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What is 'philantourism,' aka the desire to do good on vacation?

If you have decided to participate in a rescue mission to help save sea turtles or to volunteer on your next vacation to help rebuild a town or region recently affected by a natural disaster or pandemic, then you are engaging in "philantourism"

Published: Jan 31, 2022 06:10:45 PM IST
Updated: Jan 31, 2022 06:23:58 PM IST

What is 'philantourism,' aka the desire to do good on vacation?If you are a philanthropist at heart and love trave, you may be a fan of "philantourism."
Image: Shutterstock


If you are a philanthropist at heart and you also love travel, you may be a fan of "philantourism." It's an approach to tourism centered around humanitarianism and getting involved with a cause, and is related to "voluntourism" and "regenerative tourism." Let's take a look.

If you have globe-trotting in your veins, you may be one of many people who are tempted to indulge in the "revenge travel" phenomenon this year. But you don't want to go to just any destination. As a proponent of slow travel, you also want to remain faithful to your values and make the most of your commitment to various causes.

If you have decided to participate in a rescue mission to help save sea turtles or to volunteer on your next vacation to help rebuild a town or region recently affected by a natural disaster or pandemic, then you are engaging in "philantourism."  

Cited by learning application Babbel as one of the sustainable tourism terms to remember for the year 2022, this relatively new term  comes from a combination of the words "philanthropy" and "tourism." It simply refers to a desire for your travel to have a positive social or environmental impact, for example by deciding to visit countries that need tourism and its financial benefits.

In a similar vein, we can also talk about "regenerative tourism," which means visiting a place while trying to leave it in a better state than when you found it. "This means recognizing that it is possible to go beyond mitigating negative impacts and generate positive social and environmental benefits for people and places when taking part in tourist activities," describes Babbel. Something that is also close to "volontourism"

Cleaning up waste from a natural site (beaches, parks, etc.), meeting with the locals and opting for sustainable accommodation are all part of this regenerative tourism approach. Cities are also taking the initiative of promoting this type of tourism. Barcelona and Amsterdam, for example, have implemented a reduction in tourist accommodations (especially those offered on the famous Airbnb platform), with the aim of limiting mass tourism.

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