A while back a friend sent me an article written in The Spinoff entitled "We need to talk about voluntourism". 'Voluntourism' or volunteer tourism, is based upon the concept of doing something good while travelling, and has been gaining popularity in recent years. NGOs connect people wanting to give something back with projects (usually) in so-called developing countries. This may include assisting with construction, conservation and environmental projects, teaching English and the oft sought after orphanage tourism. While it is often possible to help for long periods of time - months or years, tourists often dedicate part of their holiday to a project, say a few weeks.
Social impacts of travelling are important but can be complex. Here are some thoughts on how one might be an ethical traveller.
What is an ethical traveller? I my last blog I posed a series of questions and dilemmas I had encountered during my recent trip to Myanmar. Here are some thoughts on how one might be an ethical traveller. To me, being this means aspiring to travel in both a social and environmentally responsible manner.
During my most recent sojourn to Myanmar, I thought about what it means to be an ethical traveller. As a person who strives to live a responsible life - both environmentally and socially, is it possible to continue this as a tourist? While on holiday, these aspirations don't disappear for me, but the challenges are sometimes different and the boundaries between 'right' and 'wrong' become blurred.
After travelling to Myanmar last month I reflect on what it will mean for Myanmar to develop. Will it be necessary to compromise nature and people for the sake of development?
While travelling in Thailand and Myanmar I discovered how cashew nuts are grown and processed.
After my recent trip to Southern Myanmar, I discuss the ethics of travelling to country with current conflict.