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The future for tourism after the crisis: does social tourism offer a route to sustainability?


The future for tourism after the crisis: does social tourism offer a route to sustainability? Scott McCabe, Deputy Director, Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The future for tourism after the crisis: does social tourism offer a route to sustainability?

The future for tourism after the crisis does
social tourism offer a route to sustainability?
  • Scott McCabe,
  • Deputy Director, Christel DeHaan Tourism and
    Travel Research Institute, Nottingham University
    Business School
  • http//

  • What is the prospect for tourism in the short
  • What is the role of tourism to individuals and
  • Social tourism definitions and actions?
  • The scope of social tourism in the UK?
  • The benefits of social tourism to the tourism
  • Social tourism as sustainable tourism for the
    future post-market society?
  • Tourism and public policy debates?

Economic crisis what crisis?
  • 2008 international tourist arrivals 924m
  • 2 growth for 2008 (but a -4 dip in 2009)
  • However North and West Europe is faring much
    worse than other regions (489m international
    arrivals for 2008 represents zero growth on 2007)
  • Clearly the business travel sector is badly hit
  • People taking less holidays and travel trips
  • Cutting back on volumes and spending on holidays
  • Holidays remain an important feature of household
    budgets (consumers likely to trade down, not out)
  • Cruise and all-inclusive sectors are doing
    reasonably well
  • Recession fatigue pushing holidaymakers to
    splash out
  • New trends staycations, enjoy every minute,
    domestic travel, home-stay holidays, new forms of
    sustainable and environmentally friendly
    alternatives glamping

  • Trading conditions are very tight
  • Operators are cutting back on capacity
  • Small operators are badly hit
  • Firms are focusing on their segments/margins

Why is tourism important?
  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure,
    including reasonable limitation of working hours
    and periodic holidays with pay (Universal
    Declaration of Human Rights 1948 24)
  • Everyone has the right to leave any country,
    including his own, and to return to his country
    (Art 13 (2) Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Manila declaration (1980) on world tourism
Tourism as a social policy concern
  • For working people they (holidays) represent an
    essential break, and for those who live in
    stressful and isolated situations through old
    age, ill-health or family circumstances they are
    recognised as having important medical and social
    benefitsit is a reflection of our social policy
    that those who are most in need of the benefits
    that a holiday can bring are least able to take
    one. (source ETB/TUC 1976 5)

Policy context UK
  • Three 'Breadline Britain' surveys that examined
    public attitudes to poverty and social exclusion
    found that a key activity which the majority of
    respondents (representative of the whole
    population) believed was that no one should be so
    poor as to be unable to afford a week's holiday
    away from home each year (Gordon et al, 2000).
  • However, it is suggested here that the inability
    to participate in tourism has been neglected in
    UK government policies that are aimed at
    alleviating social exclusion and that the concept
    of Social Tourism has achieved very little
    recognition in policy discourse in the UK
    (Corlyon and La Placa 2005 Hazel, 2005).

Social policy and tourism?
  • Despite central place occupied by leisure and
    recreation access as a social policy concern over
    a long time (e.g. Cahill 1994 Clarke and
    Critcher 1985 Glyptis 1989 Gratton and
    Taylor 1987)
  • Holidays have always occupied a grey area in
    social policy texts.
  • Always positioned as a component of leisure
    provision, exclusion linked to immobility
    (Cahill 1994)

Holiday participation in the UK
  • consistently only 60 of UK population takes a
    holiday (Roberts 2004)
  • In 2005-6, 3.8m children in the UK were living in
    income poverty a rise of 200 000 on the
    previous year (DWP 2007)
  • In terms of material deprivation, the HBAI report
    utilises the FRS data (since 2004). 55 of
    children living in the lowest income quintile do
    not have access to a weeks holiday each year
    compared to 3 in the top quintile (DWP/HBAI
    report2007 14).
  • The poorest 10 spend an average 2.50 per week
    on holidays compared with 68.70 per week by the
    richest 10 (Roberts, 2004a).

