Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism – An Innovative Voluntourism Product
2020 – 2022
The implementation of the “Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism – An Innovative Voluntourism Product” project began on September 17th, 2020. Led by Ventula Travel Ltd., the project is supported by partners: Association “MI” – Split, Aspira College – Split and the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies.
The total value of the project is 184.108.40.206 HRK and the grant is provided in part by the European Social Fund (85%) and in part by the Croatian government (15%). The duration of the project is 18 months.
We joined forces with civil society organisations and educational institutions with a common goal to create a project that will turn its head from mass tourism, offer more content, and include various participants from the local community. Tourists are looking for more meaningful forms of travel, more than just a typical vacation of leisure time and relaxing on the beach. We wanted to offer something more, perhaps equally relaxing, but educational, uplifting and memorable at the same time.
Voluntourism represents a conscious, seamlessly integrated combination of volunteering opportunities in a destination interlaced with modern elements of travel featuring art, culture, history, and physical activities. In this sense, volunteers are given the chance to live and work in societies and cultures different from their own, while developing their understanding, social awareness and responsibility.
During the project, activities were aimed at strengthening the capacities and knowledge of people involved in the project’s implementation, including young, unemployed persons and students, informing target groups and the public about the concept of voluntourism and social entrepreneurship, and finally, developing voluntourism products with which Ventula Travel DMC can enrich its offers.
With the help of our project partners, we developed two voluntourism products within this project.
By volunteering at the archaeological site in Salona, tourists were given the opportunity to participate in the excavations of the ancient Roman site with expert guidance. Additionally, the project also enabled local organizations from Split-Dalmatia County to associate and, for the first time ever, allow tourists to participate in a volunteer activity organized by the Local Volunteering Center in Sinj – the Srma Association.
Also, starting from this season, voluntourists will have the opportunity to learn about and renovate traditional dry-stone walls on Hvar, thanks to the networking of local associations and public institutions from the area of the island of Hvar.
By combining the experience and knowledge of the private, public, and civil sectors, it is possible to create and develop innovations that support (social) entrepreneurs, associations, and other stakeholders with similar values.