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VolunTourism: Harmonizing Stewardship & Entrepreneurship
Money-making and social do-gooding are colliding via VolunTourism. If you read the various accounts of how these two camps - tourism & voluntary service - are viewed, and how their hybridization and cross-pollenation is being perceived, you cannot even begin to fathom how folks are capable of expressing every shade of the "glowing-review-to-utterly-reprehensible" continuum. Fascinating to say the very least. With a bit of introspection, we may have identified a possible solution for all stakeholders: the harmonizing of stewardship and entrepreneurship.

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A Media Guide To VolunTourism

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who guards the guardians?" Good ques-tion. In the case of VolunTourism, we will ask a more poignant question: "Who guides the information custodians?" The power of the Media is un-questionable. Much of what is known about VolunTourism is, in large part, due to the influence of the Media. Pick up a magazine, newspaper, or search through your favorite online version thereof, and you will discover that someone, somewhere, is writing about VolunTourism. But how much does the Media really know about this subject? How many staff writers and freelance journalists have actually taken a VolunTourism trip? As complex as the VolunTourist Life Cycle and the VolunTourism Ecosystem are, can we make a better effort to support the 'custodians of information-delivery'?

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So You May Know

Gathering The Stakeholders
An ever-increasing involvement in VolunTourism means that we have the opportunity to begin convening the stakeholders, albeit in a very grassroots manner. This is something that I have been doing for a number of years on a global scale, but now we are reaching a critical mass within regions throughout North America and beyond. I began the process of reviewing the potential of regionalizing VolunTourism via a recent cross-continental trip that took me to Washington, DC, Virginia, British Columbia, and Washington State. Are they ready to regionalize? Are they ready to be VolunTourism stewards?>>>


Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
It is truly impressive - the level of sophistication being delivered by those who are submitting inquiries. Folks are asking some very important questions that will prove useful to anyone, even those who consider themselves to be veterans in this industry. Here are just a few... >>>

Wisdom & Insight

Living Your Sense Of Purpose Through VolunTourism
When the purposeful becomes personal, as we are discovering through the testimonials of VolunTourists around the world, the grooves are definitively deeper and more meaningful. Take Roslyn Parker, for example, an advertising and sales executive for nearly two decades, who is taking her personal connection to domestic violence and giving it a purpose beyond her community of Dade County, Florida. She has been deeply moved by the experience of the interaction between purposeful and personal; so much so that she took a recent VolunTourism trip in an effort to combine the two in the Dominican Republic. >>>


The Confluence Of Terms
VolunTourism is finding its way into articles and blog posts as a comparative term to such items as phlanthropic travel, poorism, and slum tourism. This surely makes good sense from the context of travel & tourism having a social purpose. But is it not also possible that some entities are using knowledge of search engine "key words" & internet marketing techniques and the burgeoning appeal of VolunTourism to drive traffic to their articles, blogs, and websites? How will this begin to impact the perception of VolunTourism around the world? Take a look at some of the latest articles and blogs to form your own opinion...>>>


Small Destinations & VolunTourism
For this issue of The VolunTourist, I am grateful to reconnect with Kristen Sandstrom, Marketing & Events Manager for Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau. Kristen shared her story regarding the annual Apostle Island Sled Dog Race during our Small Destinations & VolunTourism webcast held on January 22, 2008. I asked her to send us an update on her experience in response to this issue's 3 Q's. >>>

Supply Chain

Myanmar & Southeast Asian VolunTourism
In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, we have seen many folks, particularly from the travel industry, stepping forward to support the people of Myan-mar. Though it may still be premature for VolunTourism trips to the region, Global Community Service Foundation, established by Marcia Selva back in 1994, is poised to serve as a conduit for those who are trying to determine if a VolunTourism trip to Burma may be part of their future. >>>

Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee

Initial Thoughts & Reflections On The VolunTourist Survey
For this issue of the Research Forum section of The VolunTourist, our research "guest" is our very own David Clemmons. He is introducing a research project that you will be hearing more about in the coming days: an online survey of folks interested in participating in voluntourism. David and I are currently wading through the data, but we wanted to share with you a bit of background as well as a few "teasers" in terms of the responses we received. >>>

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