Also known as volunteer travel, voluntourism is a way to feel, uncover, and help individuals around the world while traveling in different areas locally or internationally. It is also a method of seeing the truth regarding the circumstances of alternative tourism which benefits the destinations during the said project. It leads to expectations of responsible cultural tourism which helps create a better place for people.
It is a situation where individuals will discover different cultures and places to explore while learning things first-hand. Individuals are also able to play a significant role in the community to help improve their skills and individuality while helping community growth.
Volunteers are expected to live with local host families during the extent of the volunteer project. It will help the volunteers experience the depth and immersion of cultural exchange while doing their projects, which is quite impossible during a typical visit. Host families are willing to help the volunteer blend and become a part of their community.
Joining a volunteer tourism project will help individuals gain an advantage in working with projects with diverse cultures while gaining positive results. Additionally, it also means that they are joining a global network of volunteers as a volunteer tourist that gives them connections to a lot of people.
Voluntourism is becoming widespread. It provides experience, financial responsibility, and sustainability while benefiting the community and yourself as an individual. However, it is important to carefully choose the organization that you are going to travel with during the project.
Below are different methods of how volunteer tourism can benefit the local people and the volunteer:
Individuals can contribute to the local economy during the duration of their participation in the volunteer job. They are also able to have the convenience of exploring different places while learning a lot of things from the diverse culture during their free time.
It provides jobs, training, and education for local people. Additionally, developing areas that rely on their income from tourism and local businesses, which are supported by voluntourism companies, can tremendously benefit from it.
Volunteer tourists can contribute by helping execute development for long-term results that can help the local community as a whole. The effort, time, and skills will make a difference even after the end of the project duration. Examples consist of helping local teachers improve foreign language teaching or assisting small-time entrepreneurs who are struggling in their business which will impact the sustainability of a whole family for years.
For their benefit, it is advisable for individuals to think about every factor that can influence their experience during the trip and their expectations. It is also essential to go for a volunteer tourism project only if they feel that they are ready to immerse and relinquish themselves in the experience. It may feel surreal and alienating during the first part, but the local people will help you get over that feeling. Lastly, it is fun, diverse, and it is a fresh way to help people which is worthy of your time and effort.