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New Tourism

Woofing: changing your life for the holidays

Discovering the world, getting out of one's environment, this is what woofing is all about. A new form of tourism that aims to support sustainable and ecological agriculture through an educational work exchange. In short, it is an innovative and affordable tourism for all.

The original term “wwoofing” is a neologism, formed from the initials of an association created in the 1970s in the United Kingdom by Sue Coppard and called WWOOF: World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It involves volunteering to work for a few hours mainly on an organic farm in exchange for accommodation and meals. The tasks are variable, such as DIY, gardening or picking. This approach to tourism is developing especially among young travellers, but it confirms a recent evolution in tourism that places sharing, enriching encounters and authenticity at the heart of holidays.

A journey of discovery for woofers

The initial idea of woofing is to encourage cultural exchange and build a global community that is sensitive to ecological farming practices. The woofers immerse themselves in the local culture to experience an unforgettable human adventure, an enriching journey of initiation. The host, for his part, shares with the woofers the values he holds dear, healthy food, a strengthening of ties with nature, a new vision of the world and of human relations.

This type of tourism is similar to “slow travel“, it invites us to slow down our pace of life to savour the moment. Indeed, with woofing, we immerse ourselves in the place we visit by sharing the daily life of its inhabitants.

Femme faisant du woofing

To organise your trip, simply go to the WWOOF website, choose your destination and become a member by purchasing the guidebook which lists all the organic farms accepting woofers in that country. There are free alternatives such as Workaway.

Woofing seduces on social networks

This new form of tourism is meeting a growing interest on social networks. Abby Vogel on Instagram (and on TikTok) shares her experiences of woofing, she travels all over the world (Italy, USA, Hawaii…) thanks to this way of vacationing. Her videos raise questions and create great visibility for the farms she visits.

A concept that extends to the field of hotel hospitality

The concept has more recently developed in gites or hotels, so woofing becomes an opportunity for visibility and sharing for the hosts. The tasks can vary (cleaning, service, reception…) in exchange for food and lodging.

Here is the example of an ecolodge between the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. They recruit volunteers all year round to welcome guests, run the bar and do their communication. In exchange, they offer a comfortable room with Wifi and meals.
A photo of the Peruvian hotel’s beer can be seen in front of the Eiffel Tower. Thus, the former volunteers have spontaneously become ambassadors of the hotel in the world, which is another important advantage of Woofing for the hosts.

How to use woofing in brand communication?

  • Create a storytelling around the Woofing process within the establishment, the places, the tasks, the atmosphere… Your audience will appreciate this content which allows you to show your products and places in a new way. It will help you recruit volunteers too.
  • Share the experience of Woofers and what they do in your hotel/farm to encourage new workers to come: testimonials, short videos…
  • Use these hashtags to get noticed: #wwoof #woofing #travel #farm #woofindadventure #workaway #workexchange #nomadlife #volunteer

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