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 Heroin and cornflakes




VolunTourism is one of the fastest growing trends in the travel industry. 

In the broadest sense, Voluntourism represents voluntary service experiences that include travel to a destination in order to realize one's service intentions.

In a more refined and balanced approach, Volun-Tourism is the integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination with the traditional elements of travel and tourism - arts, culture, geography, history, and recreation - while in the destination.

What else do we know about it?

In 2007, the following statistics were released:

  • M-Travel reported that the results of Travelocity's annual travel forecast poll found that 38% of travelers plan to add voluntary service to a trip in 2008.
  • Forrester Research estimates that there are nearly 3.5 million VolunTourists in the U.S. or roughly 3% of travelers
  • Cheap Tickets Survey discloses that "55% of respondents would consider taking a day or two of a pre-planned vacation to volunteer"
  • Travelocity's February 2007 Survey in which member interest in VolunTourism has jumped to 11% - a nearly 90% increase from 6 months prior (August 2006)

In 2006, the following statistics were released:

  • Euromonitor International projected that VolunTourism will be one of the fastest growing travel segments for the next 3 - 4 years.
  • Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) announced that in a survey of some 1100 travelers, 24% declared interest in wanting to combine voluntary service with their travel plans for 2007
  • Travelocity announced in a poll of its members that 15% were interested in taking either a religous or volunteer travel experience in 2007 and 6% of Travelocity members plan to take a VolunTourism trip in 2007

What else?

Do we know, for example, how to establish a VolunTourism program that honors the development of communities, their sustainability and longevity? No, of course not. We can strive for such an objective, but it could take years before one could even come close to perfecting such a VolunTourism model. And, no, we do not want to sit by idly awaiting our thought processes to cultivate the capacity to do so either.

Yet, we want to honor communities and their residents, VolunTourists, tour operators, suppliers, destinations, and everyone else that has a stake in the outcome of VolunTourism initiatives.

So where do we start to educate ourselves?

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