The United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is moving the concept of voluntourism from the mainland to the islands with a new collection of activities for groups. The initiative kicked off earlier this year with a fam trip for meeting planners. The group volunteered on St. Thomas with members of the Savan Boys Club to beautify the Jane E. Tuitt Basketball Court. (See photo.)

“Voluntourism is a natural fit because we're a U.S. territory with all the same charities, from Habitat for Humanity to the American Cancer Society,” says Loán Sewer, director of sales. “When people think of voluntourism, they think of an international travel experience. We are exotic, yet still part of the United States.”

Sewer ( has a list of projects for groups to consider, or she can work with them to create their own.