost of the
experience significantly and enjoy big margins are over. Certainly, offering the same volunteer trip as
the in-country provider at a higher cost is not a sustainable model and can make for very unhappy
customers. Today we only work as a connector with non-profits that establish wholesale and retail
prices. Even then, we encounter some connector outfits that engage in discounting.
We see the highest growth potential to be in the service learning sector, and this is why we created a
new division – BridgeVolunteers – to cater to that segment. The barriers to entry are significantly
greater in this segment, but that is also why we are attracted to it.
We believe short-term faculty-led service learning trips will see a huge boom. Not only is it proving to
be a very popular trend in education, but it also is a very viable alternative and/or a stepping stone to
traditional long-term study abroad programmes.
Q. What trends have you noticed in the volunteer tourism industry?
We applaud the media focus and attention that has been drawn to the potential negative impacts
volunteer tourism can have on third-world communities in particular. The intuition that volunteer and
tourism may contradict each other is valid. For the most part, however, we believe the vast majority of
projects and tour operators are running very rewarding and sustainable projects for all parties involved.
Q. What would you say are the characteristics of your typical volunteer tourist?
Our consumer brand Volunteer Adventures attracts primarily twenty-somethings, with the average age
being 27. Many of these volunteers are conducting career breaks or taking advantage of the fact that
they are single, are employed and have disposable income. We attract this segment because we
specifically target it and because we believe that for the connector model it is the largest segment.
It’s also important to highlight that we attract a disproportionate number of first-time travellers and,
with few exceptions, all are first-time volunteers. Our volunteers need to be told not to bring
Samsonite suitcases to the rainforests of Guatemala. They require a lot of handholding and guidance.
Despite our focus on twenty-somethings, there is also significant interest by families and Baby
Boomers, and each of these particular market segments require specific targeting. Each is seeking
homogeneity with regard to fellow participants. Families don’t want to be mixed with singles and
Baby Boomers don’t want to be with children, or participate in programmes that don’t include certain
amenities. These groups will also require additional value-added arrangements that will provide
opportunities for increased margins.
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What Next?
Credibility issues
In 2007, Judith Brodie, director of VSO UK, discussed the issue of young people travelling for the
purpose of volunteering. She said that VSO is “increasingly concerned about the number of badly
planned and supported schemes that are spurious – ultimately benefiting no one apart from the travel
companies that organise them.”
As is the case with any emerging industry, volunteer tourism is ripe for setbacks. Poorly conceived or
executed volunteer trips can lead to dissatisfied clients or poor media exposure. Additionally, because
volunteer tourism necessitates a close guest-host relationship, the potential impacts of volunteers on
local communities are great. The potential cultural and environmental implications of ‘strangers’
integrating into a local destination can be harmful. For industry participants to succeed, they will need
to educate their guests, as well as the local population, to ensure that as much benefit as possible can
be derived from the experience. Programmes such as the post- and pre-education and evaluation are
essential to ensure the success of volunteer programmes. Organisations such as GeoVisions have a
‘Returnee Network’ on their website. It not only encourages returnees to evaluate their programmes, it
also lists other ways the tourists can remain involved (maybe not directly with the community they
were working with but with others in need) as well as how they can remain involved with other
travellers and the company.
Travelling closer to home
“Despite fluctuations in financial markets, security and health concerns, adventure travellers in
our surveys continue to be enthusiastic about planning future trips. Furthermore, they clearly
state they feel their travel experiences have provided them with 'life-changing' experiences
something we believe links directly to the kinds of services provided by volunteer-adventure
operators.”
Christina Heyniger, founder, Off the Radar E-Travel Newsletter
It is likely that the economic downturn in the US and the UK will result in a downturn in international
travel. Volunteer tourists may opt for volunteer opportunities closer to home such as in national parks
or with inner-city projects. Obviously, any economic downturn will have an impact on tourism in
general, which will also likely affect volunteer tourism.
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Continued market growth
“Volunteer tourism is at a turning point. The industry has received a lot of good press this year
but this may change if organisations do not put greater attention on providing a quality product
that provides a service to both the destination and tourists.”
Alexia Nestora, Lasso Communications
Many indicators seem to point to a continued growth in the volunteer tourism market. Condé Nast
reported in 2008 that “no trend is as promising as that of the growth in voluntourism.” Not all
volunteer tourism is beneficial, and as the above quote indicates, organisations involved in volunteer
tourism will need to adhere to standards and learn from best practice in order to avoid negative media
and consumer feedback. Many industry leaders have set the standard and survived the test of time.
New entrants as well as established organisations will need to continue to grow in a sustainable,
responsible manner. As indicated in the case studies, the industry may face challenges as it continues
to grow.
Blurred boundaries in the industry
Future growth will continue to come from both non-profit and for-profit organisations such as tour
operators, as well as hotels, airlines and cruise lines, as they continue to adapt their offerings to needs
of the traveller. More tour operators will get involved, offering volunteer activities as part of their
overall product. Tour operators will continue to provide short volunteer trips combined with standard
tourist trips. Saga Holidays, for example – a UK tour operator specialising in tours for travellers over
50 – has been offering international volunteer tourism trips since 2006 and has gradually expanded
these offerings.
As indicated, beyond tour operators, hotels such as Loews and Ritz Carlton have also begun to make
volunteer opportunities available to their guests. In many cases, these activities may grow organically
from activities already being undertaken by hotel staff. The same is the case of cruise lines. Cruise
West is one of the first cruise lines to develop this but it is likely other lines will follow suit. Corporate
travel may also increase the volunteer tourism movement. As corporations seeking to include things
such as ‘meaningful meetings’ and volunteer-focused team building activities, the notion of volunteer
tourism will continue to expand and diversify.
