Is volunteer tourism ethical?

Yes, because it raises international awareness about real problems.
23% (12 votes)
Yes, because international volunteers can help local communities.
74% (39 votes)
No, because it is against human dignity to use poverty as a tourist attraction.
2% (1 vote)
No, because international volunteers are more interested in taking selfies of themselves than really helping poor people.
2% (1 vote)
Total votes: 53

Comments

This is the first time of me plunging into the topic of volunteer tourism and, after listening to the speeches on it, that is what I believe. On the one hand, such a kind of tourism is aimed to help the communities, interact with the citizens as well as give volunteers the understanding and knowledge about the local environment. On the other hand, it is sometimes done as a spectacle that only damages the community, shows off its cons, pushes children to leave family and join orphanages in order to see foreigners that play games with them and try to educate. The worst thing is that hardly half of volunteer tourists have the necessary education or bakground to participate in building homes, teaching children, helping in healthcare. The extremely neccessary aspect is to be competent and know the country and community where you are going for a trip, so your help isn't worthless.The individuals, who claim to be voluntourists, are to dedicate their time and money to serving the best they can for the very community rather than enforcing their own lifestyle and values. These are the only ways for this pastime to be beneficial for the locals. The phrase that stood out for me was "stop sympathy volunteering and start empathy learning". I consider volunteer tourism a great and ethical way to make our world better but it requires self-development as well.
Total votes: 9
Peer vote

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is an emerging trend of travel linked to “doing good”. Yet these efforts to help people and the environment have come under heavy criticism – I believe for good reason. would say that both sides of the argument have truth in them. The key to making sure your volunteering abroad is useful, efficient and positive for both parties is being honest about what skills you really have to offer as a volunteer, and careful research into where these skills might be used most effectively.
Total votes: 5
Peer vote

I guess it's surely. Volunteer tourism is a growing fashion – in 2015, it was estimated that 10 million volunteers helped on projects abroad. These include building houses or hospitals, teaching English in schools, helping locals get to grips with computers, installing water filters, looking after children in orphanages, and much more. It seems to me that this is not just a good experience, but also an opportunity to help people.
Total votes: 6
Peer vote

Volunteer tourism is a growing fashion – in 2015, it was estimated that 10 million volunteers helped on projects abroad. These include building houses or hospitals, teaching English in schools, helping locals get to grips with computers, installing water filters, looking after children in orphanages, and much more. However, there’s an argument that volunteers take away jobs from locals who would have otherwise done that work. Yes, sometimes volunteers have specific knowledge which can benefit communities, such as IT skills or speaking English as a native language. However, in some cases they are put to work on construction sites, for example, depriving locals of a job on that project. Additionally, many young travellers are untrained for the role. This could become a health and safety problem on construction sites or when caring for children.
Total votes: 6
Peer vote

I think that if we want to find an answer for this question we need understand what volunteer tourism means. Travelling to volunteer for a cause looks like an excellent idea because you will experience new culture, you'll feel useful and you can grow as a person. In the same time you can save a lot of money. But still, as i said in the beginning, we need to find the real purpose of our travel. If the motivation is to truly help other and not only to take selfies or to travel with fewer money, you are on the right way. After that we need to know the fact that traditionally, people travel to relax, to forget their problems and to have some fun. In volunteer tourism is not always like this. Volunteer toursim pretty serious because it's a lot of work, with a lot of people with different culture and lifestyle. It can be a hard challenge for everyone. Finally, i think that the volunteer tourism is ethical as long as you have the best motivation and you are ready to improve the quality of life for other people. On the other hand, volunteer tourism can be really really harmful when the volunteer choose this type of tourism only to take selfies or to show their facts.
Total votes: 12
Peer vote

There are some clear advantages and disadvantages that come along with the practice of voluntourism. Nevertheless, I think that the benefits outweigh the negative aspects. As long as a person is working in a field matching their skills, they can provide some much needed help. They money from a volunteer s trip may even do more good than the actual work. This puts needed funds into the local economy and pays for more work to be done by locals.
Total votes: 13
Peer vote

On my opinion, volunteer tourism is ethical because it isn't amoral. It gives a chance to the volunteers to demonstrate their better abilities, knowledge, emotions etc. On the other hand, volunteer tourism gives some positive results to local communities' members, especially children. And short-term character of these results (as somebody said above), I think, hasn't any meaning: volunteers should not solve the global problems. It is the task for our politics.
Total votes: 9
Peer vote

In many ways, culture is like a personality. A personality has certain values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, interests, experiences, upbringing, and habits that establish a personality, his/her mentality and conduct.. Ethics and working culture offer meaningful opportunities to volunteers, who want to make an actual difference in a local community. Volunteering tourism presumes many ways to better understanding and respecting other cultures. To my knowledge, there were some volunteers (one of them Anya Leleka, teaching English Chinese kids, and Mohammad Ali (Bachelor of Medicine, AESICS alumni from Egypt giving us the lecture on Cultural Diplomacy) , who whilst gaining their travel experience in a way that went beyond taking selfies, the major temples, churches, and iconic sites, instead they learnt more about core problems in the relevant counties). Naturally, we shouldn’t neglect the idea of countering with arguments of corruption, elitism, and bureaucratic issues Whereas, VT projects can actually foster dependency on international aid and compromise the dignity of the people they are trying to help.
Total votes: 6
Peer vote

The topic of volunteer tourism is very close to me as I have experienced it personally and was the one to organize such projects. I do believe that such experience is life-changing for all of the sides. Alongside, from personal experience, the quality of impact for the community and personal development of volunteer is very questionable. Due to the variety of factors such things are quite spread, but these things can be easily solved by standartizing and involvement od multiple stackholders to the organization of the project itself. Anyway, such kind of projects is not about direct impact. In other words, if the project is ecological, the direct impact is to clean the park, the indirect impact is to raise awareness and prevent cause, not a consequence. Therefore, such projects are impactful in the long-term perspectives, despite all possible risks in terms of ethical issues. Personally, I met volunteers whose first goal was not so conscious about the core of the project, but in the process they reconsidered it, which is extreamly valuable. From the point of atracting volunteers through poverty and other sentiable aspects, I guess it is quite realistic. We have to confront the brutal facts in order to meet the real challanges of it and there is nothig wrong with giving proper name to such issue.
Total votes: 8
Peer vote

It is hard to say if volunteer tourism is ethical. From one point of view it is good because you can mix both things: traveling and helping people. You can do something really good for pure communities which need help and support. In this way some people can receive at least a drop of happiness . From the other point of view volunteer tourism can be against human dignity, because some of the countries instead of reaching help in this way, they just will work hard, but they will never except foreigners to come and do something useful for them and take pictures. So, this ethical tourism can be seen from different sides.
Total votes: 14
Peer vote