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A Critical Look at the Pros and Cons of Voluntourism

Travel n Tour

A Critical Look at the Pros and Cons of Voluntourism


Going on  Graet News Network a vacation to places we’ve heard of but by no means visited is something most people like to do. But what in case your judgment of right and wrong determined you to go on an altruistic journey, even as your heart is craving for a far-wished excursion trip? Well, you can please both by being a ‘voluntourist’!


White sandy beaches, gondola rides inside the moonlight, and hiking are exciting gadgets on the ‘activities’ list of a travel lover or maybe someone who wants a smash from their mundane, often worrying, lives. But if the rising tendencies in tourism are to be believed, villages in growing countries and places that have been adversely suffering from natural disasters are the newly frequented ‘visitor spots,’ for people with a bent in the direction of doing right for the duration of vacations.

What is Voluntourism

Voluntourism or Volunteer Tourism is set killing two birds with one stone – touring and volunteering. You get to go to new locations, meet new human beings, analyze new cultures and experience new things on the side of making a distinction within the location you go to and within the lives of the human beings you meet. Volunteers are made to place where there may be a want, and voluntourists are folks who are willing to spend their difficult-earned money, vacation time, and power to satisfy those needs. Often, human beings pick out voluntourism to use their competencies for a worthy cause instead of the usual monetary benefit.


It offers you the possibility to explore another facet of the sector you stay in. One excursion as a volunteer among people with struggles some distance more than yours has the energy to change your angle on lifestyles permanently. According to the latest information, voluntourism is the new rage within the tourism industry. The Travel Association of America has been following this trend due to 2005 and has the handiest visible growth in its recognition.

Pros and Cons

Though voluntourism journeys have garnered various interests, not all of it’s far centered on the intense side. While some do not forget contouring a blessing, others keep in mind it a curse in concealing. The reasons at the back of this difference in opinion aren’t complicated to see. Voluntourism pros and cons can be visible on aspects – one from the character factor of view and the alternative from the local people’s perspective.


Individual Benefits
Gets to volunteer and travel
Gains insight into ‘every other world’ and receives a destroy from the normal, normal life
Gets to research from placements and enjoy new matters
Gets a possibility to use abilities for sustained offerings
Eye-opening enjoy associated with third world improvement, development, and living conditions
Satisfaction of creating a distinction in lives and fulfills altruistic goals
Finds a new zeal and motive for life
Inspired for long-term volunteering and creates advocates or donors for a worthy reason
Health benefits – alleviates depression, distinct treatment options, and remedies are received (in line with Corporation for National and Community Service record)
Community Benefits
Many types of productive services are received.
There is a growth in traveler income.
There is an influx of special and expert competencies.
Cross-cultural understanding and mutual admiration are promoted.
People get glimpses of higher residing situations and touchstone for his or her very own development.
Sustainable tourism is recommended.
Social and physical situations are progressed.
Immediate concerns are addressed.
Local Government and Administration are pressed to behave.


Individual Harms
Less of entertainment and greater of work
Ineffective use of competencies (because of rash choices or faulty mindset)
Dissatisfaction with the non-public role (because of incorrect choice of challenge or high expectancies)
Exploitation by using fraudulent volunteer dealers and businesses
False sense of self-importance because of ego sprucing
Disillusionment with existence and multiplied cynicism after witnessing the dark aspect of lifestyles
Bad studies that provide upward thrust to pessimism and mistrust
Community Harms
Poor screening of voluntourists results in reduced effectiveness and opens avenues for dangerous sports.
Short-time period improvement, structured completely on voluntourism, gives rise to ‘new colonists.’
It highlights the differences and, consequently, widens the rift between the advanced and the developing communities.
Create a ‘market of orphans’ in orphanage projects (a few organizations rent ‘orphans’ from their dad and mom to invite donors.).
It hinders self-improvement.
Ill-taken into consideration tasks has less or no usefulness.
There is an unfavorable impact on neighborhood employment and markets.
As may be seen, voluntourism may be as dangerous as it’s far beneficial if the volunteers and voluntourists are not well-prepared with nicely targeted projects. That’s why many concepts must be placed into selections of becoming a voluntourist and choosing a voluntourism undertaking. One powerful way of doing this is using bearing in thoughts the voluntourism harms and blessings.


A volunteer is a first-rate choice for individuals who need to do something more beneficial than getting solar-burned on a Greek island. But with a purpose to boom the effectiveness and benefits, at the same time as lowering the ill outcomes and harms of your volunteer, you will make a truthful quantity of training for it.