Age-specific volunteer tourism products
Volunteer tourism organisations are focusing on offering trips tailored to age-specific groups. For
example, programmes aimed at high school and university students are increasing, as this has become
an interesting and lucrative market for commercial organisations. STLF has begun to develop mini Pay
It Back Tours for junior and high schools in the US. Many high-school students use one- or two-week
trips during school holidays to fulfil community volunteer services as required by more and more high
schools in the US. High-school students are also using volunteer trips for their university CVs to
provide them with a competitive edge during the university admissions process. High-school students
and their parents will continue to look for safe destinations where teenagers can participate in
community service or conservation projects in a supervised setting.
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Social networks and Web 2.0
"At the Adventure Travel Trade Association we interact with all segments of the adventure
industry – from luxury, full-service tour operators to those offering the blend of adventure and
volunteering trips and we've seen a growing interest from the traditional adventure
community to learn how to incorporate service and volunteering components. We continue to
gather information every year from our tour operator members on how important the Internet is
in their marketing; with all but a very few exceptions, tour operators are letting us know that the
Internet is a vital tool in reaching customers, given that it is a key mechanism adventure,
including volunteer travellers, use to conduct research on future trips.”
Shannon Stowell, president, Adventure Travel Trade Association
The Internet has had and will continue to have a tremendous impact on volunteer tourism. It has
provided travellers with the opportunity to arrange their own trips, view and report on feedback from
trips taken and share their travel experiences through blogs, video clips and other forms of interactive
media.
Interactive social media that fosters tourist to tourist interaction will continue to expand. Websites such
as Travelocity’s Ambassadors for Change Volunteer Community website will facilitate information
exchange at the consumer level. Organisations, particularly those catering to younger markets, will
need to incorporate viral marketing techniques such as the use of Facebook and YouTube to reach
their desired consumer base.
Diversification of volunteer service travel options
Volunteer service opportunities will diversify. Organisations will continue to vary their projects based
on market demand and destination need. In some cases, activities will continue to consist primarily of
volunteer work. However, it is likely that volunteer travel mayl not be appropriate in all locations.
Alternative means to give back to destinations exist and are likely to continue to expand in popularity.
For example, opportunities for travellers’ philanthropy that involves the donation of monetary or
material resources is likely to expand in the future. Additionally, opportunities for facilitated traveller
community interaction, where a quality exchange occurs between host and guest where volunteering is
not appropriate, will also likely continue to expand.
Authors: Martine Bakker is an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Tisch Centre for
Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, New York, NY, where she specialises in tourism
planning and development.
Kristin M. Lamoureux is the director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies within George
Washington University’s School of Business, as well as an adjunct professor with the Department of
Tourism and Hospitality Management, Washington, DC, where she specialises in volunteer tourism
and sustainable tourism development.
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Index to TTI Destination Reports Volunteer Tourism - International
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Index to TTI Destination Reports
Country reports
Algeria No. 3 2008
Andorra No. 1 1993
Antarctica No. 1 1999
Antilles, Netherlands No. 4 1994
Argentina No. 4 2006
Australia No. 1 2006
Austria No. 2 2003
Bahamas No. 1 2005
Bahrain No. 4 2007
Barbados No. 3 1999
Belgium No. 3 2004
Belize No. 2 2001
Bermuda No. 4 1999
Bhutan No. 1 2008
Botswana No. 3 2005
Brazil No. 4 2006
Bulgaria No. 1 2007
Cambodia No. 1 2008
Canada No. 1 2005
Chile No. 4 2006
China No. 1 2008
Colombia No. 1 1999
Costa Rica No. 3 2007
Croatia No. 1 2007
Cuba No. 3 2007
Cyprus No. 3 2004
Czech Republic No. 3 2006
Denmark No. 1 2002
Dominican Republic No. 1 2005
Ecuador No. 3 1998
Ecuador & Galapagos No. 4 2006
Egypt No. 3 2008
England No. 3 2000
Eritrea No. 4 1997
Estonia No. 3 2006
Ethiopia No. 2 2007
Fiji No. 1 1998
Finland No. 3 2004
France No. 2 2008
Gambia No. 2 2006
Germany No. 2 2008
Ghana No. 2 2007
Greece No. 2 2008
Guatemala No. 3 2007
Hawaii No. 4 1993
Hungary No. 3 2006
Iceland No. 3 2004
India No. 1 2008
Indochina No. 2 1993
Indonesia No. 1 2008
Iran No. 4 1998
Ireland No. 1 2001
Israel No. 1 2000
Italy No. 2 2008
Jamaica No. 1 2005
Japan No. 1 2006
Jordan No. 4 2007
Kenya No. 4 2004
Laos No. 2 2005
Latvia No. 3 2006
Lebanon No. 3 2002
Libya No. 3 2008
Liechtenstein No. 1 1993
