Voluntourism or Volunteer Tourism Operation by Projects Abroad is quite well-known for its unique travelling experience. It not only promotes tourism in unexplored places but also works toward building its economy and promoting its culture.
Voluntourism gives an individual a first-hand insight about the social and cultural reforms of any place they are travelling in or experience. They can help the local community by various means like promoting their culture or financing local business through micro-finance, part-time working for a local school, teaching kids foreign language or training adults for livelihood. These operators provide exclusive experience to its customers to an unexplored place hand helping the country to sustain by promoting their culture and place.
Project Abroad has designed and promoted their packages which lure the candidates who want to experience tourism rather than travelling and exploring already famous tourist spots. They contribute something back to society and nature and help to revive the financial and economic state of developing countries. Company recruit and indulge locals in promoting and giving experience to an individual who is looking to bring some change in the world or contribute something to it.
They not only promote the places but also safeguard the environment. They make sure that no harm is caused to the natural ecosystem or any historical place during the visits. They help and ensure that tourist sites are clean and green. They provided all the facilities to its tourist with the help of local people and built a strong relation and network with them. There are many sites whose total finance depends on the tourist attraction, so they have to evolve with all new idea to keep tourist engaged and provide them highly personalized service at affordable price.
Nature of change affecting operation and associated impacts
In today’s world scenario consumer is well aware of the Hospitality and tourism industry. The young generation has become very active and wanted to bring some change by initiating something good. Market paradigm shifts drastically. So the tour operators came with an idea which not only benefit their business but their consumers and society altogether. All famous tourist places have been exhausted and been over-priced, people are looking for a destination which is fresh and unexplored where they can have exclusive experience with their family and friends. On the other hand, they want to save the mother earth.
Due to global warming and other serious threat to environment many organization have come forward to stop it. It is urging from various tour operators from the tourism industry and hospitality industry to promote sustainability projects. It’s a huge market to promote as places which have been exhausted and polluted are looking for better green ways to support their programme (Gijsbers & Gonzalez Gutierrez de Leon, 2018).
Tourists are looking for unexplored places or unconventional places high on luxury experience and low on budget, and with volunteer tourism it is possible. This has shift the whole paradigm of the market. People are aware and alert and ready to explore to have one kind of its experience. More and more people are getting connected to have such a thrilling adventure together.
Project Abroad gives a platform to people to experience developing nations by volunteer tourism where they not only explore the country but also experience its culture and its rich heritage which was not explored earlier with very high personalised services.
People are aware of the situation of third world countries and keep looking for a new destination to have a getaway in peace and serene beauty. Keeping in mind low budget for travelling and have high expectation of service and experience and also to serve society with good cause. Tour operators have started this new initiative where they promote the location with the help of the locals, and in return, they get supported by the volunteer in terms of finance and sustainability. People who are hired are capable of understanding and running the business by evaluating the potential business that can come from such new undiscovered places and how it will trap or lure the target audience or market (Shamsuddoha, 2004).
Nature of tourism impacts and modes of management being adopted
The company has to do detail study of new tourist destination places and target market. Through Voluntourism consumers will learn about the new tradition and culture of the place, can go for sightseeing and adventure trip at the same time. They will help the economy of that place to grow. They can also volunteer to teach the third or English language by in local school. They can also volunteer to train local about a new trend in business and promote their business like social media etc.
Operators team up with locals to train or teach them about the home-stay process. They re-design their place by giving them financial aid. Such design that it gives the consumer a sense of belonging and they can observe the lifestyle of locals more closely. This way a relationship can be built which benefits both the party. Locals will have more opportunities to learn and make money as tourism will bring finance and opportunities to grow. Gate for success will be open for them. They will show the world which was hidden, and they will make a new way to generate and upgrade their finances.
Sometimes they have to compete with others operators who also promote the same but they with this kind of volunteer tourism they help the society with by the initiatives of their consumer.
