New E-Publication on Voluntourism Announced: Helping International Operators Transform Good Intentions into Best Practices

New E-Publication on Voluntourism Announced: Helping International Operators Transform Good Intentions into Best Practices

Voluntourism Guidelines Announcement

"The International Voluntourism Guidelines for Commercial Tour Operators" Launched at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), Monterey, California, USA.

September 17th, MONTEREY, CA, USA – The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) announced today the launch of the new e-publication "The International Voluntourism Guidelines for Commercial Tour Operators", which has been developed through a collaborative research project supported by the Planeterra Foundation. The e-publication was launched at TIES’ annual international conference, the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), being held in Monterey, California, USA, September 17th-19th.


Dr. Kelly Bricker, TIES Chair, said "We are thrilled to announce the new Voluntourism Guidelines and to share this comprehensive tool with our members around the world. Our aim is to positively contribute to the growing field of voluntourism by providing a practical tool for international voluntourism providers, and we believe that by collaborating with a diverse range of voluntourism practitioners and industry leaders, we’ve been able to gather and utilize some of the latest research, practical knowledge and applications in the field that will help voluntourism providers plan and manage their programs in a responsible and sustainable manner."


In addition to information about relevant guidelines, codes of conduct and resources related to volunteer travel and sustainable tourism, the Voluntourism Guidelines include important insights into key challenges and opportunities for tour operators, through examples of voluntourism operators including Global Vision International (GVI), Calabash Tours (South Africa), Voluntario Global (Argentina) and G Adventures.


Among the most important points that have been raised by the Voluntourism Guidelines advisory committee members, as well as by industry stakeholders who have participated in the guidelines’ research and development process, was the recognition that voluntourism projects should be developed to effectively address the needs of local people and their environments, collaborating with and led by the local community members. The key to ensuring that voluntourism projects are achieving tangible benefits for the local people is the ongoing process of community needs assessment, and thus the Voluntourism Guidelines offer valuable insights into how to incorporate this important process into the planning, development and management of voluntourism programs.


The development of the Voluntourism Guidelines, including the background research and stakeholder meetings in 2011, has been made possible by the generous support of the Planeterra Foundation.


For more information on the International Voluntourism Guidelines for Commercial Tour Operators, and to download the e-publication, go to:


# # #


About TIES

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a non-profit association committed to promoting responsible tourism practices that benefit conservation and communities. Representing the voices of stakeholders from all corners of the world, TIES' global network supports and is supported by members from over 120 countries, who are leading the vital efforts to make travel and tourism more sustainable.


About the Planeterra Foundation

Planeterra is a non‐profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve cultures and create a humane and supportive system for their endeavors. Planeterra, through its global network of travel industry partners, supports a steady cycle of giving and investment in the social and environmental needs of people and places in the destinations they serve worldwide.


Download the Guidelines

Voluntourism Guidelines


The e-publication "The International Voluntourism Guidelines for Commercial Tour Operators" is available for download at:




Media Contact:

Ayako Ezaki, Director of Communications
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
Email: media[at]
Phone: +1 202-506-5033 x14





About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




> The International Ecotourism Society 



The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

Connect to Us   

Become a Fan of TIES   Share Your Videos with TIESLinkedIn   Pinterest

   Google Plus Vimeo