Published on Monday, January 28, 2008

Volunteer Tourism "one of the best ways to ensure tourism helps reduce poverty" claims Operator

The Different Travel Company - a UK based volunteer travel company - have today claimed that properly managed volunteer travel is one of the best ways to ensure tourism assists poverty reduction.

Pointing to a number of the projects to which Different Travel take their volunteer tourists, the company"s founder Adrian Yalland said "the positive contribution of volunteer travellers towards poverty reduction is undeniable. Every year, we facilitate the direct contribution of many tens of thousands of pounds to the projects we work with. Many of our travellers then continue to support the projects once they have returned home".

Pointing to the example of a home for elderly men in Sri Lanka as an example, Mr Yalland illustrated how, over a three year period, and through the direct financial and physical support of volunteering tourists, the home had been secured formal legal status, and had been re-roofed, re-wired, re-furnished, had water plumbed in, old toilets replaced, wheelchair ramps installed and had been completely refurbished - all by volunteers working alongside local people employed to work on the project.

Mr Yalland went on to say "this is just one of 30 projects we currently support - and augments the quarter of a million pounds we have contributed towards the Sri Lankan economy over the past three years. Our biggest project at the moment is a children"s home in Goa, where over the next few years we will be completely renewing the building, to provide a safe and secure home for the children who live there. This work will be entirely funded by our volunteer tourists - a concrete example of how well run and sustainable volunteer tourism is contributing to tackling poverty".

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