Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Planning Impact Trips

Planning tours for philanthropists, volunteers, or others looking to invest time, talent, or treasure? Avoid these five common mistakes when planning their next travel adventure.
Impact tours are one of the fastest growing arms of the travel industry. The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) defines impact tourism as “making strategic contributions of time, talent, and treasure to social and environmental projects in destinations.” Impact tourists volunteer on projects around the globe or take tours of nonprofit and charity projects to inform their philanthropic giving. While more and more advisors begin to offer impact tours, it is important that they be done right.
As a philanthropy consultant and intercultural trainer, I’ve spent the last several years helping nonprofits arrange trips for their supporters as well as training teams of international volunteer groups on adapting to local cultures around the world. This has given me a unique window into the impact travel scene where I have both documented the experiences that truly catalyze action and build empathy as well as those tours that end up disappointing travelers and deepening prejudices.
My experience of the last decade has helped me curate this list of five mistakes that travel advisors should avoid when designing impact trips for organizations, individuals, and groups. Whether you work with individuals who seek to volunteer or donate on their next trip, or work directly with the nonprofits themselves in bringing a group of their supporters to their sites of impact, these are some mistakes to avoid.
Full article available in the Fall 2019 edition of the Association of Travel Advisors Magazine. Click here to see it online.
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