These days we hear the term voluntourism or volunteer tourism, but what exactly is this? Voluntourism is a popular form of travel that allows one to contribute to sustainable development while exploring a new destination and culture.
It 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.
Benefiting local community
When one contributes to a well managed, sustainable volunteer project, you are working on a long-term goal and development. For instance, a volunteer helping to train teachers to improve their English skills, will indirectly impact the children they teach. Once they learn and improve their skills, their teaching will improve and will be able to give better education to the children.
In free times, most volunteers take advantage and visit the local monuments or game drives or visit local restaurants, contributing to the local economy.
Prior to opting Voluntourism
Don’t off 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 an 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, 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”.