MEDIA RELEASE – World Tourism Day: Cufa Explores Volunteer Tourism in Podcast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 27th September 2018

Cufa has today released a new episode in their podcast series, Conversations in Development, hosted by Cufa’s CEO Dr Peter Mason and journalist Olivia Rosenman.

Focusing on volunteer tourism, the episode features special guest Stephen Wearing. Stephen is a professor at the University of Newcastle and University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on sustainable tourism and the importance of community-based approaches in the tourism and volunteering sector. He also spent 22 years running VOICE, a not-for-profit organisation that sent volunteers on grassroots, community-identified development projects.

World Tourism Day, 27 September, celebrates tourism and raises awareness for the role that it provides within the international community. It is one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world.

This Conversations in Development episode explores volunteer tourism, a multi-billion dollar industry in which travellers participate in voluntary work. Stephen discusses what the industry is missing while using his expert insight to outline how the industry is changing. Additionally, he explores in what way it could be better regulated and the role that the media plays in popular perceptions of volunteer tourist destinations.

Cufa’s CEO, Dr Peter Mason commented, “Volunteer tourism is an excellent initiative if it is completed in a sustainable and respectful manner. The industry has, unfortunately, developed a bad reputation for institutions such as orphanages. Volunteer trips should be focused on making enduring skill based contributions that benefit communities in the long-term.”

Conversations in Development is available to download and stream with Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast platform.

Visit the podcast website:

Conversations in Development: RSS feed

Dr. Peter Mason is the CEO of international development agency Cufa. Cufa’s programs focus on economic development of underserved and disadvantaged communities across the Asia Pacific region. With multiple approaches including education, employment, enterprise, and financial institution development, Cufa’s projects are implemented by local Cufa offices and country staff who work with local communities, organisations, and government. Peter has worked in Cambodia, Timor Leste, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Micronesia. His research interests include examining the way in which the social and the economic interact within the development environment and he has recently published a chapter, Credit Unions, in The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization.

Olivia Rosenman is the executive producer of Fourth Estate, a weekly media affairs show radio broadcast in Sydney on 2SER. She has previously worked as a reporter for news agencies in both Sydney and Asia. As an AusAID Youth Ambassador for Development, Olivia ran the communications department of a disability services organization in Nanning, China. Olivia holds a Master of Journalism from the University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.


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