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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 4 Issue 4 Contents



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VolunTourism - 2009 Year-In-Preview
How will the world further embrace VolunTourism in 2009? What will emerge from the financial debacle and the outright disdain for human greed and overt corporate largesse? Will the hybridization of voluntary service and tourism result in greater efficiency for the social sector and a continuing "soul-discovery-process" for the tourism industry? Or will we revert to a Darwinistic-scenario in which we struggle merely to survive amidst the rubble of the global meltdown? Being pragmatically optimistic, I see a modest acceleration in the adoption of VolunTourism around the world in 2009. And, considering the vast increase in the global presence of VolunTourism in 2008, "modest acceleration" may very well look like a speeding locomotive!

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VolunTourism - 2008 Year-In-Review

What a year 2008 was for VolunTourism! Unprecedented media coverage - from mainstream publications to online - provided insights into the experiences and the entities behind them. We also had a chance to meet newcomers to the ranks of voluntourism operators & suppliers and observe their creativity and ingenuity. And we can't forget the opportunity of hearing from new voices - ones equally empassioned by VolunTourism - through blog posts and online journals & videos. With all of these occurrences taking shape around the world, what moments and items of interest generated the greatest impact on this burgeoning travel genre? Here are ten items that made their way into my 2008 VolunTourism Archives.

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So You May Know

The Blog Post Title Read: "Voluntourist Murdered"
A sinking feeling in my stomach overwhelmed me as I read the post on the NOLAfugees.com website. To think that VolunTourists could remain immune to the rubbish of the world seems incredibly naive, if not to say, perhaps, tinged with hubris. But, a review of 2008 tells us that violence had an impact on VolunTourism; and we must remember to guide our activities both cautiously and responsibly in accordance with the dictates of prudence and risk mitigation throughout the New Year and into the future. >>>

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Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
Many thanks to those who continue to submit questions to VolunTourism.org. Your questions and comments are thought-provoking and very much appreciated! >>>

Wisdom & Insight

Practice 'Appreciative Living' To Address the Bad, the Negative, and the Tough on Your Next VolunTourism Journey
For those who may be new to the realm of voluntary service and travel, you might find it disconcerting to know that VolunTourism has its pitfalls. Probably the biggest pitfall is this very fact: the experience may challenge you; it may bring up emotions from inside of you that you didn't know existed; it may expose the phenomenological nature of reality, your reality, and how it can be demolished instantaneously in the context of a rural village or urban outpost. When this happens, the immediate, and quite natural I might add, human response is - this is bad, negative, or tough. What does one do in this situation? Jackie Kelm suggests that we 'live appreciatively.' >>>


VolunTourism - Poised To Balance Self-Indulgence
In the last quarter of 2008, a number of writers identified VolunTourism as a potential route for those interested in moving beyond self-indulgence, especially in relation to luxury travel. Will this trend continue in 2009? >>>


VolunTourism & The Global Do Good Grant™
Cathey Finlon, former owner of McClain Finlon Advertising, will be inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame on 12 February 2009. Cathey spent more than two decades running McClain Finlon Advertising before closing its doors in late August 2008. Her legacy, and that of her team's creative genius and philanthropic nature, touched the VolunTourism sphere in 2005 via the creation of the Global Do Good Grant, an all-expenses-paid scholarship for one aspiring employee to live her/his dream of traveling and volunteering in the destination of her/his choosing. I had the privilege of interviewing Cathey Finlon, her HR Director, Heidi Stevenson, and the first recipient of the GDGG, Christina McCoy on 14 August 2008 and offer their answers to 3Q's posed during that conversation. >>>

Supply Chain

Revisiting Cultural Heritage Preservation & Restoration And VolunTourism
On 20 May 2008, I had the chance to speak with Mark Hintzke, Founder of Cultural Restoration Tourism Project, and Jamie Donahoe and Judith Broeker, Co-Founders of Heritage Conservation Network, during the weekly episode of The VolunTourist Webcast. Each of these folks is committed to supporting communities around the world in preserving and restoring cultural landmarks and treasures for future generations. Their passion is infectious; so much so, that I thought it would be good to revisit the subject in this issue's Supply Chain. >>>

Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee

Understanding The Volunteer Tourist
For this issue of the Research Forum section of The VolunTourist, our research guests are Justin Taillon (jtaillon@tamu.edu) and Dr. Tazim Jamal (tjamal@tamu.edu) from Texas A&M University. In their research, they examine the motivations of volunteer tourists in an effort to more fully understand why there is such a broad divide between the number of actual participants and the number of individuals who have expressed interest in participating as volunteer tourists. Additionally, they question whether entities within the volunteer tourism community are, in fact, utilizing appropriate marketing and promotional efforts, especially given their discovery of the importance of word-of-mouth promotion. Finally, they recommend additional research be conducted to build on the qualitative data collected through their study and suggest that more comprehensive understanding of benefits accrued, or not, by host communities be studied in the future. >>>

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