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Voluntourism - Research Paper Example

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When individuals go on vacation in different parts of the world to not only relax and have fun but also to contribute to charitable causes it can be defined voluntourism. Over the last few years, this type of tourism has gained popularity among people, especially in developed countries…
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Voluntourism
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Download file to see previous pages Voluntourism comes from a desire to contribute something, however small, to the wellbeing of people who are otherwise disadvantaged. It gives those who get involved in it the opportunity to visit new countries, experience new environments, and most of all, to learn about the cultures of those people among whom they will be living. Voluntourism provides regular people the chance to visit places, which they would otherwise not normally visit, such as the slums in less developed countries. Some types of voluntourism involve people visiting places for the purpose of studying their environment, or being able to conduct other scientific studies. Those who participate in voluntourism projects have to provide a fee whose purpose is to cover the expenses during their travels in different parts of the world. Furthermore, the participants are required to participate in projects within the countries, which they visit, and this is usually based on their location and their personal interests. The people who originally went for voluntourism tended to have a direct connection to the causes in which they were going to volunteer. The organizations that facilitated their travel considered the duration of their travels to be of the short-term, volunteering in projects in the countries, which they were visiting. ...
These often gave people the opportunity to contribute to these projects for short periods before going back to their home countries. The origins of what came to be voluntourism can be traced back to the United States Peace Corps, which created a path for volunteers (voluntourists) to travel all over the world (La Prensa San Diego, 2011). Later, the need to travel, while contributing something to the less advantaged communities in the world, became immensely popular among college students; this led to the development of exchange programs, which enabled students, to tour to and study in the countries of their preference. Not only did these students get to know more about these countries and enjoy themselves, some even volunteer in local projects (Wagner, 2009). Voluntourism also came to affect the scientific field because some scientific organization saw it as a way through which they could get the public interested in science. These organizations facilitated the bringing collectively of scientists and unpaid assistants in various locations around the world, which had scientific projects. This served a dual purpose as it provided free labor for scientists in the field, that is, the volunteers while it was also a source of additional funding to the projects, through the fees paid by the volunteers. Voluntourism picked up pace in the 1990s when companies in the travel industry developed means through which individuals could go on vacation, and while on it, also volunteer in various projects. These companies targeted those people who wanted to travel and had no prior experience with causes. The products provided by the travel industry attracted a large number of young people, who tend to be the most adventurous of all age groups (Hansen, 2009). ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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