Lithuania No. 3 2006
Luxembourg No. 2 2001
Madagascar No. 2 2006
Malawi No. 1 1997
Malaysia No. 1 2008
Maldives No. 2 2004
Malta No. 3 2006
Mauritius No. 4 2004
Mexico No. 4 2006
Monaco No. 1 1993
Mongolia No. 4 2002
Morocco No. 3 2008
Mozambique No. 2 2006
Myanmar No. 2 2005
Namibia No. 2 2006
Nepal No. 3 2003
Netherlands No. 1 2002
New Zealand No. 1 2006
Nicaragua No. 3 2007
Nigeria No. 2 2007
Northern Ireland No. 3 2001
Norway No. 1 1998
Oman No. 3 2008
Pacific Islands No. 1 1996
Pakistan No. 3 1996
Panama No. 3 2007
Peru No. 4 2006
Philippines No. 2 2004
Poland No. 3 2006
Portugal No. 3 2004
Puerto Rico No. 4 2003
Qatar No. 4 2007
Romania No. 1 2007
Russia No. 1 2004
Saudi Arabia No. 4 2007
Index to TTI Destination Reports Volunteer Tourism - International
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Scotland No. 1 2002
Senegal No. 2 2007
Seychelles No. 3 2001
Singapore No. 2 2005
Slovakia No. 3 2006
Slovenia No. 1 2007
South Africa No. 2 2006
South Korea No. 1 2006
Spain No. 2 2008
Sri Lanka No. 3 2003
Sweden No. 4 2001
Switzerland No. 3 2001
Syria No. 3 2005
Taiwan No. 2 2004
Tanzania No. 2 2007
Thailand No. 2 2005
Tunisia No. 3 2008
Turkey No. 1 2007
Uganda No. 2 2006
Ukraine No. 1 2007
United Arab Emirates No. 4 2007
Uruguay No. 4 1999
US No. 1 2005
UK No. 2 2008
Venezuela No. 3 2007
Vietnam No. 2 2004
Wales No. 2 1999
Windward & Leeward
Islands
No. 3 1997
Yemen No. 4 2007
Zambia No. 3 2005
Zimbabwe No. 2 2007
City reports
Amsterdam Report 2003
Athens Report 2001
Auckland No. 2 1999
Barcelona Report 2003
Berlin Report 2001
Boston No. 1 1999
Bruges No. 2 2000
Brussels Report 2001
Budapest Report 2003
Cairo No. 2 2000
Chicago No. 1 2000
Copenhagen No. 1 2000
Delhi No. 3 1999
Dublin Report 2003
Dubrovnik Report 2003
Edinburgh Report 2001
Geneva No. 4 1999
Glasgow No. 1 2000
Hong Kong No. 3 1999
Istanbul Report 2003
Jakarta No. 4 1999
Jerusalem No. 4 2000
Kuala Lumpur No. 2 2000
Lisbon Report 2003
London Report 2003
Madrid Report 2003
Manchester No. 3 1999
Melbourne No. 1 1999
Milan No. 3 2000
Montreal No. 2 1999
Munich Report 2001
New York No. 3 1999
Nice Report 2001
Paris Report 2003
Perth No. 3 2000
Prague No. 3 2000
Quito No. 2 1999
Rome Report 2003
Stockholm Report 2003
St. Petersburg Report 2003
Sydney No. 4 1999
Tallinn Report 2003
Tokyo No. 3 2000
Toronto No. 1 2000
Vancouver No. 3 2000
Vienna Report 2003
Warsaw No. 4 1999
Wellington No. 4 2000
Zurich No. 2 2000
NOTES: REPORT 2001 REFERS TO EUROPEAN CITY
REPORTS, PUBLISHED IN MARCH 2001; REPORT 2003
REFERS TO EUROPEAN CITY DESTINATIONS PUBLISHED IN
NOVEMBER 2003.
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Index to Travel and Tourism Analyst
Since March 1986, Travel & Tourism Analyst has published an extensive range of studies covering all
sectors of the industry worldwide.
Travel & Tourism Analyst embodies a rich source of researched analysis and data on the industry. To
assist subscribers and researchers, the following is an index of the most recent reports published on
specific subjects since the beginning of 1993.
Back copies of all issues and individual articles are available from Mintel’s Travel & Tourism
Intelligence.
Index grouped by geographic area
Issue
AMERICAS
Transport
Air
Airlines in South America. No. 6 1994
Airlines in the Caribbean No. 6 1997
Latin American Airlines No. 15 2005
The North Atlantic Air Travel Market No. 2 1994
The US Airline Industry No. 3 1997
The US and European Airline Commissions. No. 6 1993
Cruise
The North American Cruise Market. No. 9 2004
Other
Bus Travel in the USA No. 1 1995
Car Rental in the USA No. 4 1996
Rail Travel in North America No. 4 1999
Accommodation
Accommodation in the Caribbean No. 6 2002
All-Suite Hotels in the USA No. 3 1996
Capital Investment in the US Hotel Industry to 2005 No. 5 1999
Extended Stay Hotels in the USA No. 2 1998
International Growth Strategies of Major US Hotel Companies No. 3 1993
Problems and Opportunities for the South American Hotel Industry: Argentina, Brazil and Chile No. 3 2002
Outbound Markets
Brazil Outbound No. 7 2007
Canada Outbound No. 2 2003
Central and South America Outbound No. 14 2005
Mexico Outbound No. 4 2001
Prospects for the US to Europe market – special length focus No. 1 2004
US Outbound No. 6 2008
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Market Segments
Aboriginal Tourism in North America No. 6 1998
The Adventure Travel Industry in North America No. 6 1997
Health and Spa Tourism in North America No. 1 1998
The Mature Market in North America No. 3 2000
The Post-War Generation and North American Travel Industry No. 3 1997
Prospects for the Europe to North America Market No. 6 1995
Sports Tourism in North America No. 3 2001
US Business and Conference Travel No. 5 1993
The US Gaming Business No. 1 1999
USA to the Caribbean No. 3 1996
US Business and Conference Travel No. 6 2006
Winter Sports in North America No. 6 2000
Travel Distribution
Prospects for the US Travel Agency Sector No. 5 1995
Travel Agents in Canada No. 1 1999
Travel Agents in the USA No. 6 1994
Resorts/Attractions
Theme Parks in North America No. 4 1994
Occasional Studies
Circumpolar Tourism: North America and Scandinavia No. 3 2003
Measuring Tourism’s Economic Importance – A Canadian Case Study No. 4 1994
Negative Publicity about Tourism Destinations – A Florida Case Study No. 5 1995
ASIA-PACIFIC
Transport
Air