UK domestic trips by social group
  • Social Economic
  • Grouping Trips (millions) Nights
    (millions) Spend ( millions)
  • AB 42.88 126.67 8010.05
  • C1 40.77 124.72 6618.23
  • C2 21.23 69.58 3425.3
  • DE 21.42 79.11 2911.35

Source UKTS 2006 final results
Holidays are not available to all in society
but participation may not be linked only to low
incomes but other aspects of material deprivation
South West has a relatively low proportion of
people in low incomes
Eurobarometer Survey on the attitudes of
Europeans towards Tourism reflects long term UK
  • Overall, in 2008, two-thirds of EU citizens (67)
    made a private trip where they spent at least one
    night away from home 58 took a vacation,
    defined by a stay somewhere away from home for at
    least four consecutive nights for private
  • Most citizens who did not take a holiday in 2008
    said this was due a lack of the necessary funds.
  • About 1 in 10 (11), however, said they had
    serious financial problems that could impact
    their holiday plans. There were only six Member
    States where a clear majority who planned to take
    a holiday were confident they could afford to
    take a holiday in 2009 Finland (69), the
    Netherlands (66), Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark
    (all 62) and Austria (60).
  • while almost half (46) of the most-educated
    respondents who had made short private trips in
    2008 had made at least three such trips during
    2008, only 30 of the least-educated respondents
    had done so. Amongst the latter, 42 had made one
    short trip and 24 had made two such trips
    (compared to 27 and 25, respectively of the

Shows the effects of economic conditions on the
accessibility of tourism
But UK is relatively poor
Who is affected by poverty and social exclusion?
  • social exclusion, material deprivation social
    and relational aspects of poverty.
  • Families on low incomes
  • Families living with a disabled member
  • Single parent families
  • Older people
  • Children living in low income households
  • Socially isolated people
  • People with reduced mobility

  • 27 of disabled children in the UK are living in
  • It is 3 times more expensive to bring up a child
    who is disabled
  • In the UK last year there were around 4m people
    working on less than 7 per hour (the low pay
    threshold), many were part time and the
    proportion of women to men in the part time group
    was far higher
  • Low income In 2007/08, 13½ million people in
    the UK were living in households below the
    low-income threshold.  This is around a fifth
    (22) of the population.
  • In the same period 4.0 million children were
    living in low income households.

Hazel (2005) suggests the following benefits for
both disadvantaged and socially excluded
individuals and families from holiday taking
  • relief from stressful or mundane situations and a
    break from routine
  • mental health and well-being benefits
  • the encouragement of social interaction
  • the broadening of experience and widening of
  • the development of independence and
  • the strengthening of family relationships.

Benefits of participation?
  • health benefits
  • extensive survey by the English Tourism council
    (ETC 1999) into the health benefits of holidays
    which revealed that 91 of General Practitioners
    in the UK believe that a holiday can enhance
    quality of life.
  • It also stated that 87 believed that a holiday
    could help alleviate behavioural problems and
    (childhood) stress-related illness in children.
  • (Lewis 2001)

What is social tourism?
  • Hunziker (cited in Minnaert et al 2009316),
    describes Social Tourism as the relationships
    and phenomena in the field of tourism resulting
    from participation in travel by economically weak
    or otherwise disadvantaged elements in society
  • all of the relationships and phenomena resulting
    from participation in tourism, and in particular
    from the participation of social strata with
    modest incomes. This participation is made
    possible, or facilitated, by measures of a
    well-defined social nature. (BITS)

Beset with definitional problems
  • The term social tourism is used mainly in
    France, Belgium and Italy. The adjective social
    has indeed different connotations in
    English-speaking countries. There social
    tourism is often associated with ecotourism or
    volunteer tourism. (Diekmann et al 2009)
  • A survey conducted among social workers in 2006
    in the UK by the Family Holiday Association
    showed that 68 of 273 respondents had never
    heard the term social tourism and a large
    majority was not familiar with the continental
    system of holiday vouchers. (FHA example used in
    Diekmann et al 2009)
  • Minnaert et al (2007) argue that there is a
    difference between visitor and host-related
    definitions of social tourism encompassing a
    variety of different initiatives, commercial and
    non-commercial, governmental and private.

Key issues
  • No general social tourism concept
  • Numerous definitions
  • Different social tourism systems and
    implementation schemes
  • Little research....

