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Social Tourism Essay

2226 words - 9 pages

Social tourism

According to the survey in 1985, there were nearly 40% of respondents in the UK could not participate in an annual trip because of economic barriers. Furthermore, another important reason for 14% respondents could not take an annual trip was “personal disability”. Even though there is a connection between poverty and disability, large amounts of poor people whose poverty proved to have no connection with disability. Therefore, it is highly possible for low income families to take trips annually by adopting some measurements. It is necessary for people to take trips annually. 63% of respondents considered leaving home and taking a one-week trip yearly is essential, and fail ...view middle of the document...

Finally it shows how low-income groups benefit from Social Tourism and positive effects Social Tourism made on increasing family and social capital.

Minnaert, Maitland and Miller (2007) distinguish Social Tourism between visitor related forms and host related forms. The former one consists of decreasing social exclusion through providing support for economically disadvantaged and other excluded groups, while host related forms of social tourism concentrate on redistribution among host-guest communities. Since the values of tourism were proved in terms of economy more than health and social aspects, there is little government policy towards social tourism, especially in the UK. Even though the topic of “Tourism for All” aimed to solve problems of the disabled and improve participation has been established in 1999 in “Tomorrow’s Tourism” policy (DCMS, 1999), there is no sustainable development in “Tomorrow’s Tourism Today” policy, the follow-up policy paper in 2004 (DCMS, 2004). Social Tourism in the UK was chiefly supported by voluntary and charitable bodies instead of government. There are large amounts of charitable organizations in the UK. The Family Holiday Association (FHA) as one of the most important UK contributor of Social Tourism specially focuses on economically disadvantaged families. About 1400 families are able to take a holiday per year with the assistance of FHA, and assistants consist of religious organizations, health and social services workers as well as other agencies. Specific requirement of accepting aid is families with low income are unable to take a holiday for more than four years. Besides, The Family Fund (FF) as another important UK charity devotes itself to providing equally tourism opportunities for families with a strictly disabled child, which is supported by direct Government grant (McCabe, 2009). Compared with Social Tourism in the UK, it has been taken in a different structure in other European countries. Take Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium for examples. Not only have policies been enthusiastically followed, but also governments provide finance assistance for some organizations to decrease the cost of tourism in terms of accommodation and transport. Discounted holidays are achieved by reducing financial barriers supported by financial assistance from government, unions and employers (Hughes, 1991). In addition to the limitation in taking practice to reduce financial barriers, UK did not implement the European model of policy towards Social Tourism, for instance, the World Tourism Organization (1980), also resulting in their weakness in Social Tourism. This section detailed explains what Social Tourism is and how it develops in the UK and other European countries. Reasons why low-income families need a holiday and how they can benefit from Social Tourism will be evaluated in the following sections.

Reasons why low-income families need a holiday can be divided into several categories. Firstly, a...

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