Ours to Explore: Privilege, Power, and the Paradox of Voluntourism

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The tourism business is one of the largest industries in the world, and the two-billion-dollar volunteer and service-based travel market has been identified as the future of tourism. "Voluntourism," or the combination of volunteer service and tourism, is valorized by governments, NGO’s, travelers, and the thousands of non- and for-profits that facilitate trips, as the best of what tourism can be. Despite the accolades, the very same flaws rampant in early voluntourism, including xenophobia, racism, paternalism, colonialist attitudes, and a ‘west knows best’ mentality, are pervasive. Framed as a service experience, an alternative spring break, or a religious mission trip, this "moral economy" isn't all that successful. What well-meaning Americans and others are doing by going away to give back is unintentionally, but actively, hurting developing economies and damaging communities.

Ours to Explore: Privilege, Power, and the Paradox of Voluntourism investigates voluntourism’s past and present, uncovering the complicated roots of the modern global phenomenon from the eighteenth century through today. Pippa Biddle offers an alternative to the voluntourism farce, presenting a plan for how the service based travel industry can break the cycle of exploitation to create more equitable travel experiences, and suggests strategies for travelers who want to actually improve the places they visit. Ours to Explore covers new ground by offering a fascinating look into the human impulse towards charity and provides the necessary context for why it is backfiring.

Product Details

£21.99  £20.89
Potomac Books Inc
Publish Date
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