The rationale for the case study operation as a leader in sustainability
The main role of the leader of sustainability will be looking out for generating more business through building and maintaining sustainability and ecosystem of the place. They understand the interaction between the systems. They maintain a balance between the people and process and its impact on each other (Ulrich & Smallwood, 2013).
They bring a change in the course of a process which is beneficial for the world as a whole. Like wastage in the organisation is reduce or minimised example less use of paper and no to plastic usage. With these changes, a leader will set an example for its peer to change and adopt the new policy.
The role here of Leader of Sustainability broadens in tour operators because not only they have to maintain the ecosystem but also generate the business for the company. They have to understand the process involve and the place where they will be visiting. The plan should be designed to keep the aim of the tourist and place culture where they are visiting.
The main aim of the tourists is to spend a good time doing something good for the world. List of places where such target market wants to visit should be made, and research should be made. They need to manage and maximized the social and environmental outcomes to have sustainable consumption and production.
They will help in inclusive development and generating more jobs and increasing people income that are below the poverty line. They ensure that the natural and cultural heritage of the place is conserved. By maintaining this company gets loyalty back from its consumers as they respond as per their demands and need. The low cost and improved efficiency add a feather in their hat. The rates of employee retention will be lower as there will be local working with them.
It is shown by many surveys that consumers are willing wants to pay more for value-added services and for the company who bring or contribute to society. Such kind of process brings the change to the local people. Ecotourism or green tourism will help to maintain the ecosystem and biodiversity of the place. The youth-ish market is major target consumer for such tour operators as they are young and adventurous and always wanted to try something different and new. They with their friends and family always try to look out for places where they not only have exclusive time but can also help the community at large and keep on visiting such places. (Tai, 2012)
The leader of sustainability should make sure that whatever they have promised to their consumer should be delivered because then only they will have the edge over their competitors and will gain loyalty back from their customers. They should look out for each and every possibility to maintain the environment and ecosystem of the destination and also to help the locals to improve their lifestyle by employing them.
Here the big hurdle for the manager is to understand the hurdles and find the solution to overcome it. For example, for promoting any third world nations, they need to be ensuring to they have a complete medical backup as yellow fever and malaria and dengue are some common diseases which are viable there. Promoting these nations is quite a challenge as people want to explore these places, but at the same time, they are scared of having the fear that they might encounter with any deadly disease. Poor health condition and unemployment is one other issue which Leader has to look into.
He should come up with such plans where not only they educate those people but also employ them for their betterment. Tourism in such places would be hit as they are not explored extensively. They are cheap and accommodating as well as fresh to see. Travelling abroad could be done with such places. Make people dream come true through such places.
Operators can micro-finance small organisation so that they can be self-dependent and excel in business in return they make profits and build relationships with local people. This way they help in the sustainability of the place same time they will help in the growth of the place. These nations being developing nation they need to tell them about non-conventional sources of energy and how to conserve the environment. Green and eco-tourism will be the key to promote such places. Their culture and habitat are unexplored, and mystery and they have so much to offer. People are not trained nor do they understand the language. So to overcome these hurdle companies require team which train such people and educate the language which will be boon to promote the tourism of the nation (Ulus & Hatipoglu, 2016).
Management actions proposed for the future
As the competition is increasing and many key players have understood the need for Volunteer tourism they need to make changes as per the market change and requirement. To capture market go green is very effective. They need to tap the market at lightning speed with competitive price and personalised service. With the help of local communities, they should be able to provide the best of services to them weather living with locals or experiencing any local serene. People should be aware of the hazard of chemicals and other resources which affect nature.
Recommendations by Leader of Sustainability of the Organization
Some of the lists are given below as how they can make sustainable culture at tourist place (Lombarts, 2018).
- Use of Non -conventional Energy: Resorts or Hotels should look for the non-conservative source of energy like solar or bioenergy to run their operations. This way they will maintain sustainability. Petrol and gas prices are one of the costs, but with the use of the non-conventional energy it will lower down the cost of staying.
