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Volunteer Tourism with Vikki Nicolai

Volunteer Tourism with Vikki Nicolai

Volunteer tourism—known by many as “voluntourism”—is becoming a popular way for people to travel and give back to the communities they visit. For Vikki Nicolai, La Crosse, WI resident and an expert in the field, this manner of traveling not only benefits the areas a person travels to but also helps the traveler feel an incredible sense of purpose.

Volunteer Tourism: A Snapshot

Volunteer tourism is travel where people visit developing countries and regions to assist with various projects. This can include helping build houses, teaching people English, working in orphanages, and providing medical care. Volunteer tourists often pay fees to an organization that arranges their trip and helps support them abroad.

Opinions on volunteer tourism vary. Some agree that it can be beneficial. Others argue that it can sometimes do more harm than good, as many volunteers need to gain the skills or training necessary to help support the people they are working with.

How Experts Are Involved

There are many essential ways in which an expert works to help an individual plan their travel tourism trip. Vikki Nicolai notes that some of the most common areas experts work on with travelers are:

  1. Planning and execution, in which experts help volunteers plan and execute the trips they go on. This includes finding appropriate projects for volunteers, arranging travel and accommodations, and providing support during trips.
  2. Research, during which an expert helps to ensure that the initiatives taken by the volunteer tourists are effective and will have profound impact on the community they work with.
  3. Evaluation helps experts analyze and assess where improvements can be made.
  4. Advocacy, in which experts play an essential role by raising awareness of potential benefits and impacts while working to dispel damaging myths and misconceptions.
  5. Experts help fundraise by identifying donors, writing grant proposals, and organizing fundraising events.

The Benefits of an Expert

Several benefits come with having an expert on your team. Vikki Nicolai has said that some of the most notable include:

  • Your effectiveness. Working with an expert such as Vikki Nicolai, a La Crosse, WI resident, will allow you to be more effective in whatever role you take.
  • Your experience. Working with an expert can connect you to the community you are working with and ensure you are making a positive impact.

The types of experts you will be working with include:

  • Travel agents who will help you get to your destination and help you receive accommodations while you are there.
  • Project managers who are responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of projects.
  • Community leaders who know intimately about the community you will be visiting can help you find the right way to make a positive impact.

Those planning travel tourism trips should consider all of the above and ask additional questions to make their trip the most successful possible. Their trip should align with their personal goals and positively impact the country or community they visit.


Volunteer tourism, or “voluntourism,” is gaining popularity as a travel method that allows individuals to contribute to the communities they visit. Vikki Nicolai, a La Crosse, WI resident and expert in the field, highlights that while voluntourism can offer a profound sense of purpose and benefit destination areas, it also has its critics who argue that unskilled volunteers may sometimes cause more harm than good. Experts like Nicolai play a crucial role in this sector by aiding in the planning and executing trips, ensuring the initiatives are impactful, evaluating and improving projects, advocating for benefits and dispelling myths, and assisting with fundraising efforts. The involvement of experts enhances the effectiveness and positive impact of volunteer tourism by connecting volunteers to the communities they serve and guiding them to contribute meaningfully.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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