These days we hear the term voluntourism or volunteer tourism or volunteer holiday or volunteer travel; some of us always wonder! what is the meaning of this term.
Voluntourism is a popular form of travel that allows one to contribute to sustainable development while exploring a new destination and culture. Voluntourism is a similar experience to volunteer travel or volunteer vacation or volunteer holiday and many people find that doing meaningful volunteer work while participating in tourism is a great way to get the best of both worlds.
As a Voluntourist at domestic or international destinations, you will be well placed to discover a new territory and explore the unseen side of the destination, learn about the culture and play a role for betterment of the society.
How does Voluntourism benefit local community?
When one contributes to a well managed, sustainable volunteer project, you are working on a long-term goal and development. Giving an example of a volunteer helping to train teachers to improve their English skills, this will indirectly impact the children they teach. Once they learn and improve their skills, their teaching will improve and they will be able to give better education to the children.
Contribution to local economy – In free times, most volunteers take advantage and visit the local monuments or game drives or visit local restaurants, this gives a boost to the local economy.
Things one should keep in mind prior to opting for Voluntourism:
Don’t of to volunteer if you are purely looking for a holiday. You may be opting for Voluntourism for a certain activity, however at times due to less participation one may be expected to chip in to other areas of activities.
Prepare to help for everything – from cleaning up after meals to helping with day-to-day tasks.
Different programs have different eligibility criteria, please ensure that you meet the criteria of your preferred program. Meeting eligibility criteria does not mean you will be accepted, there may be further evaluation or a interview prior to final selection of a volunteer
Be realistic in what you want to offer, since roles are assigned based on your skills.
While travelling to smaller towns or villages, don’t forget to carry essential items you may need on regular basis.
Jay Kantawala from WIYO Travel feels that we see a increase in Voluntourism in India. As we see a change in lower and upper middle class culture in the country and increase in awareness due to efforts from Media, younger people are getting attracted towards Voluntouirsm to give back to the society.
Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO travel said, we have seen a significant increase in the Indian traveller’s exploring the country and taking international trips in past few years. With increase in the digital footprint which offers loads of visual content to traveller’s to explore their preferred destination and travel, we will see a further growth in the tourism sector and increase in sectors contribution to India’s GDP.