Air Travel in Asia No. 12 2004
Airlines in Australasia No. 6 1995
Airlines in China No. 2 1996
Asia’s New International Airlines No. 2 1993
Asian Airport Development No. 2 1998
Cruise
The Cruise Business in Asia Pacific No. 2 1999
Accommodation
The Asia Pacific Hotel Industry No. 4 2002
Capital Flows in the Asian Hotel Sector No. 3 1998
Hotel Chains in the Asia Pacific Region No. 4 1993
Hotel Investment in the South Pacific No. 5 1997
Hotels in Australia No. 4 2003
Hotels in China No. 8 2007
Hotels in India No. 18 2007
Resorts in Asia No. 4 1996
Update on Asia’s hotel sector No. 3 1999
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Outbound Markets
Asia Outbound No. 4 2006
Australia Outbound No. 2 2002
Australasia Outbound No. 10 2005
China Outbound No. 19 2007
India Outbound No. 3 2001
Japan Outbound No. 17 2007
Malaysia Outbound No. 6 1996
New Zealand Outbound No. 3 2003
South Korea Outbound No. 4 2003
Taiwan Outbound No. 6 2000
Thailand Outbound No. 3 2002
Market Segments
The Asian Conferences, Meetings and Incentives Market No. 2 1997
The Japanese Golf Holiday Market No. 2 1996
The Timeshare Industry in the Asia Pacific Region No. 4 1997
Financial Services
Japanese Aid and Investment Assistance for Asia Pacific Tourism No. 3 1995
Travel Distribution
Outbound Travel Agencies in Asia No. 4 2000
Travel Agents in Australia No. 3 2003
Occasional Studies
The Fall-Out from the Asian Economic Crisis No. 6 1998
Fiji after the Coups No. 2 2001
The Main Players in Asia’s Travel Industry No. 1 1995
Secondary Tourism Destinations in Asia No. 5 1995
Trends and Developments in South East Asia No. 1 2003
EUROPE
Transport
Air
Airlines in Russia No. 2 1997
British Airways and the New Airline Economics No. 6 1999
Challenges and Opportunities for Europe's Airports No. 6 1998
Charter Airlines in Europe No. 4 1995
Low-cost Airlines in Europe No. 7 2008
The Emergence of No-Frills Airlines in Europe No. 1 2000
The Growth of European Airports No. 6 2001
Regional Airlines – The European Scene No. 2 2001
European Airport Capacities and Airport Congestion No. 5 1994
Europe’s Airports No. 2 2006
No-Frills Airlines in Europe No. 3 1996
The US and European Airline Commissions No. 6 1993
Cruise/Shipping
Cross Channel Ferries No. 5 2001
Cruising in Europe – Special length focus No. 2 2004
European River Cruises No. 14 2006
European Cruises No. 14 2007
The Cruise Market in Mainland Europe No. 1 1998
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Other
European Bus and Coach Travel No. 3 2003
Car Rental in Europe No. 1 1999
Cross-Channel Traffic No. 1 2003
European Rail Travel No. 2 2003
Europe’s Railways in the 21st Century No. 4 1997
Rail Travel in Europe No. 3 2008
The Channel Tunnel – A Progress Report No. 3 1995
Accommodation
Budget Hotels in Europe No. 6 2007
European Hotel Branding No. 6 2000
European Hotel Chain Expansion No. 8 2004
Franchising Hotels in Europe No. 1 1996
Hard Budget Hotels in France
Hotel Chains in Europe
Hotel Grading Schemes in Europe No. 6 2004
Hotel Incentives Policies in Europe No. 5 1994
Hotels in Eastern Europe No. 4 1997
Hotels in Russia No. 11 2008
The German Hotel Sector No. 5 2008
The Impact of Branding on the UK Hotel Industry No. 2 2000
Improving Performance in Small and Medium sized hotels: The Swiss Experience No. 5 2001
The UK Budget Hotel Sector No. 4 1998
UK Regional Hotel Transactions in the 1990s No. 4 2000
UK Group Hotels No. 1 2003
Outbound Markets
Austria Outbound No. 4 2002
Belgium Outbound No. 5 1999
Europe Outbound No. 16 2004
Finland Outbound No. 5 1996
France Outbound No. 9 2008
Germany Outbound No. 3 2007
Hungary Outbound No. 2 2000
Ireland Outbound No. 5 2001
Italy Outbound No. 15 2007
Netherlands Outbound No. 2 1998
Nordic Outbound No. 15 2006
Outbound Travel in the Baltics and Eastern Europe No. 18 2005
Poland Outbound No. 2 1996
Republic of Ireland Outbound No. 3 1994
Russia Outbound No. 2 2008
Scandinavia Outbound No. 14 2008
Spain Outbound No. 3 2000
Sweden Outbound No. 2 1997
Switzerland Outbound No. 5 2002
UK Outbound No. 5 2003
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Market Segments
Adventure Travel in Central/Eastern Europe No. 7 2005
Agritourism in Europe No. 11 2004
Camping and Caravanning in Europe No. 1 1995
The Emergence of Central and Eastern Europe No. 4 2008
E-travel in Europe No. 7 2004
Europe to the Asia Pacific Region No. 1 1994
Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa No. 5 1996
European Adventure Travel No. 5 2003
European MICE Destinations No. 2 2003
Europe’s Senior Travel Market No. 4 1993
The European Business Travel Market No. 4 1998
The European Conference and Meetings Market No. 4 1994
The European Exhibition Market No. 2 2000
The European International Short-Break Market No. 2 1995
The European Leisure Travel Industry No. 5 2001
The European Market for Very Expensive Holidays No. 2 1993
The European Meetings and Incentive Industry No. 4 2002
The European MICE Market No. 3 2001
The European School Travel Market No. 5 1999
European Snowsports: Markets & Destinations No. 6 2002
Health Tourism in Europe No. 1 2000
The International Ski Market in Europe No. 3 1994
The Market for Cultural Tourism in Europe No. 6 1993
The Package Holiday Market in Europe No. 4 1996
MICE Tourism in Europe No. 8 2005
Redefining Ecotourism No. 5 2004
Religious Travel in Europe No. 2 1994
