Before the early years of the 21st century, the idea of combining a vacation with volunteering was unknown to most Americans. A decade and a half later, more than a million and a half people spend nearly $2 billion every year to participate in the global trend called “voluntourism.” What’s more, a whole voluntourism industry has arisen to meet rising demand, including companies that provide experiences for college applicants looking to buff up a personal resume.
Little surprise, then, that academics have been eager to examine the phenomenon. To date, there has been extensive research focusing on the motivations of travelers — are they altruistic, self-interested or a little of both? — and the outcomes of voluntouring for both travelers and tourist destinations.
Read entire article in Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine