Top Voluntourism Trips for 2012 – What Are They???

I got this Tweet from the folks at Wild Guanabana last week, and it kind of stumped me. I’m not sure which projects I would put on a list for 2012.

Anyone have any spectacular projects you want to tell me about? I know a lot about best practices, industry issues, but its been a long time since any of you shared a fabulous project you are working with.

Tell me and let’s make this list!

“@VoluntourismGal what are the hottest voluntourism projects on your list for 2012 :)”

Why You Shouldn’t Participate in Voluntourism

Interesting article came out by Richard Stupart of Matador

“NOBODY DECIDES to travel halfway around the world to spend weeks or months of their life undermining a local community. But voluntourism – like that famous quote about the paving on the road to hell – often comes close. The debate about the practice, like most things in life, is far more ethically nuanced than many organisations facilitating such experiences often let on.

Voluntourism has gained an appeal amongst travelers with a wide range of motivations, time and skills. From volunteers in organised groups such as the Kiva Fellows to handfuls of backpackers stopping off for a week in Siem Reap. The appeal of wanting to get involved in ‘making things better’ for local groups, orphanages, schools or other projects is the glue that holds many different strains of voluntourism together. And the ground on which fierce debates have raged for a few years already on whether particular flavours of voluntourism are helpful, ethically bankrupt, or simply benign.”

Read the full article here, what do you think?

Interesting Study on Voluntourism (Oldie but Goodie)

Was sent this study on Voluntourism – hadn’t seen it before so thought I’d share – click Voluntourism – Give a Little, Gain a Lot to download the full version.


Voluntourism is the practice of individuals going on a nonpaid working holiday for the purpose of volunteering themselves to worthy causes. The industry has
experienced enormous growth in the number of companies operating, volunteers travelling and, projects and regions available.

Current research on voluntourism has demonstrated that there is a need for empirical quantitative analysis. Furthermore, utilizing a large sample will reduce
the reliability limitations associated with past research. Valuable insight into the motivations and expectations of these voluntourists will provide for a richer
understanding of the market segment.


To examine current and prospective voluntourisWV·? attitudes and perceptions of voluntourism so Planeterra can enhance and differentiate its products and
services in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Key findings

Respondent Profile

o Most voluntourists were aged 20-­39 and living around the world. They were single or married without children, highly educated, and avid travelers.


o Respondents indicated an interest in traveling to South & Central America, Africa and Asia to volunteer. They were motivated by their interest in environmental conservation, community tourism projects and community development.


o Respondents were interested in traveling for over a week while devoting 40-­80% of their trip to volunteering. They also wanted to
volunteer between 4-­8 hours per day while spending less than $1500 on their trip.

Choosing an organization

o Voluntourists thought the experience and reputation of a company, price of the trip, and knowledge of where their money is going were
important when choosing a volunteer travel company.


o Current voluntourists would recommend a volunteer vacation and
would likely go again