Interesting discussion on standards for volunteer tourism

There’s an interesting discussion available on Linked In groups in response to my Travelmole article about Volunteering Standards, between Gavin Bate, from Fair Trade Volunteering and Sallie Grayson from people and places, discussing the need for and value of schemes like Fair Trade Volunteering.

Gavin says:

“So for the consumer there are quite a few options of how to check the validity and integrity of a company offering a holiday that is construed as ‘voluntourism’ – Comhlamh, GIVS, FTV, TIES and now a new one being planned by ABTA. I wonder when all those people involved can sit round a table in a non-competitive spirit of willingness and co-operation?

When all the vitriol and finger-pointing has stopped, maybe the public and all those host communities out there can feel that this issue is being properly handled for the benefit of all.”


About natashastein

I'm interested in travel, learning about other countries and cultures, responsible tourism, environmental issues and wildlife. I like being outdoors and beautiful scenery can really move me and reinvigorate me. I enjoy walking and am planning to get a rescue dog to keep me company on my strolls. I also love to write stuff. I've set up my own website (, written blogs on topics I'm interested in and written various articles about volunteering overseas. I've always enjoyed writing in my previous jobs. I'm a bit of a creative all rounder - I can draw and make things. It's something I'd like to do more of! I love art and photography and go to exhibitions when I can. I am currently teaching English as a second language in Worcestershire, where I live. I have an eclectic career story. My professional background is in travel and tourism and the charity sector. I have worked for a major holiday company, specialist tour operator and coordinated a University alumni travel programme. Most recently I've worked for a Destination Management Organisation and local government tourism department focusing on promoting the Cotswolds primarily via social media. I also worked for VSO, the international development volunteering charity for 6 years as a Volunteer and Placement Adviser and have done bits and bobs of volunteering with different charities.
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