The definition of a perfect vacation means different things to different people. Some travelers want excitement, some want culture and education, while others just want to relax. There is also a growing segment of travel consumers who want to give something back to society and the communities they visit as part of their travel experience.
VolunTourism integrates the best of travel and tourism - arts, culture, geography, heritage sites, the natural environment, and recreation - with the opportunity to serve and enhance the destination - its people, places, and things.
Or to put it even MORE simply... a really great way to have a holiday AND actively contribute to the destination you are visiting. www.Voluntourism.org
The State of Idaho & VolunTourism
David Clemmons, Founder of VolunTourism.org and Editor/Publisher of "The VolunTourist," hosts Karen Ballard of Idaho Department of Commerce, Tourism Division, and Kelly Staskey of Serve Idaho to discuss Voluntourism in Idaho.
When Did it Begin?
Voluntourism, with the small "t", was first used by the Nevada Board of Tourism in 1998 to recognize individuals in the state that "volunteered" to support "tourism". Thus, the Governor of Nevada created the "Voluntourism" Award to recognize the fine efforts of great residents who wanted to spend their hours of service making Nevada a place to visit and enjoy.
The Value of Voluntourism
Volunteer tourism is growing in popularity. According to a recent survey sponsored by msnbc.com and Condé Nast Traveler, 55% of the respondents expressed an interest in taking a volunteer vacation. The survey polled more than 1,600 people and found that approximately 20 percent had taken at least one volunteer vacation. Of those who hadn't, nearly two-thirds (62%) said they'd be very likely or somewhat likely to take one. Then again, considering that 95 percent of those who have taken one said they'd be (somewhat or very) likely to take another, those who haven't may discover that taking one is just the beginning. When participants were asked how interested they were in giving back to the local community in some way when traveling, 80 percent said they were very or somewhat interested in doing so. Participants were also asked what type of volunteer work interested them. With more than one answer allowed, the leading choices were teaching English or other academic subjects (66 percent), working with children (62 percent), and doing scientific or environmental work (60 percent). Among experienced voluntourists, on the other hand, more than half (54 percent) participated in construction projects, more than all other options combined.
Building Stronger Idaho Communities Through Voluntourism
Ernest Hemingway once said "...a lot of state this Idaho, that I didn't know about...".
We invite visitors to come, explore, and participate while they enjoy our beautiful state. Events, campgrounds, archeological digs, trail crews and many other fascinating opportunities to get involved and to better understand the place being visited exist. We are pleased to partner with public and private entities to deliver volunteer activities to visitors and residents. The time and interest donated enhance the communities, attractions and amenities of the state for all.