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V OLUNTEER T OURISM, E CONOMIC I MPACTS & H OST C OMMUNITIES : C AN WE DO BETTER ? Kristin M. Lamoureux, Ph.D. The George Washington University International.

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Presentation on theme: "V OLUNTEER T OURISM, E CONOMIC I MPACTS & H OST C OMMUNITIES : C AN WE DO BETTER ? Kristin M. Lamoureux, Ph.D. The George Washington University International."— Presentation transcript:

1 V OLUNTEER T OURISM, E CONOMIC I MPACTS & H OST C OMMUNITIES : C AN WE DO BETTER ? Kristin M. Lamoureux, Ph.D. The George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies klam@gwu.edu

2 G ENERAL S TATISTICS Tourism Overall International Tourism Receipts - $909billion in 2010 (UNWTO, 2011) Adventure Tourism (including Volunteer Tourism) Value of global adventure market - $89billion (ATTA, 2010)

3 V OLUNTEER S TATISTICS Global volunteering – increasing US Volunteers in general = $169M in 2009 (Independent Sector, 2011) US Volunteers Abroad = $2.92billion in 2005 (Lough, McBride & Sherradan, 2007) US National Parks: Mt. Rainer NP – Volunteers contributed $1.36M in 2007-08 to NPS’ operations in Mt. Rainer (Holmes & Smith)

4 V OLUNTEER T OURISM N EEDS Volunteer Tourism Differ… Clarity – volunteer tourists want to see where their money is going and how it is really helping the community (Michel & Mille, 2010) Interaction – want a closer, more meaningful interaction with host communities (ATTA, 2010)

5 W HY IS THIS TYPE OF T OURISM A TTRACTIVE TO A D ESTINATION ? Represents a potentially important market segment for emerging destinations Visitors contribute directly to the destination Generally do not need well developed infrastructure Pay for their experience Beyond their work/research, also spend time traveling Provide very valuable word-of-mouth exposure Use on-line social networks extensively Skilled volunteers or non-volunteers provide services not available (ex. Doctors, architects, scientists)

6 T OURISM I MPACTS – ON THE GROUND Research on spending – scarce Volunteer Tourists may “spend less money than other tourists and have a smaller impact” Gray & Campbell, 2007

7 W HAT IS E CONOMIC I MPACT TO D ESTINATIONS ? Not easy to quantify Who is “the community”? Equal distribution versus select partnerships Can we really “involve” them? Few good examples - HFH

8 E X. H ABITAT FOR H UMANITY Habitat for Humanity’s Economic Impact in South Dakota 2009 – HFH built 326 homes in South Dakota. Homes valued at $35 million. Habitat affiliates purchased over $23M in goods & services to complete the construction of these homes. Direct Impact to SD economy over $150.8 million. Volunteer investment in local communities per year is over $1.6K. HFH Homeowners paid over $466,000 in property taxes. http://habitatsouthdakota.org/about_us/news.php?ID=37

9 T OURISM D EVELOPMENT Developing Countries: small businesses in most developing nations have a number of constraints which keep them from being able to fully access lucrative domestic and international tourism markets. Supported tourism can assist. Tourism Arrivals/Spending Opportunities for economic growth Cultural Exchange Investment Small Business Development Lack access to tourism markets Need training/capacity building

10 D ESTINATION M ODELS Egypt – Friends of Volunteer Tourism Egypt Honduras – SAVE Center Bulgaria – SAVE Travel Center in Smolyan Uganda – Volunteer Support Network

11 E GYPT Friends of Volunteer Tourism Egypt Local partnership Inbound tour operators & Non-governmental organizations Build capacity Joint marketing and support Product Development

12 P HASING OF S TRATEG Y Identify Opportunities Assessment Standards Skill development Capacity Building Product enhancement Product Development Outreach to markets Marketing Partnership between the Stakeholders

13 SAVE T OURISM Scientific Researchers & volunteers participating in field studies Academic Students/teacher s undertaking travel for academic credit Volunteer Growing market of “Voluntourism” Educational Travelers desiring a hands-on experiential learning experience

14 Dominican Republic: Puerto Plata portal, community tourism enterprise development & visitor center design Northern Morocco: Tourism product development &SAVE market in rural communities Montenegro: : Sustainable tourism development : Durmitor World Heritage Site. Panama: Rapid Assessment & market analysis of the sustainable tourism potential for Soberinia National Park and Panama City. Guatemala: Marketing & communication strategy for Lake Atlican Honduras: SAVE strategy and product development Northern Mozambique: Trip circuits & management information system. Ethiopia: community capacity building & small business development Indonesia: Volunteer-based skills transfer program LAO PDR: Protected area research & training center Bulgaria: SAVE Center in collaboration with municipality In Rodolpe Mtns SAVE Alliance Activities Southern Africa: African slave wrecks & heritage route development

15 SAVE M ODEL Preliminary identification of potential destinations and assessment of their assets, needs, level of readiness Education, capacity building and specialized training targeting specific stakeholders as well as the local community –Volunteer Sending Organizations (VSOs) Identification of appropriate intermediaries and organization of familiarization trips and assessment activities—Volunteer Receiving Organizations (VROs) Establishment of a SAVE Network & Center to coordinate all SAVE travel-related activities at selected destinations.

16 SAVE T RAVEL C ENTER - B ULGARIA The vision for the SAVE Center is that it will be a leading force for the economic growth of the region through sustainable travel, a contributor to the diversification of the country’s travel portfolio and image, and a model for SAVE centers around the world.

17 S AVE C ENTER - B ULGARIA Purpose 1.To facilitate the development of SAVE travel products based on current and potential assets 2.To serve as a local cultural and crafts center 3.To service SAVE market groups and facilitate the Packaging of relevant products

18 SAVE P RODUCT D EVELOPMENT Volunteer Receiving Organizations Volunteer Sending Organizations

19 U GANDA – B EST P RACTICES Volunteer Support Network Uganda Volunteer Support Network Uganda Local leadership, knowledge, and expertise is vital. Easily accessible and available for volunteers. Local office & staff Partner with small number of thoroughly vetted projects to ensure quality. Volunteer-receiving organizations have clearly demonstrated need. Small scale Organization’s directors and staff have ties with respected NGO’s. Directors are also recognized by the national government. Positive reputation

20 C ONCLUSION & F UTURE P OSSIBILITIES Academic Research Needed Alternative Models?

21 Q UESTIONS ???


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