VolunTourism Trips Inside VolunTourism.org Resources Global Education Media Contact Us Home


The Weekly Review
The VolunTourist Newsletter
Newsletter Archives
Research Forum
VolunTourism.org Blog
The VolunTourist Webcast

Site Map
Blue Ventures' Diver

Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) & CVBs

VolunTourism. We hear the word. We see other DMOs and CVBs incorporating it into their planning guides, posting "voluntourism" sections on their websites, or touting the fact that travelers can now "give back." But...

"What does it mean for 'my' destination?"


Copyright © Blue Ventures, All Rights Reserved
Suggested Readings From The VolunTourism.org Blog and the The VolunTourist Newsletter

Posts from The VolunTourism.org Blog

"Shoulder Season VolunTourism": The Next Step for VolunTourism - I have had the privilege of engaging in conversations with many people around the world over the last decade-plus of my involvement with VolunTourism. I have learned about many subjects, none more enlightening than those who hail from the ‘world’ of parks & recreation. More...

"Blue-Green" VolunTourism: The Ideal Starting Place - If you are the least bit curious about what your first step might be in regards to VolunTourism, then here is a piece of advice: Start Green, Or Blue. More...

VolunTourism And The Rising Capacity of DMOs - For those who are unfamiliar with the term DMO – destination marketing organization – think of it as a travel portal for a destination. Lots of folks may grab a copy of their favorite travel guide in preparing for a voluntour abroad; this is certainly a fine thing. But for those who are looking for up-to-the-minute breaking news on what is happening at the destination level, look no further than a DMO website. More...

Articles from The VolunTourist Newsletter

VolunTourism 231 - VolunTourism makes the small... LARGE in stature. It makes the seemingly quaint - EXTRAORDINARY. It can take a township and transform it into a METROPOLIS of service and tourism possibilities! More...

VolunTourism: The Next Destination - What destination is likely to be the next destination that embraces VolunTourism? This article offers possible answers and the reasons why certain destinations are poised to develop VolunTourism. More...

Special Report: Gulf Coast & New Orleans VolunTourism - What is New Orleans doing to coordinate the linkages between the tourism industry and the nonprofit sector? Answers from the Gulf Coast CVB and the New Orleans CVB help to enlighten us on the possibilities. More...

It Starts With A Champion

VolunTourism™ can mean everything; it can also mean nothing. If you have a champion within your DMO that is passionate about voluntary service and what it can mean to the destination, then you have a solid foundation from which to begin. The follow-on steps involve such things as:

  • Reviewing your current service "assets"
  • Identifying unique opportunities
  • Determining if service projects will also support tourism-related causes & issues (e.g. museums, zoos, historic buildings, parks & open spaces, etc.)
  • Messaging within and without

The DMO bears witness to the importance of VolunTourism. How a DMO delivers this message as part of its internal communications, i.e., within a destination and its membership base, and externally, to the media and the general public, can make a significant impact on all stakeholders, especially the local environment and area residents.

Creativity & Partnerships

Creativity is also essential; however, uniqueness is of utmost importance. If you have a unique event or activity in your destination, like the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race in Bayfield, Wisconsin, you have removed "competition" from your VolunTourism catalog and introduced healthy differentiation. The opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind, or once-in-a-lifetime, experience is exactly what VolunTourists are seeking. And the great news is that every destination, regardless of size, comes "equipped" with an event or activity of this type.

The Philadelphia CVB has focused on partnerships. Building on existing relationships like the ones they have with the Philadelphia Zoo and the Mural Arts Program, the Philadelphia CVB has crafted a catalog of options for group travel planners. Visitors have the opportunity of peeking behind the scenes of area icons. And with the support of Greater Philadelphia Cares, they have incorporated programs that are uniquely Philly.


Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race

The list of DMOs & CVBs having a dedicated section for voluntourism on their websites continues to grow. Here are some that you may or may not know about:

This list will continue to expand until at some point your DMO/CVB will appear here as well. We look forward to that day and are here to support your efforts in any way we can.

For additional resources, look to archives of The VolunTourist Newsletter, posts on The VolunTourism.org Blog, past & future episodes of The VolunTourist Webcast, and other sections of this website. Should you have in-depth questions about how to approach VolunTourism as a DMO or CVB, feel free to contact us.

