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Volunteer tourism guidelines launched by ABTA

ABTA has launched the industry’s first comprehensive volunteer tourism guidelines, which have been designed to help travel businesses understand the issues and challenges that are involved for best practice in the programs they offer.

The new guidelines have been developed in consultation with a wide range of organisations, these include a variety of organisations including international travel industry and membership organisations. The guidelines aim to tackle bad practice and improve volunteer tourism standards throughout the travel industry.  

Volunteer tourism is a fairly new concept and has grown rapidly in the recent years with more than 800 companies worldwide offering volunteer tourism experiences, with 1.6 million trips being taken per year. While commonly seen as gap year activities between school and university, this only accounts for a third of all volunteering trips.

The association's Volunteer Tourism Guidelines build on the wide range of existing guidelines, with the goal of encouraging companies to reach high standards in the volunteering experiences they provide. Members are encouraged to use the new guidelines to evaluate whether the experiences they currently offer hold any risks and what they can do to work towards a better practice.

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Date Created: 06/01/2017

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