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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 2 Contents


The Irrationality Of Helping Behavior: Does VolunTourism Provide A Rational Alternative?
Arguments have been put forward over the years suggesting that the connection between voluntary service and travel & tourism is nothing short of irrational. Perhaps such points of view are warranted. Helping behavior and irrationality, as you may already know, have a long-standing relationship. Dan Ariely describes this very phenomenon in his new book, The Upside Of Irrationality. How we respond to manmade and natural disasters, in particular, whether it was the Exxon Valdez oil spill or the Southeast Asian Tsunami, demonstrates just how irrational we can be. Without question, VolunTourism has its own elements of irrationality; nevertheless, after reading Ariely's commentary, I have but one thought: "VolunTourism may be one of the most rational forms of helping behavior we have yet to introduce."


For VolunTourists: How To Make The Most Of Your VolunTourism Experience - Part 1
The last several years have seen an increasing amount of guidance targeted at VolunTourists to assist them in such things as selecting a trip, compiling a packing list, and pitfalls to avoid. This advice has come in great quantity and in many forms: from blog posts, articles, and books to podcasts and videos. The practical importance of this wisdom cannot be denied. However, I would argue that much of what is the VolunTourism Experience actually occurs within the VolunTourist – thoughts, emotions, memories, perceptions, shifting world views, and revelations. In the first of a two-part series, I will discuss the VolunTourism Experience Life Cycle and introduce three practical items to assist VolunTourists in making the most of their inner, as well as outer, VolunTourism Experiences.


Further Insights On VolunTourism Marketing: Better Understanding Their Perception Of Your Passion

In 2006, I wrote a short essay entitled "VolunTourism: The New P's of Marketing." It was inspired by my discovery that VolunTourism has elements to it that do not fit well within the traditional marketing model of Four P's attributed to E. Jerome McCarthy in his book, Basic Marketing. To clarify, I suggested that 'peace of mind' (price), 'partnerships' (place), 'perception' (promotion) and 'passion' (product) would more accurately represent the natural characteristics of VolunTourism. As a follow-on to that piece, I would like to review the Hofstede Dimensional Model of National Culture to discover how it may assist VolunTourism providers in better understanding potential VolunTourists' 'perceptions' of your resepective 'passions.'


Copyright © PLAY it Forward Adventures, All Rights Reserved


Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
Thank you for your letters, questions, and comments to VolunTourism.org. Though we are not able to answer every one of them in a timely manner, we do get around to them. This issue is no exception. Read More>>>

Wisdom & Insight

Learing By Doing: The VolunTourism Experiment At La Confluencia

The Jordan Family has taken what was once a dream and has steadily forged it into reality. No, it is not a completed project; if you ask Ellie or Mark Jordan, they will likely tell you it will "always be a work in progress." This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is really good news for us in the VolunTourism Community. Why? Because the Jordan Family is guaranteed to uncover some unique insights and uncommon wisdom as they continue their VolunTourism Experiment at La Confluencia in Argentinian Patagonia. What's more, they have agreed to share it with us. Here is the first installment. Read More>>>


As VolunTourism Becomes 'Relevant,' How Is It Being Portrayed?
"In the long term that meant a lot of the dodgy ones shut down and the good ones persevered. In other words: a good process. One can just hope that the volunteering industry will go through the same process." These words come from an article entitled "To Pay, Or Not To Pay: That Is The Volunteer's Question," which appeared in the 26 May issue of This Tourism Week Newsletter. The author compares the volunteering industry of today to the backpacking industry of several years ago. How else is volunteer tourism currently being portrayed? Read More>>>


VolunTourism: "Working For Good"
One point that can be made about VolunTourism is the fact that it is opening wider the door of creativity for entrepreneurs who wish to integrate their business activities with the fulfillment of a social purpose. Fortunately, there are some excellent resources and publications offering practical advice to support you in the ongoing operations of your noble venture. Jeff Klein, author of Working For Good, is one wisdom outlet you can access. Here are Jeff's responses to my 3Qs for this issue. Read More>>>

Supply Chain

PLAY it Forward Adventures
Whether you agree or disagree with the notion of integrating voluntary service and travel & tourism, you must admit it is resulting in some very unique social ventures. These social ventures are run by unique individuals as well, people like Jodi Nelson, Founder of PLAY it Forward Adventures. Incorporating her background with the visual arts, Jodi is introducing her VolunTourists to destinations via holistic, service/adventure-oriented engagements within the surrounding communities. Read More>>>

Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee

Volunteer Tourism: What Are The Benefits For International Development?
As most of our regular readers know, there is much debate over what benefits short-term volunteer tourism can bring to international development. As a fulfillment of her MSc in Development Studies (2009) at London South Bank University in the UK, Jenny Morgan undertook a study of the volunteer tourism industry; in particular, assessing what benefits it can bring to international development. Following a review of relevant literature, Jenny, using both quantitative and qualitative questioning, questioned the four main actors within the volunteer tourism chain: sending organisations; previous/current volunteers; partner organisations and host organisations/projects. In total, Jenny conducted 42 surveys over 2 months, and what follows are the major findings from her study. Read More>>>

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