Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Author Takes Look at Voluntourism Hot Spots

Voluntourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry, at a rate of nearly double that of general tourism. What are you doing to capture the business of the tens of millions of U.S. travelers who care about giving back when they travel? Have you connected with organizations in your area that offer volunteer opportunities? Do you have a list prepared for meeting planners and others who ask about local options? Have you or your staff volunteered in the local community?

In "Ecotourists Save the World," Pamela K. Brodowsky and the National Wildlife Federation detail 300 international voluntourism opportunities--from the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge in Homer, Alaska to the Hen and Chickens Islands Weeding Project in North Auckland Peninsula, New Zealand. With each location the author provides a project description, location, contact information, cost, dates and duration, and field notes (level of fitness required, age limitations, etc.)

According to the author, one in three amphibians, nearly half of all turtles and tortoises, one in four mammals, one in five sharks and rays, and one in eight bird species are now considered at risk of extinction. So, there is certainly a lot of work to do.

How are you using voluntourism to put more heads in beds? I would love to read your comments.

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