University lecturer calls for an end to 'voluntourism'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Feb 2020, 4:38PM
Daniel Couch says voluntourism is not as rosy as it may look on the surface. (Photo / Getty)

University lecturer calls for an end to 'voluntourism'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Feb 2020, 4:38PM

An university lecturer has criticised tertiary institutions for continuing to send students on voluntourism experiences. 

The trend - short for 'volunteer tourism' - sees young people travel to orphanages and areas of poverty as a form of life experience.

Voluntourims companies are heavily marketing to university students, and AUT lecturer Daniel Crouch is not impressed.

He told Heather du Plessis-Allan that the concept sounds really good on paper, but there are a number of problems that come with it.

"What it essential does is it turns those in orphanages or in schools into part of a tourist attraction.

"And what does an orphanage need? It needs orphans. And one of the things that voluntourism has helped to promote is a  significant growth and increase in the number of orphanages operating in these countries." 

Couch says that many of these orphans are not really orphans and are just done to attract people to spend their money in their community. 

He says most people going on these types of holidays aren't aware of what they are getting into. 

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