Rethinking the true impact of voluntourism in line with new community development standards


The volunteer tourism market now represents over $2 billion annually but its impact is not yet adequately understood. Studies that have considered the impacts of voluntourism on host communities have had some significant limitations as well as having very mixed findings, highlighting both the potential benefits but also the cost of this increasingly popular form of travel. Voluntourism is now the fastest growing market in the tourosm industry and it is essential we consider it critically to ascertain which voluntourism models are contributing to an outdated north-south approach to development, and which are designed to support the capacity of local organisation. This paper will argue that with the recent publication of the IACD’s Towards shared international standards for community development practice document the time is right for a renewed and focused attempt to measure the impacts of volunteering and voluntourism on community development.

To view this paper CLICK HERE

To view past issues of Whanake, The Pacifica Journal of Community Development, CLICK HERE

To view the Aotearoa Community Development Association website where Whanake is produced, CLICK HERE


Parkes, E. (2018). Rethinking
the true impact of voluntourism in line with new community
development standards, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of
Community Development, 4(2), 90–101.

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