Development of Voluntourism in Dominica

A Strategic Plan for Voluntourism which provided the Discover Dominica Authority with a development framework and a Volunteer Manual for how to establish a volunteer project.

The Brief

Following the destruction of Hurricane Maria in 2017 and subsequent volunteering by visitors to help rebuild the island, DDA employed Acorn to investigate the potential for developing voluntourism in Dominica and develop a strategic plan, compiling a realistic and implementable plan for activities.

Our Solution

Comprehensive primary and secondary research was undertaken to build up a complete picture of the current situation in order to identify potential for the future.  This included an analysis of types of volunteer tourism activities, popular destinations and market characteristics.

A period of face-to-face consultations amongst various stakeholders across different sectors in Dominica was undertaken to establish the current level of voluntourism on the island.  Further consultations with global tour operators was conducted to assess the inbound market for international volunteering, discover how operators work with communities to set up volunteer programmes, establish best practice and ensure sustainability.  The project explored a variety of practical issues required by the sector such as transportation, accommodation, health and safety and communications.


The deliverables from the research were:

  • A Strategic Plan that included a development framework for individuals and organisations wanting to move into the sector.  
  • A Volunteer Manual that outlined how to establish a volunteer project, the role of volunteers, best practice and policies/procedures relating to volunteer programme management.