The next Banff Ideas Bank event is Wednesday May 4th at the Wildflour Artisan Bakery on Bear Street and the topic is Voluntourism. People love to travel and now it seems they like to do something interesting that leaves an impact where they are visiting.
The 2008 Voluntourism Survey Report takes an unprecedented look at the motivations for voluntourism amongst potential voluntourists. The Survey was conducted by NancyMcGehee of the Hospitality and Tourism faculty at Virginia Tech University and David Clemmons from VolunTourism.org. From the survey of more than 1100 potential voluntourists, a voluntourism typology of three distinct categories – ‘Vanguards’, ‘Pragmatists’, and ‘Questers’ – was discovered. A description of these three types is on page 10 of the executive summary.
Coupled with responses to questions regarding expectations, preferences, past travel & volunteer experience, and basic demographic information, a clearer understanding of who the voluntourist is has emerged. According to this report 4.7 Million from the US participated in Voluntourism programs in 2007. The survey indicates there are four main reasons people choose this way to travel:
1) Cultural immersion
2) Giving back
3) Seeking camaraderie
4) Seeking educational and bonding experiences