Voluntourism in Dominica has gained popularity over the last few years, following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
An influx of volunteers attended to Dominica’s disaster relief efforts after the Hurricane. The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has identified opportunities to develop voluntourism in the island’s local tourism sector.
What is voluntourism?
This is a form of tourism that combines a leisure holiday and volunteering. Volunteers travelling to Dominica can dedicate their time and skills through an organisation or cause as part of their trip.
This is a niche segment allows tourists to have a personalised experience and interaction with the Dominican local community.
Voluntourism is multifaceted with how volunteers can partake in the series of initiatives that are available to them.
In Dominica, this niche segment in the tourism industry that can potentially attract more visitors to the Nature Isle and boost the local tourism industry.
Numerous tourism agency offer voluntourism packages that include excursions and activities that entice visitors to make the most of their trip.
The ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’ is a small island packed with adventure thrill-seeking activities for visitors to create memorable experiences during their stay. Activities include guided hikes, birdwatching, scuba diving, sightseeing, Caribbean culinary experiences and so much more.
Dominica has been recognised as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Additionally, it’s also been nominated as one of the world’s most extraordinary travel destinations. It’s easy to see how Dominica is dominating the tourism industry in the Caribbean.
Must-see sites in Dominica include the Boiling Lake, Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve and Trafalgar Falls.
Voluntourism time periods can vary between short-term and long-term as they usually form part of the volunteer’s leisure travel itinerary. These activities allow volunteers to partake in individually or in groups with similar interests.
For example, if a tourist is visiting Dominica for a month, they would schedule a week or several days to volunteer in a project where they can gain valuable experience.
Depending on the scale of the project, volunteers could be required to have a certain skillset. This is where they need to comply with requirements in completing certain tasks. For example, volunteers may be required to have technical skills or farming skills before participating in a project that is relevant to their skill set.
Benefitting the Dominican community
All participating volunteers play an integral role in effectively impacting the local community. Additionally, they personally benefit from the overall experience in giving back. Voluntourism in Dominica is a rewarding experience of a lifetime for volunteers to not only experience the tropical Nature Isle but also drive awareness, best practices, and environmental conservation.
Dominica has multiple volunteering projects running that tourists can take part in. Depending on the group size and the duration of their stay, there’s something for everyone.
Voluntourism projects in the Nature Isle include agriculture, education, and the island’s environment. The projects aim to develop the local Dominican community through the economy, environment and social responsibility tourism.
Discover Dominica Authority
The DDA released a voluntourism calendar with projects which include beach cleaning, tree planting, and school painting. The calendar’s goal is to uplift the local community’s socioeconomic status and enrich them with essential skills to improve their livelihood.
The DDA is working closely with agencies from both public and private sectors to initiate exciting projects to attract more volunteers.
The Authority are continuously seeking methods to develop the island’s local tourism. This is being done by developing the voluntourism segment. These methods include training the DDA team to understand how voluntourism can be activated in Dominica, and activities that serve a greater purpose for all stakeholders.
Visitors can become ambassadors by informing their networks of their experiences. The aim is that they encourage their family and friends to also take part in these projects.
Wish to positively impact the local Dominican community? Contact [email protected] for available project opportunities where you can book your exhilarating trip to the idyllic island and give back to the community.