By actively promoting the voluntourism industry through my blog (voluntourismgal.com) we have seen great partnerships be made and best practices shared. The blog is an uncensored forum where companies from all over the globe can share their ideas and learn from each other.
For me Nepal has always had a spot in my heart. I'm not sure if its the mountains or the spirituality, but there is definitely something about Nepal and I'll be lucky enough to go there for the first time this fall. Any recommendations are welcome!
I want people to wake up and give back. I think volunteering on your vacation is still such a new concept that I really hope that the momentum continues to grow. Having said that, I also really hope that the industry itself can find a way to work with truly sustainable projects on the ground and avoids the temptation to create projects for the tourists instead of the communities.
Alexia Nestora is a voluntourism industry consultant, helping providers with strategy and monitoring industry trends.
Alexia previously ran the North American division of volunteer provider i-to-i and has recently helped with Mintel reports on volunteer tourism as well as articles in the WSJ, Smart Money and NY Times. Alexia frequently speaks about voluntourism at industry conferences and loves sharing marketing tips and tricks. She is an active member of the Building Bridges Coalition, Adventure Travel Trade Association and runs an industry blog to encourage the sharing of best practices (voluntourismgal.com).
Alexia has volunteered in Ecuador, South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica, New Zealand and Switzerland but her favorite place these days is at home in Littleton, CO.