Are travel philanthropists doing more harm than good?

Topic Selected: Travel and Tourism

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Are travel philanthropists doing more harm than good?

Marina Novelli, University of Brighton

It seems like the best of both worlds. People using their hard-earned vacation time to give something back to those worse off than themselves. At its finest, travel philanthropy is seen as a form of direct development assistance – a benign initiative flowing from the travel industry and travellers into conservation initiatives, community projects and philanthropic organisations.

As Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai commented at a conference in Tanzania in 2008:

Travel philanthropy was born out of the frustration with conventional aid and ineffective philanthropic giving, as a form of development assistance flowing from the travel

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