Social tourism in the UK – a short history

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Social tourism, as a term, is not well known in the UK and is even less understood. 

But actually helping people access a break is a long-established practice here; indeed, a recent on-line social tourism survey carried out by the University of Nottingham and the University of Exeter of the not-for-profit sector in England and Wales alone showed that upwards of 600 registered charities provided, as part of the help they offer to people, support with breaks and day trips.

“To give children a holiday in the country does not at once fit them to become either useful workers and desirable members of the community or healthy parents of a new generation, but it affords an admirable stimulus to all manifestations of their physical and moral progress.” The Lancet[1] June 1907

From the Industrial Revolution and well into the first part of last century, the more benevolent factory owners organised holidays for their employees and, even today, some employer and trade union schemes still exist. However, there is no equivalent to be found here in the UK to compare to the social tourism facilities and structures common in mainland Europe. Continue reading

Roundtable on social tourism – April 2016

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Members of the social tourism round table – April 2016

 

The Family Holiday Association is just one of a wealth of organisations in Britain working in the field of social tourism, improving access to breaks for those who cannot normally afford them, for a multitude of reasons.

But uniquely, over the years the Family Holiday Association has acted as a champion of social tourism, supporting research, working with partners and trying to explain both the social and economic value of social tourism.

The charity supported the All Party Parliamentary Group’s Social Tourism report, Giving Britain a Break, that was put together back in 2011 under the auspices of the Chairman, Paul Maynard MP.

We believe it is time to do a further push on social tourism. This was the purpose of the April round table during which we heard from a number of different groups who since 2011 have come on board and done some amazing work.  You can read the report from the meeting in Westminster here.

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Download the Social Tourism Round Table Report

Some of the key issues and actions that were raised are detailed below.

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Paul Maynard MP, APPG chair, visits Flanders

Paul Maynard MP meeting Mr Geert Bourgeois, the Flanders Government Tourism Minister in August 2012.
Paul Maynard MP meeting Mr Geert Bourgeois, the Flanders Government Tourism Minister in August 2012.

One of the pleasures of my work is meeting really nice people.  And Paul Maynard MP is one of those people.  He was part of the new intake of MPs from the 2010 general election when he was elected in Blackpool North under the Conservative banner.

I met with him just a few months after the election when he agreed to be chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Tourism.  Since then he has been a champion of social tourism in the Commons and has provided advice and guidance to the Family Holiday Association ever since. Continue reading