Volunteer Tourism and Altruism

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    For the past several years, volunteer tourism — or voluntourism, as it is also known — has exploded in popularity, leading to it becoming a major business for travel providers. Tourists from wealthier countries pay to travel to an area where native people live in poverty, suffer from illness, and live in squalor — hoping to be the “white knights” who have come to the rescue and make a difference after working for a short period of time building houses or serving porridge. In return, they would get a more personal experience than traveling to some tourist attraction, experiencing activities in which no resident would even dream of engaging; and purchasing tchotchkes which are manufactured in some other country where labor rates are even lower — only to have the item collect dust or hide as just another item in a box somewhere in th attic or basement, hoping to see the light of day once again. I have been on trips where... The post Volunteer Tourism and Altruism appeared first on The Gate.

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