The term combines volunteering with tourism, far from a new concept, but one its proponents claim is rapidly becoming the next big thing in travel. It began to appear in the press early in 2005, joining responsible tourism, ecotourism and similar terms that also imply giving something back to the communities one visits. It might be something as easy-going as giving time to local libraries and schools, as straightforward as taking a day out to clear paths in a national park, or as hard work as constructing new homes or digging latrines. It differs from much organised volunteer activity by taking place within a conventional one- or two-week holiday, usually combined with more conventional vacation activity. It is also increasingly being tailored to suit the abilities of participants over a wide age range, including those in their 50s and 60s. US commentators have noted the rise in popularity of the idea since Hurricane Katrina, which has persuaded large numbers of people to spend vacation time helping to rebuild New Orleans.
Voluntourism is catching on in college campuses, where many students would rather spend spring break doing something altruistic than carousing.
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 29 Mar. 2007
He describes voluntourism as the practice of devoting some vacation time to building housing and schools or other community service.
Chicago Tribune, 7 Mar. 2007
Search World Wide Words
Recently added or updated
Satisficer; Beside oneself; Words of the Year 2015; Peradventure; Sconce; Orchidelirium; How’s your father; Goon; Emoji; Thank your mother for the rabbits; Nonplussed; Bob’s-a-dying; Methinks; Bill of goods; Binge-watching; Codswallop; That’s all she wrote; Great Scott; Gone for a Burton; Pull the plug; Bob’s your uncle; Gibberish; You snowing me?; Chi-ike; Salop
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!