Voluntourism Facts

Alexis de Tocqueville observed more than 170 years ago, a
defining characteristic of the American people is their commitment to service. Idahoans of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are donating their time and talents.
>>Join us in this remarkable effort!
>>Corporation for National & Community Service

Voluntourism – A Growing Trend

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.

What is Voluntourism?

Voluntourism is a relatively new concept, defined as follows; a combination of the words volunteerism and tourism. 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

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. http://www.voluntourism.org/resources.html

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.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23262573/from/ET/print1/displaymode/1098/

Time Magazine reported September 10, 2008 "research shows that 45% of Americans have considered taking a volunteer vacation, and 5 million households actually followed through with it in 2007."

‘Millennials’ See the Value

In November of 2007 the Miami Herald reported "an interest in volunteerism and social issues is another defining characteristic of Generation Y. USA Today reported in October, 2006 that "61% of 13-25 year olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. 81% of 13-25 year olds have volunteered in the past year."

Choose A Project That Is Right For You!

Begin your voluntourism experience by getting to know what you expect out of an Idaho voluntourist experience. This may be the first time you have considered combining travel and service. Take this opportunity to blend your favorite pastime with your daily passion.