Rural Tourism in Europe No. 16 2007
Urban Tourism in Europe No. 6 1997
Watersports Holidays in Europe No. 20 2006
The West European Incentive Travel Market No. 1 1997
Where Germans Travel To No. 1 2001
Travel Distribution
European Leisure Groups No. 4 2002
EU Legislation and the Travel Industry No. 5 2000
The European Tour Operator Market No. 1 2006
Travel Agents in Europe No. 3 1994
Travel Distribution in Germany No. 5 1996
Who Owns Whom in the European Travel Industry No. 3 1998
Resorts/Attractions
Attendance Trends at Europe’s Leisure Attractions No. 4 1996
The Future of Visitor Attractions No. 1 2000
Marinas in Europe No. 6 1995
Rejuvenating Holiday Resorts – A Spanish Case Study No. 2 1997
Spa Tourism in Central & Eastern Europe No. 6 2002
Theme Parks in Europe No. 5 1997
Financial Services
Foreign Investment in Eastern Europe’s Travel Industry No. 3 1993
Travel Insurance Market in the UK No. 4 1994
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Occasional Studies
Circumpolar Tourism: North America and Scandinavia No. 3 2003
Database Marketing in Travel and Tourism No. 1 1999
The European Community’s Tourism Development Programmes No. 5 1993
The European Union and European Tourism: Search for Policy No. 3 2002
European Union Progress on a Common Tourism Sector Policy No. 1 1997
The Impact of the Single European Currency on the Travel and Tourism Sector No. 5 1997
Legal Liabilities in the European Travel Trade: The EC Package Travel Directive, Part I No. 1 1993
Legal Liabilities in the European Travel Trade: The EC Package Travel Directive, Part II No. 2 1993
Naturism in Europe No. 9 2005
New Europe: markets and destinations No. 10 2004
The Package Travel Directive: Implications for Organisers and Suppliers No. 1 1996
Trends and Issues in the European Travel Industry No. 6 2000
Visitor Management in Small Historic Cities No. 3 1998
MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA
Transport
Air
Airlines of the Arabian Gulf No. 6 1996
Airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa No. 5 1995
Cruise
The Cruise Industry in the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean No. 1 2000
Accommodation
Hotels in the Middle East: Trends and Opportunities No. 4 1999
Middle East Hotels No. 8 2006
Outbound Markets
Africa Outbound No. 3 2005
Israel Outbound No. 4 1997
Middle East Outbound No. 10 2006
Saudi Arabia Outbound No. 4 1996
South Africa Outbound No. 11 2007
GLOBAL/NON-GEOGRAPHIC STUDIES
Transport
Air
The Aircraft Operating Lease Companies No. 3 1994
Airport Catering No. 2 1999
Airport Security No. 1 2002
Destination Marketing No. 5 2005
Frequent Flyer Programmes No. 3 1993
Global Aviation Outlook No. 3 2004
Global Trends in Airline Alliances No. 4 1997
The Growth & Long-term Potential of the Low-cost airlines No. 4 2000
The Future of International Airline Alliances No. 6 2000
The Legal Framework for Airline Competition No. 3 1997
Low-fare Airlines – Global trends and developments No. 6 2002
Low-cost airlines – an international overview No. 5 2003
Low-cost Airlines Worldwide No. 19 2006
New Commercial Strategies for Airports No. 3 1999
The Outlook for International Corporate Aviation No. 3 2002
Simplifying Passenger Travel No. 6 2001
The Strategic Importance of CRSs in the Airline Industry No. 4 1994
World Airport Development Plans and Constraints No. 1 1996
Cruise
Cruising in Crisis? No. 5 2000
The Cruise ship Industry to the 21st Century No. 2 1995
The World Cruise Market Update No. 1 2002
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Accommodation
All-inclusive Resorts No. 6 1998
All-inclusives: The Major Players No. 3 2003
Alternative Accommodation No. 6 2005
Boutique Hotels No. 2 2002
Condo hotels Worldwide No. 12 2006
CRS Development in the Hotel Sector No. 2 1994
Eco-accommodation No. 20 2007
Hotel Frequent Guest Programmes No. 1 1995
The International Timeshare Market No. 3 2002
Limited Service Hotel Brands No. 5 2000
Measuring Hotel Portfolios’ Performance No. 3 1996
New Management Practice in the International Hotel Industry No. 1 1997
Operating Performance of the World’s Hotel Industry No. 6 1999
Recession and its Implications for the International Hotel Industry No. 6 2001
Timesharing Opportunities for the Hotel Sector No. 4 1993
Market Segments
Alternative Destinations No. 1 2002
Alternative Destinations for the Future No. 2 2003
Developments in the Global Timeshare Market No. 4 1995
Driving Holidays No. 13 2007
Educational Tourism No. 3 1997
Health and Wellness Tourism No. 14 2004
Holiday Rental Intermediaries No. 15 2004
Hotel Loyalty Schemes No. 17 2005
Leisure Extensions to Business Trips No. 5 2002
Loyalty Schemes No. 16 2006
Luxury Travel No. 12 2007
Niche Market Tourism No. 13 2006
The Major International VFR Markets No. 6 1994
Rail Tourism No. 2 2005
Religious Travel in the New Millennium No. 5 1999
Skiing Holidays No. 3 2006
The Seniors’ Travel Market No. 5 1997
Tourism Along the Silk Road No. 16 2005
Volunteer Tourism No. 16 2008
Watersports Holidays No. 5 1994
Wildlife Tourism No. 10 2008
The World Gay Travel Market No. 2 2001
The Youth Travel Market No. 18 2004
Technology
The Changing Face of Hotel Electronic Distribution No. 5 2001
The Changing Face of Destination Management Systems No. 2 2002
Delivering E-Travel Services No. 4 2001
E-Business Models in the Travel Industry No. 3 2000
eCRM in the Travel Industry No. 1 2001