[Return To The Top]

THE VOLUNTOURIST - Past Webcasts for Destination Representatives

VolunTourism Opportunities In Tucson Arizona - 14 April 2009


The Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau has a number of voluntary service projects identified for travelers. Here are some questions that were covered:

1) How is the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau working with local nonprofit organizations to introduce voluntary service opportunities to visitors?

2) What are some examples of nonprofit organizations with which you are currently working?

3) How do you envision expanding this program to other nonprofit organizations and sharing what you have learned thus far?

Guests addressed these topics and discussed others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Webcast] (Click Here To Download)


Robert Newtson, Executive Director of Friends of Saguaro National Park; and Kimberly Schmitz, Director of Communications & Public Relations for the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The State Of Idaho & VolunTourism - 7 April 2009


The State of Idaho has embraced voluntourism on a level unlike any other U.S. state. The following questions represent key elements in understanding the merger between State of Idaho's Tourism Office and Serve Idaho:

1) What was the impetus behind Tourism Idaho's adoption of voluntourism?

2) How did Tourism Idaho select the partners with which it is collaborating on this initiative?

3) How will Tourism Idaho and its partners promote and evaluate this initiative via internal and external communications?

Guests addressed these topics and discussed others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Webcast] (Click Here To Download)


Karen Ballard, Administrator for the State of Idaho's Tourism Office; and Kelly Staskey, Executive Director of Serve Idaho.

The State of Colorado & VolunTourism - 31 March 2009


The State of Colorado has some long standing nonprofit organizations who have been hosting voluntourists for a number of years:

1) What are some examples of programs that are being offered as a part of the State of Colorado's VolunTourism Initiative?

2) To what reasons do you attribute the increasing interest in voluntourism in Colorado?

3) What wisdom & insights have you gained through your engagements with voluntourists that could serve other entities who may be considering these types of programs?

Guests addressed these topics and discussed others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Webcast] (Click Here To Download)


Bill Manning, Managing Director of the Colorado Trail Foundation; Teresa Ana Martinez, Director of Trail Managment Operations for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance; Caitlin Sullivan, of MMG Mardiks; and Lew Turner, of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.

The Philadelphia CVB & VolunTourism - 2 September 2008


The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau has recently rolled out their 2009 Planning Guide and have dedicated a portion of it to VolunTourism. Kathleen Titus of PCVB and others will address the following questions:

1) What was the motivation behind PCVB's effort to incorporate VolunTourism into its 2009 Planning Guide?

2) What models, if any, have been used to pattern the relationships that you have created and continue to create with nonprofit organizations to make VolunTourism possible?

3) How do the nonprofit organizations and other PCVB members respond to this connection with PCVB?

Guests addressed these topics and discussed others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Webcast] (Click Here To Download)


Frankie Lancos, of Greater Philadelphia Cares; Cathryn Ott Lovell, of the Mural Arts Program; and Kathleen Titus, of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Small Destinations & VolunTourism - 22 January 2008


How are small destinations using the power of VolunTourism to draw individuals to their destinations? How can VolunTourism support the "off-season"? How are com-munities getting involved in making VolunTourism possible? And what can Volun-Tourists expect when they visit these smaller destinations? Guests address these topics and discuss others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Webcast] (Click Here To Download)


Robert D. Billington, Ed.D, President, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council; Todd Russell, Youth Director, Church of Christ at Milan; Kristen Sandstrom, Marketing & Events Manager, Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau; Greg Tehven, Co-Founder, Students Today Leaders Forever.

Professional & Trade Associations and VolunTourism - 13 November 2007


Guests discuss the connection between VolunTourism and trade and professional associations. What are associations doing to facilitate education and value-added propositions for their members as it relates to VolunTourism? Guests address these topics and discuss others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Cast] (Click Here To Download)


Sarah Corradino, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA); Ted Nelson, Heritage Clubs International; and Featured Guest, Jim Santini, National Tour Association.

Relief VolunTourism - 11 September 2007


Discussion focuses on discovering the connections between relief, following natural or man-made disasters, and VolunTourism. For example, when should VolunTourists come to a destination following a disaster? What should destinations do to be better prepared for future disasters and the outpouring of sympathy and desire to contribute from people around the world? Guests address these topics and discuss others during this episode of The VolunTourist.

[Listen To The Cast] Or (Click Here To Download)


Benjamin Brigham, DestinationRecovery.com, Featured Guest, Steve Richer, Former Executive Director of the Gulfcoast Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Mary Beth Romig, Director of Communications & Public Relations for the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.