“But it’s in a way that doesn’t really help to resolve the issues. It’s more of a one-way interaction where they may gain more knowledge on an issue, maybe there’s a donation involved to a local charity—which of course I’m not minimizing—but it doesn’t do anything to address any of the root causes of the issues.”

Among the general population, voluntourism has a positive connotation in the sense that rather than just having fun, people are also making an effort to help others. But among people who study the field or are experts in the area of international development, there’s a lot more skepticism.