Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The evils of Voluntourism

See this recent article in the Guardian about Voluntourism

"Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do"

The PEPY group in Cambodia turned me on to this.

The article references a report by the Human Science Research Council
In recent decades, the tourism industry has thrived, grown and diversified to encompass a wide array of travel activities, with alternative volunteer tourism leading the way. Well-to-do tourists enrol for several weeks at a time to build schools, clean and restore river banks, ring birds and other useful activities in mostly poor but exotic settings. AIDS orphan tourism has become a niche market, contributing to the growth of the tourism industry. AIDS orphans ‘have economic valence' and ‘orphanhood is a globally circulated commodity', as some researchers have phrased it.

I am a supporter of "fun tourism". An old concept that our productive society seems to have forgotten.

Eco-tourism, "guilt-trips", mission trips, study tours, and "AIDS orphan tourism" don't match up to a nice work-free vacation to a new exotic land.

No comments: