Volunteer touristry is described as the “ modern phenomenon of going overseas as a voluntary ” ( Guttentag 2009: 538 ) , which is precisely what I did in March of 2010. Eleven senior pupils from my secondary school were chosen to partake in a human-centered mission trip to the Dominican Republic. We, along with our school chaplain and two instructors, worked with a local organisation called “ Asociacion parity EL Desarrollo de San Jose de Ocoa, Inc. ” ( ADESJO ) , and they sent us on a two hr trip up a bumpy and steep mountain to the small town of El Cercado. For two hebdomads we worked on edifice 10 latrines in the small town while acquiring to cognize the villagers and doing friendly relationships and memories that we would transport with us for the remainder of our lives. There is no uncertainty that as a voluntary tourer I took away a great trade from this trip, but I have begun to inquire what impact unpaid touristry has on host communities and the universe at big. After researching the subject of “ volunteer touristry ” I have come to detect that most of the benefits of voluntary touristry are felt by the voluntaries themselves and non the host communities and their members. In the country of “ Global Development Studies ” this reflects the influence that the Global North has upon the Global South. Even though unpaid touristry is veiled by selfless purposes, any positive effects could potentially take to highly negative effects in the planetary spectrum. Unsatisfactory work is being done by unskilled voluntaries, cross-cultural misinterpretation and cultural stereotypes are being increased and reinforced, and neo-colonialism and capitalist economy are being supported. This paper will reason that voluntary touristry is more good for the voluntaries themselves, while in world it has negative effects on the locals in host communities.
While there are potentially macro scaled negative effects of voluntary touristry, it is of import to analyze the initial micro negative effects that lead to these larger negative effects. The first and most of import of these micro effects is that unsatisfactory work is being done by unskilled voluntaries, while the demands of locals are put aside to concentrate on the experiences of the voluntaries. In recent old ages volunteer touristry has become really popular, particularly among post-secondary pupils ( Bailey and Russel 2010:353 ) , automatically one is left to oppugn the degree of experience these pupils have in the countries such as substructure, instruction, or environmental preservation. Daniel A. Guttentag ( 2009 ) points out that there is a hinderance in “ work advancement and the completion of unsatisfactory work, caused by voluntaries ‘ deficiency of accomplishments ; ” ( 537 ) and there is even a “ lessening in employment chances ” ( ibid. ) . It is apparent that a great figure of voluntary tourers lack certain accomplishments which is doubtless due to the fact that they “ ..do non hold adequate cognition, contemplation capacity, appropriate accomplishments or makings, volunteering and international experience, clip to acquire involved with the locals or selfless purposes ” ( Palacios 2010: 2 ) . Despite these facts the voluntaries experiences are still focused upon.
Organizations that plan volunteer tourist trips focus on doing the experience of the voluntary tourists trip as gratifying and safe as possible and work about the demands and desires of the voluntaries ( Guttentag 2009: 539 ) . Even though some would reason that organisation choose voluntaries carefully and develop them beforehand ( Tomazos and Butler 2009:13 ) , this can non be generalized to all organisations. When the demands and desires of the locals are being ignored in order to service voluntaries this negatively affects the lives of the locals in the host communities for they are the people that must digest the potentially hapless work done by the voluntaries. Volunteer tourers are described as “ ‘experiential ‘ or ‘experimental ‘ ” ( Bailey and Russell 2010: 3 ) , and those two words automatically imply the word “ different ” . Volunteer tourers want to see a different civilization in order to turn and re-evaluate who they themselves are as a individual ( ibid. ) . Once once more the voluntary is sing a benefit, but one is left to oppugn what preconceived impression the voluntary has of the civilization he or she is come ining in to.
Another issue that arises with voluntary touristry is that voluntary tourers that arrive in host communities in the Global South with stereotyped thoughts addition and reenforce cultural stereotypes and cross-cultural misinterpretation ( Raymond and Hall 2008:1 ) . The preconceived impressions of the voluntary tourers risk being stereotyped thoughts of an destitute and hungry household life in a hovel, which creates a separation between themselves and the locals they come in contact with. If that separation is ne’er bridged, or if the voluntary ne’er additions a true cognition of the civilization because they are excessively focused on assisting the stereotyped “ other ” , it creates and enforces cultural stereotype, particularly because unpaid tourers may presume “ that host communities accept their poorness ” ( Raymond and Hall 2008: 2 ) . If there is a deficiency of communicating between the voluntaries and the members of the host community so the voluntary additions small to no true experience with the civilization they are sing, which can really “ negatively impact the host civilization ” ( Guttentag 2009: 547 ) . This job is partially due to how the civilizations are being portrayed by organisations.
Reflecting true Eurocentric ideals ( the impression that the “ right ” manner of life is the Western manner and all other ways are alien and irregular ) , organisations tend to portray voluntary tourer finishs in a manner that will pull the voluntary tourers to take part in these jaunts. A “ gap twelvemonth ” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “ a period of clip ( normally an academic twelvemonth ) taken by a pupil as a interruption from formal instruction, typically between go forthing school and get downing a university or college class, and frequently exhausted going or working ” ( 2010 ) . There are organisations that specifically service these gap twelvemonth pupils, but they are criticized for:
[ enforcing ] a simplistic position of ‘the other ‘ so that ‘difference ‘ can be sold and consumed. This occurs through the usage of sweeping generalizations of finish communities in promotional stuffs and continues throughout the VTP [ Volunteer Tourist Programs ] due to miss of critical battle with the experience. ( Raymond and Hall 2008: 3 )
This “ simplistic ” position is meant to heighten the difference between the voluntary tourers and the locals of the host community in order to heighten the voluntary ‘s experience, but this is damaging because it merely reinforces Third World stereotypes and has “ the potency for sentimentalization of the ‘other ‘ stereotype ” ( Matthews qtd. In Ooi and Lang 2010:3 ) . Once once more, the voluntaries are profiting from their experience as voluntary tourers, but it comes at the cost of the people of the Global South who must digest farther victimization and stereotypes that create the thought that they must be saved by the Global North because “ the inequalities between the developed and developing universes [ are highlighted ] ” ( Simpson qtd. In Ooi and Land 2010:3 ) . These inequalities reflect planetary capitalist economy and neo-colonialism.
Poor work quality and issues of cross-cultural misinterpretation and the support of stereotypes all in the name of “ the voluntary tourer experience ” leads to macro-scaled jobs of neo-colonialism and the support of capitalist economy. The Oxford English Dictionary defines neo-colonialism as “ the usage of economic, political, cultural, or other force per unit areas to command or act upon another state ; particularly the keeping of such influence over a underdeveloped state by a former colonial power ” ( 2010 ) , and, loosely defined, capitalist economy is “ a system holding accretion at its nucleus ” ( Lippit 2007:179 ) . Volunteer touristry is a new manner of working the Global South for the addition of the Global North because, as antecedently mentioned, the demands of the voluntaries are focused on despite the fact that hapless quality work is being done and it reinforces the impression of “ the other ” in order for the voluntary tourers to derive personal experience. Volunteer tourer trips support the impression of “ the other ” and “ ‘reinforce power inequalities ‘ and therefore stand for ‘a signifier of neo-colonialism or imperialism ‘ with regard to developing states ” ( Raymond and Hall qtd. In Ooi and Laing 2010:3 ) . These power inequalities reflect capitalist economy because it puts the Global South at the underside of planetary hierarchy, where they are used in order for those in higher places – the Global North – to roll up money and in this instance, to roll up planetary experience.
This planetary experience is being gained at the cost of making a spread between the North and the South in footings of promotion in engineering and power, farther back uping capitalist economy. This is reflected in what Guttentag ( 2009 ) has termed as “ the presentation consequence, ” a term that signifies how a “ host civilization is impacted when tourers draw attending to their life styles and points of wealth ” ( 11 ) which leads to the possibility of locals seeking to “ copy the tourers ‘ ingestion forms, and discontent can emerge when these points of wealth are beyond the range of a host community ” ( ibid. ) . When attending is drawn to what the voluntary tourers from the Global North have and what the locals of the Global South do non hold, it besides draws attending the sum of power and wealth that their place states possess on a planetary graduated table. Even now, organisations are taking to “ pull the privileged voluntary tourers ” ( Lyons and Wearing 2008: 187 ) , which merely increases the spread between the developed and the developing, the rich and the hapless, capitalist economy and equality.
