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%
Other…

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%

One thought on “Snapshot of Survey Results on Voluntourism

  1. Thanks Alexia! It was a great discussion at ATWS. The guidelines question is a big one. Do we need guidelines? Do we want guidelines? If we could design a perfect set of guidelines, what would they include? For those of you that are in the “voluntourism trenches” what do you all think about the guidelines question? And if not guidelines, what else would be helpful?

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