Snapshot of Survey Results on Voluntourism

Just got back from the Adventure Travel World Summit in Chiapas – which by the way you all really should attend – and wanted to report back a little on the happenings. Planeterra and South Africa Tourism sponsored a session on Voluntourism to help with the TIES Guidelines research, below are a couple results from the survey pushed out before the conference to a wide database of both volunteer and adventure companies. Over 200 companies responded so I thought I’d share a snapshot of the results – the full report will come later.

Most horrifying for me is the amount of travelers that want¬† to go to orphanages, seriously people if this isn’t going to stop we need to find a responsible way¬† to do this. Any suggestions?

What is THE most popular activity you feel travelers would like to do?
Paint or Build 26%
Orphanage 20%
Nature/Wildlife Conservation 18% (ish)
Schools 15%

This is a mine field for discussion so I’m super excited. The fact that so many people think traveler’s want to go to orphanages (not surprising) but we know that is a hotly contested topic – so what is an adventure company to do? I think we could explore this a lot!

Do you feel that adding voluntourism makes your itinerary more marketable/sellable?
Yes 46%
Not Sure 42%
No 12%

The fact that 42% said they aren’t sure if voluntourism makes them more marketable is a great topic to chat about, and the 12% that said No – is that because they don’t believe in voluntourism or they’ve had experience with travelers not responding to this as an incentive to travel with them.

Are Best Practices/Guidelines for Voluntourism Realistic?

Yes 36%
No 34%
Not Sure 30%