Social tourism research
  • Limited
  • Often focuses on barriers to participation and
    benefits to specific target groups
  • Charity sector has limited resources to undertake
    detailed research
  • Charities often serve a particular group and so
    research is not connected
  • Recent renewed interest

Attempt to tackle major research categories who
does what?
  • Very little consideration of non-participation
  • No knowledge of voluntary self-excluders
  • No macro-scale analyses of datasets of
  • Lack of dialogue with some key areas of social
    science including social policy research

Social Tourism some relevant theoretical concepts
  • Economy
  • Supply and tourism employment,
  • seasonality,
  • economic impact of social tourism initiatives
  • Social issues
  • Social policy and social justice
  • Wellbeing and quality of life
  • Education and employment
  • environment
  • Sustainability and seasonality

  • A need for much greater research on benefits,
    disparities of participation
  • Great dialogue between tourism research and
    leisure, sport, recreation and the social policy
    academic fields
  • Need to engage Government and local political as
    well as the charity/voluntary sector in making
    the case for social tourism

The organization of social tourism in the UK
  • We undertook a study (June 2009)
  • 650 organizations listed on a online charity
  • 88 selected Registered charity as the current
    status of their organisation and
  • 85 indicated that they are currently providing
    access to short breaks/respite care/holidays for
    disadvantaged or sick people.
  • Other types of organisational status were hospice
    (5), local government initiatives, respite care,
    faith organisations and individual support groups
    (2 each).

How are they involved?
  • 67 selected grant-giving for breaks and respite
    care provision as their main type of support,
  • the remaining were subsidised or free
    accommodation (21),
  • provision of information and other services (9)
  • support in completing applications to
    organisations which offer funding (3).

UK social tourism providers
  • Mostly small charities
  • Main aim is to provide breaks/holidays
  • Dealing with small numbers of beneficiaries
  • Targeting specific groups
  • Have funding issues

Different models of social tourism in Europe
Specific Accommodation Facilities
Holiday voucher
Funding for disadvantaged people
Source Diekmann et al 2008 and Diekmann and
McCabe forthcoming
Funding social tourism initiatives in the EU
Source Diekmann and McCabe forthcoming
Who needs a holiday? Evaluating social tourism
(McCabe 2009)
  • Study undertaken with the social tourism forum
    (3 major charities)
  • Analysis of application forms and a follow-on
    survey and focus groups
  • Aim was to develop better data collection to
    inform policy and to understand the benefits of
    financial support for holidaymaking

The needs for and benefits of a holiday
We need a holiday because?
  • To escape difficult circumstances
  • practical
  • physical/environmental
  • relational/social
  • and health/individual.

The analysis revealed how applicants felt the
holiday would provide opportunities and benefits,
  • to have fun
  • to be normal
  • to create memories
  • to have a change of scene
  • to relax for a change
  • to experience new things
  • as a reward for something.

  • Follow up survey results opportunity for fun and
    happy memories for the children is most important

Focus group findings
  • The chance to have fun/having fun together.
  • Chance to get away. Being active and
    experiencing new things/places.
  • Freedom (from chores, routines, freedom of the
  • Changed pace of life. Unwind, slow down, step
    back, live differently.
  • Appreciate home more

Childrens perspectives
  • Activities and adventures
  • Having fun
  • Doing new things
  • Playing together (cousins and new friends)

Policy implications
  • in relation to current UK Government concerns on
  • Citizenship,
  • Social inclusion and integration (cohesion)
  • Health and wellbeing,
  • Ageing,
  • Disability and mental health
  • poverty.

Clearly an important role for holidays in
policies on children and families
  • health and well-being particularly in relation to
    the treatment of stress related illnesses and
    disorders but also in a range of other potential
    treatments or holistic and alternative therapies
    in terms of children on
  • Education, child growth and development, skills
  • social inclusion, life satisfaction. Quality of
  • work and return to work policies.

Example older people
  • Age Concern identify that the benefits of
    holidays to older people can include
  • confidence building,
  • socialising, and
  • providing a benefit for carers (who could
    accompany their friends or relatives or decide to
    stay behind and have a break from their caring

Ageing population exacerbates a problem for older
  • half of all pensioners do not meet minimum income
    requirements to provide for a modest, but above
    poverty level, lifestyle (including two 5 five
    day holidays in the UK not abroad, and no
    private transport).
  • This figure is likely to rise even higher in
  • Age concerns Director-General, Gordon Lishman,
    said Our pensions system simply isnt working.
    Too many older people today are not reaching
    decent incomes in retirement and the position for
    future pensioners is uncertain.
  • (Age Concern Modest but Adequate 2002)

  • National Benevolent Fund for the Aged
    ( identify
  • helping to combat the isolation and loneliness
    that older people feel once the front door is
    shut. The holiday provides an opportunity for
    socialising, having fun and making new friends.
    The change of scene is rejuvenating and boosts
    self confidence for people who are living on
    their own. The benefits of the holiday continue
    long after the return home with holidaymakers
    continuing to meet with new friends.
  • There are also potential health benefits
  • physical benefits brought about in a change to a
    favourable climate or more perceived health
    benefits brought about by a change in scenery
  • do holidays help with the grieving process?
  • Role of Holidays in the National Dementia
    Strategy (2008), 570,000 UK sufferers, set to
    quadruple in 30 yrs time

