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May 2005 - 3Q's

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The VolunTourist™ is a premium Newsletter for the Travel Trade. For those interested in dis-covering what is happening in the world of VolunTourism and seeking emerging practices, general information, and case studies, this is your Source.

3-Q's

Tauck World Discovery - A VolunTourism Model

This month our 3-Q's are for Lora Schapiro, Tauck World Discovery's Corporate Giving Coordinator

1) What was the incentive for Tauck World Discovery to begin a VolunTourism Program?

“Our volunteer efforts were launched in 2000, as the company was celebrating its 75th anniversary. Anniversaries are often a time of reflection, and as we looked back over our history, we were reminded how tremendously important the U.S. National Parks have been to our success. We decided we wanted to do more to ‘give back,’ and we decided that volunteerism was a great way to do exactly that.”

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“Our first efforts were primarily company-sponsored employee volunteer efforts, where small groups of people from Tauck would work for 2 – 4 weeks in a location. We gradually shifted to single-day events involving more people, so more of our employees could share in the wonderful feeling that comes from volunteering. And of course, we also added our guest volunteer opportunities. More than half of the guests on our trips featuring volunteer opportunities opt to participate.”

“Between our various efforts, we’ve facilitated somewhere over 100,000 hours of volunteer work.”

2) How does Tauck World Discovery plan to build on the success of the Yellowstone Program?

“In 2004 we expanded the Yellowstone program to also offer guest volunteer opportunities on our Bridges family trip to Glacier National Park. Looking ahead, we just announced our 2005 employee volunteer day will be at Minute Man National Park in Massachusetts. We also hope to offer other on-tour volunteer opportunities for our guests.”

3) How does VolunTourism reflect the fundamental regard for social responsibility held by the Tauck Family?

"VolunTourism is indicative of the Tauck family’s willingness to give back, and it’s a great example of how, with a little creativity, a for-profit company can have a very positive effect. Our guests love their volunteering experiences, our employees love their volunteering experiences, and the people charged with maintaining the sites where we volunteer are extremely grateful for our efforts. It’s truly a win-win-win situation.”

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VolunTourism:
A seamlessly integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination and the best, traditional elements of travel—arts, culture, geography, and history—in that destination.

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