- The hiring of Bicycle to roam in the city: In spite of renting cars or motors, hotel or resort should promote bicycle rides to visit places this way it will help the environment. The target market will be youth as it is assumed that they are more concerned about their health and physique. It becomes the top selling point. They should promote carpooling as well so that they can reduce the emission of carbon this way energy can also be saved as well environment also.
- Bulk buying: Tour operator should buy rooms in hotel and ort in bulk during the sale this will lower the cost, and it will be easy for them to accommodate their guest and meet their demands. Bulk buying will reduce the cost which will benefit the consumer in the end. They will pay an affordable price for the luxury experience. Big groups or event will be easy in case of bulk buying as all will be accommodated at one place and to cater their need will be accessible(Del Vecchio, Mele, Ndou & Secundo, 2018).
- Local Market: Operator should have a tie-up with the local market for supplies. It also adds on to cost. Exotic food from overseas will add on cost, but local things available will be cheaper as compared to that. It will promote the local cuisine and tourist will have the feel of their food and culture. Fresh food will be served will add on to the quality of the food served.
- Local Hire: Operator should hire local people so that they can raise their economic status. This will boost their social and economic stature of the place. It will raise the people from the poverty line. More and more people employed will boom its culture.
- Packages include a contribution from Tourist to enhance or preserve the natural habitat of wild animals in wild parks and sanctuary.
- Homestay Culture: This is the most affordable way to spent vacation; tourist can stay with local family to have the first-hand experience about the culture and tradition of the place. Secondly, it’s quite affordable as well.
On a business point of view they should do some changes on their website as well.
Project Abroad gives its consumer an experience of a lifetime to travel destination of their dream where they help the society and environment to grow and sustain. Such a concept is widely recognized and appreciated by people worldwide. But still, people have some apprehensions as these operators have business overseas. It is mainly run on trust with local people.
In today's world, people are more aware of global warming which affects the environment. Such kind of tourism not only makes people travel to their dream destination but also supports the living hood of the locals. They bridge the trust of locals and tourist. Both benefit from such packages.
It provides a way to have sustainable economic development of communities of the nations by protecting its natural heritage and culture. Such an experience gives better experience and food and warmth from the people. People are more aware of the threat they are facing incoming years like water scarcity or energy depletion etc. Such initiatives help them to contribute something to society or something they give back to them. Their motto is to make the world a better place to live but not at the cost of luxury and fun. They have a belief which they follow is that they will grow and operate responsibly to protect and restore the place and build communities where people travel. With proper legal and medical service, they built a strong network which works for the betterment of the society (Li, 2014).
Being the Leader of sustainability I strongly recommend that operators should upgrade their website from time to time which gives clear details about the place to visit. A small brief about the history and culture of the destination and places to visit should be mentioned. Pictures should be clear and authentic. Operator should build its community on social media where it gives their testimony which can help people to travel and have such exotic experience.
The operator should understand their target market very clearly. Need to understand consumer’s motto to travel and what motivates them to travel. These studies will help the tour operators to come up with packages which will lure them to travel with them in return will have revenue collection with respect to the progress of the destination(both socially and culturally).
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Gijsbers, I., & Gonzalez Gutierrez de Leon, A. (2018). Responsible Tourism: Using Tourism for Sustainable DevelopmentResponsible Tourism: Using Tourism for Sustainable DevelopmentEdited by GoodwinHarold. Journal Of Tourism Futures. doi: 10.1108/jtf-06-2017-0031
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Lombarts, A. (2018). The hospitality model revisited: Developing a hospitality model for today and tomorrow. Hospitality & Society, 8(3), 297-311. doi: 10.1386/hosp.8.3.297_7
Shamsuddoha, M. (2004). Sustainability of Tourism Industry: Bangladesh Perspective. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1314779
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