Global Distribution Systems No. 7 2006
Hotel Technology No. 11 2005
The Future of Global Distribution Systems No. 3 1998
The Impact of Technology in the Hotel Industry No. 3 2001
Online Intermediaries – Revolutionising Distribution No. 1 2003
Online Social Media and Travel No. 15 2008
Tourism Satellite Accounting No. 19 2005
Travel Distribution
The Future of Travel Agents No. 3 2001
The Impact of Electronic Distribution on Travel Agents No. 2 1998
The Impact of Information Technology on Destination Marketing No. 3 1995
Ticketing and Distribution in the Airline Industry 2000 No. 2 2000
Tourism and the Internet No. 1 1998
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Financial Services
Paying for Travel No. 6 1993
The World Bank Group and Tourism No. 5 1998
Occasional Studies
Environment
Environmental Impact of Tourism in Developing Countries No. 2 1996
Green Strategies for Tourism Worldwide No. 4 1999
Holistic Tourism No. 2 2007
Practical Environmental Policies in Travel and Tourism I No. 6 1993
Practical Environmental Policies in Travel and Tourism II No. 1 1994
Sustainability in the Hotel Industry No. 6 2001
Sustainable development in the Hotel Industry: Implications & Case studies No. 5 2002
Sustainable Tourism No. 1 2005
Sustainable Tourism Practices No. 1 2008
Tourism and Climate Change No. 1 2007
Tourism and Poverty Alleviation No. 17 2006
National Tourist Organisations
Funding of National Tourist Organisations No. 6 1996
The Changing Role of International Travel and Tourism Organisations No. 5 1994
General
Adult Gap Years No. 12 2008
Adventure Tourism No. 8 2008
Advertising and Promotion in the Travel Industry No. 4 2000
Circumpolar Tourism No. 13 2008
Community-based Tourism No. 5 2000
Cultural Tourism No. 20 2004
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and the future of long-haul air travel No. 4 2002
Diving Tourism No. 5 2007
Film Tourism – The Global Picture No. 5 2003
Festival Tourism No. 13 2005
Fishing Tourism No. 10 2007
Gap Year Tourism No. 12 2005
Gastronomic Tourism No. 19 2004
Golf Tourism No. 5 2006
The GATS and its Impact on Tourism No. 3 2000
The Impact of Festivals and Special Events on Tourism No. 4 1998
The Impact of Fuel Price Fluctuations No. 1 2001
The Impact of Political Unrest and Security Concerns on International Tourism No. 2 1994
The Impact of Terrorism on Tourism No. 4 2003
The Impact of 9/11: Caribbean, London and NYC No. 5 2002
The International Duty-Free Market No. 6 1996
The Marketing of Tourism for Ethnic Minorities No. 1 2001
Leveraging the New Millennium for Tourism No. 3 1999
Luxury & Tailor-made Holidays No. 20 2005
Prospects for Tourism in 1995 No. 6 1994
Prospects for Tourism in 1996 No. 6 1995
Real Exchange Rates and International Tourism Demand No. 4 1995
Religious Tourism No. 4 2005
Set-jetting Tourism No. 4 2007
Short-term Trends and Key Issues in the Tourism Industry No. 6 1999
Spa Tourism No. 9 2007
Sponsorship in the Travel and Tourism Industry No. 6 1996
Sports Tourism No. 17 2004
Stadia and Tourism-related facilities No. 2 2001
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Study Tourism No. 9 2006
Taxation and Tourism No. 2 1998
Theme Park Tourism No. 11 2006
Tourism and the Performing Arts No. 1 1998
Tourism Satellite Accounts No. 3 1999
Tourist Health and Safety No. 5 2002
Youth Travel Market No. 18 2006
Index to Travel and Tourism Analyst Volunteer Tourism – International
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Special Reports Index Volunteer Tourism – International
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Special Reports Index
2003
European City Destinations
European Leisure Travel Industry
International Hotel Industry
World’s Leading Outbound Markets
2004
Timeshares - Global
European Tourism Statistics
Emerging Destinations - Global
International Tourism Forecasts
2005
European Leisure Travel
International Hotel Industry
Cruises
World’s Leading Outbound Markets
2006
Asian Airlines
Top 15 City Destinations in Europe
Home Ownership Abroad & Timeshare
International Tourism Forecasts
2007
International Growth Strategies of Major Hotel Chains
The Impact of Terrorism on International Tourism
The European Leisure Travel Industry
The International Hotel Industry
2008
Airports and Airport Security (March)
Cruises (June)
Business Travel Worldwide (September)
Top Ten City Destinations in Europe (December)
Special Reports Index Volunteer Tourism – International
Travel & Tourism Analyst No 16, September 2008
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... To some extent, this has reflected a degree of discontentment with contemporary tourism amongst tourism consumers and producers (Guttentag, 2009;Halpenny & Caissie, 2003). Emerging from the ecotourism market 'volunteer ecotourism' is where conservation or development organisations use volunteer labour and financial contributions to operate their programmes (Bakker & Lamoureux, 2008;Simpson, 2004;Tate, 2003;Wearing, 2001). Volunteer ecotourism is defined as 'tourists volunteering with an organisation to undertake holidays that involve work or research which may include poverty alleviation and or environmental conservation at the host destination' (Duffy & Smith, 2003;Simpson, 2004;Wearing, 2001 and travel agents, governments, host communities, and host and external organisations. ...
