13% will take volunteer holidays next year, firm finds

A new poll has discovered that 13 per cent of respondents aim to participate in so-called voluntourism during the course of next year, perhaps with the intention of giving something back after an indulgent Christmas.
The poll, carried out by Travelocity, found that people plan to jet off all over the world in order to help those less fortunate than themselves, including South Africa and Madagascar (the latter may have the Disney film to thank for the increased interest).
Jeffrey Glueck from the firm said that a volunteering holiday allows people to feel a real sense of adventure because they are seeing how a country’s people really live, but that it has the added benefit of putting money straight back into needy communities.
“Whether or not it’s on the list of New Year’s Resolutions, a volunteer [holiday] can truly change a person’s perspective and remind us of what’s most important in life,” he commented.
Thailand has always been a mecca for backpackers, but it is increasingly gaining recognition from other groups, including people on their honeymoon and voluntourists.
This could be due to the stunning scenery – which provided the setting for Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The Beach – as well as the fact that accommodation can vary from five-star hotels to bargain hostels costing as little as £2.50 a night.

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