Social tourism as part of unemployment policies?

Kostas and John McDonald, Director, Family Holiday Association

Konstantinos Kakoudakis’s academic paper Social tourism and self-efficacy has just been published by respected journal Annals of Tourism Research.

Working with Prof Scott McCabe at Nottingham University, Kostas undertook research with families we support where parent/s were long term unemployed. His research showed that our breaks created the conditions for people that helped them look for work (or other related activities) once they got back home. Just published in a respected tourism journal it helps to build the case for the tangible benefits of a break. Have also attached a report that he produced summarising his research nicely.

The research shows that breaks give parents the space to think about things away from their day to day environments and the act of preparing, managing and going on the break gives them the belief (self-efficacy) that they are able to achieve things in other areas of their lives.

Our charity is always happy to encourage and facilitate research into the benefits of social tourism. We do our best to maintain a database of all English-language research into this area here on the Holidays Matters website.

Research Highlights

• Investigates links between tourism participation and individual and socio-economic benefits.

• Integrates tourist experience, social cognitive theory, and job-search behaviour.

• Uses a mixed-methods and semi-longitudinal research design.

• Shows positive effects of social tourism for disadvantaged populations.

• Shows how enabling environments bring about positive cognitive and behavioural changes.


Social tourism is assumed to provide important psychological benefits for economically and socially disadvantaged populations. This study examines empirically whether these individual benefits are associated with socio-economic benefits to society by focusing on unemployed individuals. Psychological benefits are addressed in terms of self-efficacy, and socio-economic benefits, in terms of job-search behaviour. Findings from mixed-methods data reveal that holidays create enabling environments, which bring about positive changes in participants’ self-efficacy, contributing to positive effects on their job-search behaviour. Positive effects are also identified with regard to behaviours towards alternative paths to employment, such as volunteering. Given that these behavioural changes comprise major determinants of re-employment, it is suggested that social tourism may hold potential for incorporation into existing unemployment policies.

Access paper

Click here to access the paper direct


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