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News Article

Social policies in tourism


New ISTO publication released

ISTO (International Social Tourism Organization) has released a publication offering 20 examples of social policies and schemes in tourism. The publication "Tourism in Actions - 20 Examples of Social Policies and Programs around the World" was presented on the occasion of the ISTO General Assembly held in La Roche-en-Ardenne (Wallonia/Belgium) on 18-19 October 2017.

This guide aims to present 20 cases of social policies and schemes in tourism, implemented in 17 countries around the world which have proven themselves, have benefited many people as well as the local economy, and have helped to train stakeholders or improve the quality of services.

While the majority of programmes are from Europe, including two from Belgium and three from France, the publication also features countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile. South Korea and Mexico. They include both national and local government schemes, as well as those from the tourism industry or charities. As an example of a government scheme, in Spain the Spanish Institute of Senior Citizens and Social Services (Instituto de Mayores y Servicios Sociales - IMSERSO) is offering senior citizens the opportunity to go on holidays from October to June and spend their free time travelling to various destinations in Spain on favourable economic terms. This scheme both promotes a more active lifestyle and greater social participation among older people, and helps support the tourist industry during the low tourism season.

Other cases in the publication target children or families. In Russia, the Moscow City Culture Department organises holidays and leisure activities for children, focusing on children with disabilities, orphans and low income families. In the UK, the Family Holiday Association is a charity which provides breaks for UK families struggling with issues such as severe and sudden illness, bereavement, mental health issues, disability and domestic violence. And in Hungary, the non-profit Hungarian National Foundation for Recreation involves over 1% of the country’s population in domestic tourism through social tourism grants to seniors, large families, disabled people and children.

Produced by the ISTO with the support of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance (DGE), this electronic publication is available in French and English.

A search of Leisure Tourism using the phrase “social tourism” finds just over 300 records. A selection of relevant bibliographic records is listed below.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • David Simpson
  • Date
  • 30 October 2017
  • Subject(s)
  • Tourism