... The importance of perceptions in the volunteer-ecotourism market Though difficult to estimate, with 30 million international tourists participating in some form of 'ecotourism' (Tate, 2003), volunteer tourism is seen as growing globally (Bakker & Lamoureux, 2008;Guttentag, 2009). Bakker and Lamoureux (2008) suggest that in 2006 the value of the Western European market alone was US$150 million. ...
... The importance of perceptions in the volunteer-ecotourism market Though difficult to estimate, with 30 million international tourists participating in some form of 'ecotourism' (Tate, 2003), volunteer tourism is seen as growing globally (Bakker & Lamoureux, 2008;Guttentag, 2009). Bakker and Lamoureux (2008) suggest that in 2006 the value of the Western European market alone was US$150 million. Therefore, factors that influence consumer-purchasing decisions are relevant to volunteer ecotourism producers. ...
Article
Full-text available
Volunteer tourism is the focus of much activity in ecotourism provision. Yet, despite apparent altruism, volunteer motivations and expectations are underpinned by a degree of consumer self-interest; in what they expect to experience for their contributions. Such expectations centre on perceptions aroused through promotional images that stimulate a destination–activity–self-image. This represents counterstructure, an idealised contrast with everyday reality, which performs a decisive role in tourism purchases. Herein, flights, accommodation, etc. become subsidiary to the perceived meta-cognitive character of the volunteer-ecotourist experience. However, disparities in this perception between volunteer and producer and actual experience produced can threaten the ecocentricity of tourist–host–environment interaction. This undermines conservation and developmental efforts by resulting in egocentric spatial over-consumption as consumers and producers pursue destination exclusivity elsewhere. The importance of such issues is discussed and the potential to broaden the depth of understanding of volunteer consumer perceptions is explored in seeking to further harness volunteer ecotourism more effectively.
... Thermal tourism is an alternative tourism industry with a serious income potential especially for Turkey that gets stuck in 3s tourism but rich in spa resources. The worldwide spa industry is worth of $40 billion and has grown at a outstanding rate in the past ten years (Haden, 2007). After the recent agreements and co-operations with European Insurance companies from Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Holland to send their patients to Turkey and cover their health expenditures, the expected number of visitors for health tourism has increased up to 1.000.000 ...
Article
This paper introduces a syntheses of traditional Importance-Performance Analysis and Analytical Hierarchy Process under the name of Competitive Importance-Performance Analysis (CIPA), to empower managers to make better decisions in creating competitive advantage. A questionnaire of a Turkish thermal tourism destination is utilized to illustrate the execution of the proposed approach. The results of the current case study illustrate the practicability and supplementary insights of specifying the priorities of attributes through the proposed approach for gaining competitive advantage. The results suggested that, from the expert’s perspective, plentiful natural hot springs, sound local transportation network, availability of sufficient accommodation, hygiene standards for hot springs spa equipment, public interest in health-leisure activities are important factors shaping the competitiveness of thermal tourism destinations. Therefore, thermal tourism destinations in Turkey might focus more on these attributes to gain competitive advantage. Moreover, increase in visitors seeking for health-oriented leisure time is increasing and hence the future of Turkish thermal tourism seems encouraging. Hence, the adapted undertakings will be required by augmenting the core thermal tourism product to reach the competitors.
