For most of the people, visiting a place usually means getting submerged in a happy and joyful mood of holidays without any tension or pressure of work. In general, holidays are the days when an individual wants to enjoy each of the moment and visit several beautiful locations all around the world. The country of India is undoubtedly one of the most liked tourist spots with a globally recognized and respected diverse culture. Amid of all the frolic and fun, a tourist or a vacationer can significantly contribute in the beautification of the country of India and eventually the whole world through getting engaged in volunteer tourism.
The concept of volunteer tourism is not new and is being executed in the different corners of world, however, the same seems to be not so popular in the country of India. The volunteer tourism, by definition, is the practice of engaging in community services for the welfare of both the environment and society, during the tour to different places. There have been numerous attempts made by international organizations to highlight the significance of volunteer tourism, so that the tourists not just visit a particular place at any corner of the world, but also try to work for the beneficiary of the same. The concept of volunteer tourism attempts to make the travelers and other tourists well aware of their responsibilities towards environment and global society through offering them with significant opportunities. Within the concept of volunteer tourism, the tourists can not only team up with the NGOs of the respective nation, but can also work with the local governmental agencies to contribute to the conservation of environment and other society or environment welfare practices.
With regard to the numerous advantages of volunteer tourism, Indian government and other governmental agencies must attempt to take the issue of volunteer tourism as a serious one. Many of the experts have argued that the adequate execution of volunteer tourism will not only help in the saving of global environment, but will also help the respective country in attaining sustainable development. It is a well – known fact that the unethical tourists heavily damage the environment intentionally or unintentionally. Thus, through making them aware of their responsibilities towards environment and society of the respective nation, the country will significantly reduce the negative impact of tourists’ activities on environment.
The need for volunteer tourism in India is clearly evident from the negative impact of the tourism industry on environment and society. There are two key aspects that highlight the negative impact of the activities of tourists on the environment, which include pollution and natural resources. With the development and the rise of the tourism industry, the country of India is also facing a challenge of increasing environmental pollution and rapid consumption of natural resources. It has been noted that the vehicles associated with tourism industry are the major contributor to air pollution, land pollution, and sound pollution. Thus, it becomes necessary that the tourists are made aware of the negative impact of their general practices on the environment so that they take significant steps at an individual level and eventually contribute in the conservation of environment at the global level. Moreover, the tourists can get associated with the NGOs and interact with other tourists and vacationers to help in reducing the increasing level of environmental pollution.
There are several NGOs in the country of India that work for the beneficiary of the environment. The tourists, thus, have different options to choose from. By the concept of volunteer tourism, the tourists and vacationers can work for the development of campaigns to increase the public awareness regarding conservation of the environment. In this area, the tourists will not only be able to visit different places and interact with different people of India but will be able to recognize the diverse culture of people, while helping in the saving of environment. The tourists can also work in lobbying government institutions, so that the public can be addressed with policies and standards of government, especially regarding the environmental values. Many of the experts believe that if the local people of India will see the foreigners helping and contributing to the sustainable development of their country, they will automatically recognize their responsibilities. Thus, volunteer tourism is not just an advantage for the country, but can also be considered as a significant step towards environmental friendly living among local communities and societies.
There are some major NGOs and governmental agencies in India which can be approached by the tourists for the volunteering. Some of these include Assam Science Society, BAIF Development Research Foundation, Bombay Natural History Society, Centre for Environmental Education, Centre for Science and Environment, and Swach Bharat Abhiyan. Each of these NGOs are open to volunteering and tourists are openly welcomed to join in.
The key advantage of the volunteer tourism is increase in the level of public awareness towards environmental values. The same has been one of the main challenge for the Indian Government, thus, the concept of volunteer tourism becomes more supportable. Another significance of volunteer tourism is that not only the local Indians will participate in the mission of environment conservation, but the guests will also be contributing towards sustainable development of country, thus improving international relationships. Volunteer tourism also seems to be the best way to raise the chances of sustainable development at a global level. Moreover, the decrease in the negative impact of tourists’ practices is an additional benefit of the adequate implementation of volunteer tourism.
It is clearly evident that tourism industry and environment are two interrelated aspects, and to conserve environment at a global level, it is the duty of each of the individuals to make sure that none of his / her practices harm the environment in any way. Tourism industry has high potential to develop advantageous effects on the environment through conserving and protecting the environment with the help of tourists themselves. Volunteer tourism, thus, seems to be the best way to increase the awareness among tourists with regard to environmental values.