Personal Preparations for a Volunteer

Purpose: The first degree of occurring a volunteer is understanding your purpose or reason of being a voluntourist, after which finding a volunteer so one can meet your cause. There are many motives why humans need to go away with the amusement and comfort of normal excursion trips and join a volunteer tour that calls for them to give by and large more than what they’ll acquire. These motives may be generalized into few categories:
Hands-on Experience in International Aid
Find Purpose in Life
Break from Routine
Fill the Gap Year
Career Enhancement

Depending on your cause and your idea of how you suspect it’ll be satisfactorily met, you may pick out a volunteer or a normal tour. It is also this purpose that determines how desirable a voluntourist you may be. Deciding to be a voluntourist just because you have nothing higher to do or want to make your CV appearance better is not an awesome sufficient cause. You will now not be able to provide completely when you have self-interest as a concern. Keep in mind that the place you will be going to is where actual human beings with actual needs and real feelings stay. Your services are going to impact no longer simplest their gift, but probably even their future.

Budget: How a whole lot do you need to spend at the volunteer? For another thing, you could select to volunteer on a small budget or be inclined to spend big bucks. Out of this, decide on a specific quantity of matters.
Travel expenditure
The amount you need to spend on yourself (lodging, meals, and shopping)
The amount for the project (donation or budget for required substances)
The spare amount for emergency
Time Division: This consists of only matters:
Percentage of time for journeying

Your Role: To be an effective voluntourist, you want to decide your role in the volunteering project. Ask yourself those questions:

Which of my abilities do I need to use for volunteering?
What type of mission do I want to be worried about? (medical, constructing, orphanage, etc.)
How deep do I want to get involved in a given undertaking?
Will I be ok working below some other character (maybe a less qualified local), or do I need to be the chief?
Do I need the assignment I choose to be finished earlier than my departure, or is it k if it was persisted via others?
Choosing a Volunteer

Once you have observed your reason, hunt for real volunteers whom you think will meet your criteria. Thorough research at the company and its challenge are a have to. Get in contact with humans who’ve gone on volunteers before. A top volunteer organizer might be more interested in assembly the community’s wishes they’ll find paintings for than meeting the superfluous demands of the volunteers. Your services as a volunteer ought to be useful, no longer harmful, for the local people. It is quality to list factors you will want to do on a volunteer and the impact you need the task to have on the community there. Your list of criteria for volunteers could be something like the one given below.

Project Requirements for a Volunteer
Details of preceding volunteers and initiatives
Project kind (scientific, academic, constructing, and so on)
Approvals from worried authority
Reasons in the back of the selection of venture (We’re the area people consulted? Is it honestly wanted?)
The ethical legitimacy of the venture (Does it appreciate the customs and ideals of the local people? Will it has superb influence in the lives of those worried?)
Local involvement (For a long-lasting impact, a venture needs to be domestically led.)
Sourcing of talents and material (Will fabric and abilities to be had domestically be used or unnoticed?)
Time duration (Is the venture quick-term or long-time period?)
Impact on the community (consist of each nice and bad factors)
Personal Requirement
Budget (Ask for a detailed value break up)
Refund in case of cancellation
Means of verbal exchange (how can you be able to touch lower back domestic?)
Safety Measures
Your position inside the assignment
In addition to those, you want to consist of other such things as an identification proof, journey insurance, scientific requirements (e.G., suitable vaccinations and allergic reaction treatment) for your itinerary. For choices of locations for voluntourism, numerous sellers and organizations offer voluntarily to diverse international locations, generally to international locations that can be developing or underdeveloped (e.G., Haiti, Cambodia, Thailand, and many others.). Two very famous and recognized websites on voluntourism trips are ‘voluntourism.Com’ and ‘voluntourism.Org.’

Having an open mind, a learner’s mindset, and a group spirit will move in an extended manner in making you a powerful voluntourist. Volunteers that are carefully chosen and rightly carried out present a lifetime of satisfying memories and friendships to anyone involved – the organizers, voluntourists, and the local community.

Todd R. Brain

Beeraholic. Zombie fan. Amateur web evangelist. Troublemaker. Travel practitioner. General coffee expert. What gets me going now is managing jump ropes in Africa. Had a brief career working with Magic 8-Balls in Libya. Garnered an industry award while analyzing banjos in Prescott, AZ. Had moderate success promoting action figures in Pensacola, FL. Prior to my current job I was merchandising fatback in the aftermarket. Practiced in the art of importing gravy for no pay.