... As a result, academic research has approached volunteer tourism as a dynamic and changing industry, andhave primarily focused on several key areas of the practice: 1. Pre-trip motivations of volunteer tourists and how these are considered to differ from mainstream tourists (see Brown and Lehto, 2005; Brumbaugh, 2010 Wearing, 2001 Wearing, , 2002 Zavitz and Butz, 2011). 2. Important works in this area also often consider whether volunteer tourism is motivated by self-interest or altruism (Bakker and Lamoureux, 2008; Brown and Lehto, 2005; Callanan and Thomas, 2005; Fennell, 2006; Lepp, 2008; Tomazos and Butler, 2010). 3. Impacts and outcomes of volunteer tourism at host destinations (see Holmes et al., 2010; Singh and Singh, 2004; Uriely and Reichel, 2000; Uriely et al., 2003) with a significant strand of works identifying issues of power and unequal socio-economic statuses between hosts and volunteer tourists (see Devereux, 2008; Guttentag, 2009; McGehee and Andereck, 2009; McGehee et al., 2008; Mostafanezhad, 2013; Palacios, 2010; Raymond and Hall, 2008; Simpson, 2004; Sin, 2010 Sin, , 2014b). ...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last decade there has been a rise in ‘volunteer tourism’ or ‘voluntourism,’ which is characterized by the combination of travel and volunteering, typically in social or economic development or conversation oriented projects. The papers in this special issue theoretically and empirically examine the dynamic interplay between volunteer tourism and the broader expansion of market-mediated social justice campaigns. Also examined is the potential for volunteer tourism experiences to facilitate myriad implications for the volunteer tourists, volunteer tourism coordinators, and host community members. Positioned against larger transnational trends such as ethical consumerism in tourism, religious mission travel, work and study immersion programs, and academic fieldwork as “volunteer tourism,” this issue examines the various implications of volunteer tourism and its supposed benefits to social, charitable, or environmental causes. As such, it provides a theoretically rich analysis of emerging critical research agendas at the intersection of volunteer tourism and social justice. In this introduction, we consider these agendas – focusing on the theoretical themes of neoliberal development, governmentality, geographies of care and responsibility, and the dilemmas found at the frequently encountered intersection of ethics and aesthetics.
... There has to date been little research carried out on the older volunteer tourist. Bakker and Lamoureux (2008) note that the 'baby boomers' make up one of the largest groups of volunteer travellers, and therefore a growing number of organisations are targeting them. However, this growth is not reflected in the research with the exception of a few notable studies. ...
Article
Full-text available
The concept and practice of volunteer tourism has offered a different outcome to conventional mass tourism in that it is an approach that recognises the inter-dependence of tourism on the host community culture and ecology. Additionally, volunteer tourism is enabling and explores ways of enhancing the sustainability of tourism, and goes some way to eliminating or ameliorating negative consequences.
... ( Wearing, 2001:1) In general terms, voluntourism is the use of personal time and money to travel out of the sphere of regular activity to assist others in need ( McGehee & Santos, 2005). Voluntourism is an expanding sector of the tourism industry ( Bakker & Lamoureux, 2008) and can be categorised under 'alternative tourism' and/or 'ethical consumerism'. It is widely accepted that voluntourism should generate a positive impact for locals in host destinations, and a mutually beneficial host-guest relationship in a tourist destination ( Sin, 2010). ...
Article
This paper responds to the paucity of research on the linkages between voluntourism and digital technology and seeks to understand the online representation of the phenomenon in a developing context. In particular, the researchers investigate the so-called ‘online domain’ of voluntourism in South Africa. The researchers collected a series of web results from search engines and analysed the presence of traditional and social media websites, the most relevant presented topics, and the type of argumentation found. Results identify the context and representation of voluntourism as it transpires virtually. This will contribute to the understanding of the interplay between voluntourism and digital technology, with specific emphasis on web presence. Ultimately, results will shed light on how digitally accessible voluntourism is in South Africa and will set the basis for future investigations.
... Such volunteer tourism is defined by Wearing (2001, p. 1) as " a type of alternative tourism in which tourists 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 of environment " . Volunteer tourism is a rapidly growing segment of the tourism industry (Bakker & Lamoureux, 2008; Brown & Morrison, 2003; Butcher & Smith, 2010; Tomazos & Butler, 2009; Tourism Research and Marketing, 2008), and falls within the trend of ethical consumerism that aims to make positive differences in the communities of less developed countries (Butcher & Smith, 2010). Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2014 Vol. ...
Article
This paper explores the use of indicators to evaluate the impacts of volunteer tourism in host communities, based on an online questionnaire sent to 183 volunteer tourism organizations. Little research exists demonstrating how volunteer tourism programs impact host communities or how impacts can be assessed, but the literature suggests the use of indicators to do so. Social indicator research and systems thinking assert that impact evaluation must be comprehensive and that indicators must consider interconnectivities present in the tourist system; we propose a framework of indicator development that addresses this. Data analysis focuses on volunteer tourist activities and how organizations prioritize indicators to assess diverse impacts of volunteer tourism in host communities. Comparisons are drawn between organizations in Latin America and international organizations (based in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand) that send volunteers abroad. Differing volunteer activities suggest unique approaches between in-country and international organizations. The usefulness and degree of assessment of diverse indicators of the local impacts of volunteer tourism are quantified, while discrepancies between indicator usefulness and assessment raise questions. Comparisons between international and in-country organizations, large and small organizations, and organizations focusing on long-term vs. short-term trips suggest differing organizational priorities and impacts of volunteer tourism.
Article
The Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Educational (SAVE) tourist markets seek destinations that offer a highly educational experience, provide opportunity to meet and work with local residents, and require little tourism infrastructure. Because of the ‘low-maintenance’ nature of the SAVE market, it is a good seed market for developing countries and rural areas of developed nations wishing to increase tourism traffic and receipts. However, little is known about how the SAVE market makes travel decisions, or about the real impacts it has on community development. This conceptual paper models the choices made from both the demand (tourist) and supply (destination) side of the tourism industry within the context of the SAVE market. The application for community-based planning and development is discussed.
Lasso Communications; Adventure Travel Trade Association; Xola Consulting; Pepy Ride Tours (Cambodia); Solimar International
  • Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton; Lasso Communications; Adventure Travel Trade Association; Xola Consulting; Pepy Ride Tours (Cambodia); Solimar International; Explorandes (Peru);
Off the Radar E-Travel Newsletter; Thomson Family Adventures and the British Office for National Statistics
  • Jordan Tourism Board
Jordan Tourism Board; Off the Radar E-Travel Newsletter; Thomson Family Adventures and the British Office for National Statistics.