vol·​un·​tour·​ism ˌvä-lən-ˈtu̇r-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce voluntourism (audio)
: the act or practice of doing volunteer work as needed in the community where one is vacationing
voluntourist noun

Examples of voluntourism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are plenty of opportunities to have a similar voluntourism experience and make your trip to Hawaii more rewarding – while also possibly saving you hundreds of dollars. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 25 May 2023 Below are some voluntourism opportunities from hotels to consider when planning your next visit to Hawaii. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 25 May 2023 Inspiring individuals with a desire to make a difference and improve the lives of people all over the world, voluntourism might include time on vacation spent volunteering at an orphanage, working with grassroots organizations to build wells or homes, or helping at local schools. Imani Bashir, Travel + Leisure, 6 Feb. 2023 Visitors can work with the organization to do some voluntourism, helping them to replant native species, pull weeds, and water, among other outdoor activities. Amanda Ogle, Travel + Leisure, 28 Dec. 2021 There are also longer-standing reasons why the word ‘voluntourism’ strikes such a worrisome chord for many. Shivani Ashoka, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Mar. 2022 Yet net-gain voluntourism feels increasingly harder to identify. Shivani Ashoka, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Mar. 2022 The nonprofit runs robust voluntourism programs across South Africa that include radio tracking, behavioral monitoring, and identifying prints from paws and hooves. Rachel Rebibo, Travel + Leisure, 9 June 2022 For a deeper experience, consider a volunteer vacation, also known as voluntourism. Ken Budd, Travel + Leisure, 15 July 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'voluntourism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


blend of volunteer entry 3 and tourism

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of voluntourism was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near voluntourism

Cite this Entry

“Voluntourism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voluntourism. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!