If someone is thinking of starting a voluntourism company these days the market looks awfully crowded. The secret to successfully entering the industry and attracting enough volunteers to make a sustainable difference is differentiation. Find a unique project, target an untraditional demographic, combine volunteering with another activity – all are great possibilities.
Recently we’ve seen the successful launch of Lifetree Adventures, a division of the youth mission trip company Group Workcamps. Lifetree Adventures offers Christian voluntourism – a trip that’s part vacation, part Christian service (no evangelizing). Travelers will participate in traditional sightseeing in addition to volunteering with local communities – the differentiating factor? Christians traveling with Christians, a demographic that has not yet been targeted.
So be daring, have a look at your current product – is there another demographic you could target? Spanish language clubs? Families looking to explore their roots? Seniors that want to go on spring break? Ex-Peace Corps volunteers??