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

Volume 6 Issue 1 Highlights

 

UnXpected

David Clemmons, Publisher/Editor of The VolunTourist, responds to some of your questions and emails. (Additional questions and responses are posted on the VolunTourism.org Blog)

Volume 5, Issue 4 Reader Comments & Other Mail

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your email.

Hard numbers are very, very difficult to come by.

First, one has to define what they mean by 'voluntourism.'

Is it a certain length of time dedicated to volunteering? to tourism? 3 weeks or less? Must one participate in both activities for it to be 'voluntourism'?

Once this definition has been established, then gathering the data is extremely difficult because 'voluntourism' operators may be unwilling to share how many people they host on an annual basis.

If you would like to establish your definition, then I could work with you to select a sample of organizations that would fall into the category of 'your' definition. But, this would only be a sample.

What may be possible is to come up with percentages of changes from organization to organization on a year-over-year basis.

For example, if you contact the folks at Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF.net), they have kept excellent records of all of their participants, the number of service hours provided, the number of trips they have run, etc. They are very willing to share this information. It only represents one group, however.

I know this does not help much. Let me know if you have additional thoughts.

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D

Ms. Kaufman,

I am quite honored that someone from Cornell University would seek my assistance in conducting research on the subject of volunteer tourism.

Before we get too far down the road, I think you should know that I have focused my attention on the convergence of voluntary service and tourism rather than trips that are conducted specifically for volunteering purposes. This may seem like a fine line of distinction, but by looking at the former, it has allowed me to discuss voluntourism in the context of meetings & conventions, incentive travel, and, of course, group leisure and FIT leisure.

I simply want to be clear on this from the beginning.

Also, I think you will want to be more specific in regards to your questions. For example, the first question you ask below: "Who is our target market?" We should be very clear as to whom we are referring when we define 'our.' This information will be pertinent to the answer, obviously.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

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Dear Ms. Kaligathi,

Thank you for your email.

I suggest that you visit HealthcareVolunteer.com. The website is set up to address queries from health professionals like yourself. If you do not find a match for what you are seeking, I suggest that you contact them directly and discuss your specific situation. They may have a network of individuals who have traveled to locations, such as Cancun. Having a conversation with any of these folks could support you in your endeavor.

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Dear Margherita,

Thank you for your email.

This sounds like an interesting article you are working on.

To answer you question, VolunTourism.org does not have programs in Africa, nor do we have programs anywhere else in the world. This being said, you can certainly contact some of the voluntourism operators listed in the 'VolunTourism Trips' section of the website.

These operators should also be able to assist you in accessing photos for your piece.

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