Example young people
  • Holidays can influence life chances i.e.
    impact upon the future development of the
  • Provide opportunities for young people to learn
    more about themselves and develop their
    interpersonal skills in a fun and engaging
    environment out of the context of the home
  • The YHA are long established and active providers
    of opportunities for disadvantaged children e.g.
    Community Spirit Breaks to combat community
    cohesion issues (DCFS)

  • Children perhaps occupy a privileged position in
  • According to a recent UNICEF report on child
    wellbeing, the UK ranked lowest of all the OECD
  • The Children's Commissioner for England,
    Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, said "We are
    turning out a generation of young people who are
    unhappy, unhealthy, engaging in risky behaviour,
    who have poor relationships with their family and
    their peers, who have low expectations and don't
    feel safe. (BBC 24/02/07)

Other groups
  • New economic migrants/established migrant
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Disabled people (currently 2.7m people on
    incapacity benefits)
  • Particularly concerning is the rise in mental
    health problems in society
  • Not simply an issue of poverty but many
    disadvantaged groups have combinations which make
    participation more difficult i.e. poverty ?

  • But there are also wider implications than simply
    for individuals and UK society, there is the
    impact on the tourism industry itself and the
    wider EU economy/society

Sustainable tourism is social tourism
  • In promoting access for groups for which going on
    holiday has progressively become more difficult,
    social tourism strengthens the tourism industry's
    revenue generation potential. Social tourism aids
    mobility and enables off-season tourism to be
    developed, particularly in regions where tourism
    is highly seasonal. Accordingly, social tourism
    encourages the creation of longer-lasting
    employment opportunities in the tourism sector,
    in line with the Lisbon Strategy, by making it
    possible to extend such jobs beyond the
    respective peak season
  • (http//
    vities/social_tourism/index_en.htm) June 2009

  • ANCV
  • 2.5 million people purchase holiday vouchers
  • A total of 7 million people accessed a holiday
    per year as a result of the vouchers
  • 135,000 outlets accept the holiday vouchers
  • Over 3 billion Euros put into French domestic
    tourism industry

  • Helps 700,000 old people access low season
    holidays at the Spanish seaside at a cost of EUR
    75 million but results in additional government
    revenues of EUR 125 million
  • 8,000 direct jobs and an estimated 45,000
    indirect jobsPwC evaluation indicated that it
    had recognised health benefits but had not
    calculated savings to health service.

Study on the Competitiveness ofthe EU tourism
industry Nov 2009
  • Action 4.3 - Support tourism for all at EU
    level DG Enterprise currently coordinates the
    Calypso action which particularly aims at
    elaborating a mechanism enabling particular
    target groups (senior citizens, young people and
    families facing difficult social circumstances)
    to go on holiday in another Member State, on the
    basis of themed programmes and accommodation
    offers recommended by public authorities
    (national, regional or local), possibly in the
    low season. The rationale behind this initiative
    is to enhance employment, reduce seasonality in
    tourist demand and improve regional and local

Calypso prepatory actions and outcomes
  • generate economic activity and growth across
    Europe (by facilitating the development of
    European tourism programmes for target groups).
  • improve tourism seasonality patterns across
    Europe, particularly through the social policy
    function of tourism (tourism growth patterns
    encouraging economic activity by target groups
    during the low season as a means to reduce
    unemployment risks for tourism personnel
    mitigating pressures on the physical
    infrastructure of developed destinations by
    promoting tourism outside the peak months assist
    in the development of small emerging destinations
    in the context of regional development).
  • create more and better jobs in the tourism sector
    (respect for tourism sustainability challenges
    strengthening full-time employment prospects as
    opposed to seasonal part-time work improving
    employment conditions by stressing the importance
    of a qualitative work environment throughout the
    entire tourism supply chain).
  • increase the European citizenship (providing
    tangible opportunities to improve mobility,
    self-fulfilment, socialising and active learning
    for families, youths and seniors).
  • (http//

Discussion issues
  • Role of tourism participation in contemporary
    consumer society?
  • Contribution of tourism to achieve personal and
    social development?
  • Need for much greater research on social tourism?
  • Government role to provide stimulus to tourism

Many thanks!Any discussion questions