This inequality between these two universes has a long history of colonialism, and although that ended – after centuries of enduring and exploitation – voluntary touristry is arguably a new signifier of colonialism. Volunteer touristry “ could perchance devolve into a ‘voyeuristic ‘ development of the ‘cultural other ‘ that masquerades as academic sanctioned ‘servant leading ‘ ” ( Butin qtd. In Sin 2009: 484 ) . The Global North displays selfless purposes of assisting the people of the Global South, while in world they are working them for their ain personal addition which is to develop young person to go more socially cognizant and active, but this lone leads to farther dependance of the South on the North to mend their jobs and ease their adversities. The North remains at the top of the planetary hierarchy:
The footing decisions of many writers that have contributed to this critical theory of development is that the Western purpose of assisting underlying the development assistance end every bit human-centered as much a colonialist. However, it tends to reproduce the same planetary forms of inequality and poorness. Leaving integral – if non reenforcing – the dominant place of the North. ( Escobar et al. qtd. In Palacios 2010: 4 )
Neo-colonialism, the new signifier of colonialism, defeats the intents of all of the combat that occurred in to stop colonialism, while one time once more the Global South faces the negative effects of being exploited by the Global North through voluntary touristry.
Despite the macro- scaly negative effects that volunteer touristry has the potency of doing, many defend its benefits. Volunteer touristry can “ heighten civic-related cognition, accomplishments, attitudes, and behaviors, better interpersonal accomplishments and emotional ordinance, and contribute to better academic public presentation and significance in life ” ( Billig et al. qtd. In Bailey and Russell 2010: 3 ) . Besides argued is that:
… the unpaid touristry experience is a direct synergistic experience that causes value alteration and changed consciousness in the person which will later act upon their life style, while supplying signifiers of community development that are required by local communities. ( Wearing 2001: 2 )
Unfortunately, it is apparent here that the focal point is chiefly upon what the voluntary tourers gain from the experience, non the locals of the host communities. These benefits are so positive, but largely for the voluntaries and the state that they come from. It is arguable that when the voluntary tourists gain more awareness about these societal issues and derive more of a feeling or a desire to do a difference so this will take to them doing a difference in the Global South. However, this is non wholly positive because it aids in doing the Global South dependant on the Global North. This besides reinforces the stereotype of an destitute and disease-stricken Global South that is doomed unless they are saved by the hero that the Global North has been portrayed as. There is still the statement that “ volunteer touristry appears able to offer [ an ] alternate way where net income objects are secondary to more selfless desire to go in order to help communities ” ( Wearing 2001: 12 ) , but this can be an illustration of the desire for net income being hidden under a head covering of selflessness – there genuinely is no manner cognizing whether or non the purposes of voluntary tourers are strictly selfless or driven by egocentric aspirations.
Despite the many negative issues that volunteer touristry brings into visible radiation, there are efforts to understate them. First, jobs refering hapless work quality done by inexperient voluntaries are being addressed by organisations that offer developing to their voluntaries that must travel through a hard choice plan to get down with ( Tomazos and Butler 2009:13 ) . Organizations are besides trying to affect locals in the host communities every bit much as possible in the work that voluntary tourers are making, which creates more employment and helps the locals continue with the undertakings after the voluntaries leave ( ibid. ) . Second, in an effort to cut down cross-cultural misinterpretation and the support of stereotypes, more and more organisations “ promote their voluntaries to be culturally sensitive and learn from their experience making apprehension and tolerance for other people and civilizations ” ( ibid. ) . Finally, there is a strong desire and efforts to do unpaid touristry beneficial in a manner that it teaches others to go responsibly, particularly in respects to the environment, through what has been termed as “ justness touristry ” and “ solidarity Tourss ” ( Lyons and Wearing 2008: 187 ) . These signifiers of touristry purpose to “ travel tourers to prosecute with the lived world of the locals and to set up interactions based on equity and regard ” ( ibid. ) . Obviously, there is an effort to further more positive effects of voluntary touristry in order to better function both the voluntaries and the locals.
To reason, volunteer touristry is portrayed as being driven by selfless purposes, nevertheless it is apparent that the voluntary tourists themselves see more benefits than do the locals of the host communities. This issue must be addressed because it emphasizes the long standing impression that the North is the lone hope of the South in order to be saved from poorness, disease, environmental crises, and even debt, which is really the exact antonym of what so many theories in this class have implied. The negative effects of voluntary touristry inquiries the purposes of voluntaries and the organisations that send them, and besides inquiries the purposes of multinational corporations and authoritiess that have come to organize planetary capitalist economy. Is the purpose specifically to ever maintain the Global South at the underside of the planetary hierarchy in order to harvest the benefits of the inexpensive resources that continue to flux from those countries in order to serve the lives of the affluent North? This inquiry can be argued to no terminal, but there is no reply as consecutive forward as the fact that even in voluntary touristry the demands of the Global North are put in front of those in the Global South, while the Global South continues to endure on excessively many degrees.