No, that’s not a typo. The term “voluntourism” does exist and it’s something that’s worth giving a shot at least once in your lifetime.
So, what does voluntourism mean?
In a nutshell, it is when you do volunteer work while traveling. You do not only get to tour around particular destination, but you also get the chance to help the locals in whatever way you prefer. It’s getting the best of both worlds.
Now, how about sustainable tourism?
Basically, it has the same concept as tourism itself, but making sure that you create only a positive impact to the place you are visiting, in terms of economy, society, and most especially, the environment. That means you do not create damage in any possible form.
Why am I talking about this?
Last month, a fellow travel blogger, Jungie of The Traveling Marketeer, invited me to participate in an Island Tour + Back-To-School Outreach Program in Jomalig Island, which is located in Quezon. This is exactly what voluntourism and sustainable tourism is about.
God knows how badly I wanted to participate in this meaningful event, but unfortunately, Quezon is quite far from where I’m based (Cebu), and I couldn’t take last minute trips because of work.
Jungie got in touch with me a couple of weeks after the event, and I was so happy to hear that it went well. According to his blog post, together with other bloggers who participated in the project, they toured the island on a boat during their first day, and then spent the following day with 60 local kids at Jojomalig Resort, playing games and distributing the school supplies they brought. They were also able to give out Nutri Asia’s locally blended juice drinks, thanks to the brand’s sponsorship!
Apart from school supplies, there are also a bunch of other things that these kids need, especially in terms of hygiene, such as lice shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and many others.
I had a glimpse of a similar voluntourism project a couple of years ago in Malapascua Island, which is located in the northern part of Cebu. However, I only went with the group that did the outreach program, and didn’t get to actively participate in it as there were already too many people involved. I hope I get to participate in another meaningful project in the future.
The good news is that, if you’re based anywhere near Quezon, you have the chance to participate in the Lovin’ Jomalig campaign because its second leg will be taking place on September 1 to 3. If you are interested to join or provide help in any way, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help promote voluntourism and sustainable tourism by sharing this post, and by participating in similar projects, especially in your locality! 🙂
I am a twenty-something free spirit from Cebu, Philippines. I love to travel, take photos, and write about my experiences. When I’m not traveling, I go freediving wherever. I aim to inspire others to care for the environment, especially our oceans as it is the lifeblood of our planet.