Host destinations need to benefit from volunteer tourism

This is an interesting article from Green Futures magazine, published by Forum for the Future, who work in partnership with TUI Travel, owners of i-to-i and Real Gap on sustainability issues.

The article includes comments from a Product Manager from Real Gap about how they work in partnership with host organisations to ensure their volunteering programmes benefit local communities and review feedback from people on the ground to monitor this.

It also highlights the ABTA working group for travel companies who run volunteer tourism projects which aims to understand the issues around volunteer tourism and develop guidelines for tour operators to ensure they are benefiting local communities. It is positive to hear that this working group is moving forward, although there are other issues around the practices of some of the more commerical companies, as mentioned in my previous post, that also need addressing.  The hope is that the involvement of ABTA and partnerships with independent organisations like Forum to the Future and Tourism Concern, along with the media interest in “voluntourism”, could ultimately help to bring improvements across the whole volunteering sector.


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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