What is Voluntourism?
Voluntourism has become a very popular concept around the world; and recently it has taken off in Australia.You can probably take a guess what it involves!Volunteer tourism is defined as any type of travel where you provide you volunteer your services for free.Some of you may be finding it difficult to welcome the idea of paying for your holiday and working during it with no financial incentive.However, for the conscious travellers, timeless time-givers, and the committed campaigners among you, it will be like a dream come true. In fact, travel industry experts foretell that it will be on par with ecotourism by the end of this decade!
Voluntourism is a massive classification with many avenues, including medical, educational, conservationist, community and building projects. The choices are very diverse. For example while visiting Queensland; you could help protect endangered sea turtles, or get involved with the world heritage-listed national parks clean-up and maintenance as a conservation volunteer on Fraser Island, the Daintree or Cape York. You could also volunteer your way onto a guest list at an event or festival.Essentially it’s a holiday but one, which is mutually beneficial for both local residents and you as the traveller out to experience new things..
An Optimist’s Opium
If you’re an enthusiastic, happy chappy then Voluntourism is for you. The great thing about Volunteer travel is that anyone who is prepared to get stuck in and is not afraid to work hard and get their hands dirty can do it. If you truly desire to donate something valuable to a local community during your holiday experience then you should seriously consider it. People from all walks of life join the programs, including, school-leavers and retired farmers. And you are guaranteed to come away with stories and experiences that other travellers will be envious of!
You do not need any specific skills or qualifications, you just need to be eager, culturally aware and possess patience.You won’t be staying at a five star hotel; your lodgings will most likely be simple and basic. You may be in a tent with a bucket of cold and refreshing water to wash with, but what better way to immerse yourself with what nature has to offer, the diverse wildlife and a chance to experience the proper Aussie outdoor lifestyle.
What can be Gained from Voluntourism?
Primarily you will gain experience, which is more than the average tourist, whether you volunteer for a week or a month, you will always be valued by the local community and more often than not make many new friends.If you’re willing to consider new ideas, benefits should be returned. You may choose to dedicate a night a week to assist Aussie rangers help new-born turtles make their way to the ocean safely and in return you will feel that sense of achievement in knowing that you are aiding endangered animals start their journey into the world.
The Benefits of Voluntourism
Reap the rewards by contributing to a charitable cause. Volunteering will enable you to truly understand challenges that local people encounter and for you to support the communities in overcoming them.
You are also likely to have a positive impact on the ecosystem. For example in Queensland you could monitor the underwater environments of dugongs and minke whales, catalogue koala and dingo populations, thus supporting the sustainability of these wild animals. You could also clean up the reef in the Whitsundays and Mackay with Eco Barge Clean Seas or volunteer at one of Australia’s zoos, including Australia zoo, the Cairns Tropical Zoo and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Regardless of ability, you can make a difference with a vast range of people by volunteering. From beginners to experienced volunteers all are welcomed to get involved, so get stuck in; it is the season for giving after all!