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Interest in voluntourism continues to rise

Posted on Wednesday 16 November 2011 in Travel, China, South Africa, Adventure, Shoestring, Beijing, Johannesburg

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Interest in voluntourism continues to rise - Adventure Travel News

Aussies who are looking for a new and alternative holiday travel idea may wish to consider a voluntourism trip. These types of excursions combine the idea of giving back with seeing the sights of foreign countries around the world.

One of the leading organizations advocating this type of holiday is the Fair Trade Volunteering (FTV) group. They are helping to brand and promote this kind of holiday so that more travellers may think about seeing the world while assisting needy areas with their skills.

"It represents the fundamental ethos and operating philosophy of an organisation, and we are inviting the heads of organisations which share its principles to join together to create a voice for good in the industry," Gavin Bate, founder of FTV, said in a statement.

There are many global options for tourists who wish to reserve a voluntourism trip. First, travellers need to decide how long they would like to embark on their journey. Participants can spend as little as a week helping out, or stay up to three years in a location volunteering, which allows for total immersion in the new destination.

Most of the groups who sponsor individuals who want to try these trips ask for a fee to be paid that covers daily expenses so that the location in need does not need to finance any of the assistance. Travellers who partake in the trip can research the various options that will fit their budget. Some organisations will take care of much of the costs, while others collect charges that directly help locals in need and provide supplies to the various projects that are accomplished.

While enjoying Beijing holidays, travel can also spend some time helping out the local communities. With Voluntourism company WildChina, for example, volunteers may help clean up public parks or help local school children with their studies.

In South Africa, there is an opportunity to ride horses and help the local Zulu, Shangaan and Swazi people, reports the country's tourism website. Guests and volunteers help maintain the Kaapsehoop horses and learn how the creatures can use used to plow fields and provide joy to riders who would not normally be able to interact with the animals. Volunteers also have the opportunity to visit the Kruger national park nearby as well as other attractions on their time off.

Aussies interested in Voluntourism can contact tourism groups or book an excursion through organisations like the FTV.

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