Seminars & workshops

Youth Tourism, a Vector of Development? – March 29th 2017

On March 29th 2017 in Namur, Belgium was a symposium on the theme “Youth Tourism, a Vector of Development?” organised by the Gîtes d'Étape du Centre Belge du Tourisme des Jeunes and the International Social Tourism Organisation.

Travel, tourism and leisure are often seen as idle and consumerist practices. Their links with the worlds of education, economy, health, social integration or citizenship are numerous, but not always highlighted. Especially for youth tourism!

What are the links between the practices of your organisation and the tourism and youth sectors? How can you put them in perspective? How does the evolution of those sectors influence your own activity? Does the “access for all” practices in tourism affect you? And what innovations does the future hold?

In order to try and answer these questions and to open up different avenues of reflection and action, the Gîtes d’Étape, in partnership with the International Social Tourism Organisation, organised a day of debates and exchanges.


In introduction to the day, Carlos Vogeler, Executive Director of relations with members at the UNWTO and Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility addressed the participants through video intervention.

Intervention of Marianne Thyssen

Intervention of Carlos Vogeler
- Luc Greffier, Master of conferences at the Université de Bordeaux and author of the book "Le Tourisme peut-il encore être social?"

- Marc Pili, Director of Vacances Ouvertes: the tools of formation and integration within the scope of social tourism

- Muriel Antoniotti, Manager Pôle Montagne-Tourisme pour tous of the Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: economic transversality and territorial development of social tourism

- Vanessa Grandgagnage, Coordinator of the Direction de la Stratégie touristique du Commissariat général au Tourisme: the Walloon Plan to combat poverty and equal access to tourism

A document summarizing the interventions and workshops of the day will soon be published.

You can also find a short video summarizing this day of exchanges, here.

9th Responsible Tourism Forum at FITUR - 19 January

The Forum "Responsible Tourism and Social Tourism united to 2017: Synergies and perspectives" took place on January 19 at the FITUR International Holiday Fair in Madrid (Spain). ISTO President, Jean Marc Mignon, ISTO Director Charles Etienne Bélanger, ISTO Americas Director Veronica Gomez and Vice-President of EARTh José Maria de Juan Alonso where present at this Forum, which was organised by the Spanish Center for Responsable Tourism (CETR) in collaboration with the ISTO, EARTH and other organisations. More info. 


Presentations (spanish only)

Jean Marc Mignon, ISTO President [Text]
Veronica Gomez, ISTO Americas Director [presentation]
Tamara Ramos, Travelife [presentation]
Juan Pablo Pérez, Green Destinations [presentation]


Seminar: Under what conditions is the access to Tourism beneficial for everyone?

On January 13 at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), a seminar took place: "Under what conditions is the access to Tourism beneficial for everyone?" Organised by the Conseil québécois du loisir and ISTO, important national and international participants and speakers of the tourism sector discussed best practices of Québec, international public policies and programs to promote the access for tourism for all. 


[Introduction] Jean Marc Mignon, ISTO President

Diversité des interventions en tourisme social au Québec
Moderator: Sonia Vaillancourt, Directrice of Development, Conseil québécois du loisir
and Vice-president, International Social Tourism Organisation

Yves Godin, ISTO Secretary General - The Montreal Declaration [presentation]

Mohamed Reda Khomsi Ph.D, Département d'études urbaines et touristiques
École des sciences de la gestion, University of Quebec in Montreal [presentation]

Robert Rodrigue, Director, Mouvement québécois des vacances familiales

Pierre-Paul Leduc, Director, Festivals et événements Québec [presentation]

Mario Lebrun, Director, Fédération québécoise du canot et du kayak [presentation]

Dave Laveau, Director, Tourisme Autochtone Québec [presentation]

Politiques publiques et programmes pour favoriser l'accessibilité au tourisme
Moderator: Pierre Tremblay, President, CA Global tourisme, Administrator, International Social Tourism Organisations

Béatrice Alain, Director, Forum mondial de l'économie sociale GSEF 2016 [presentation]

Bernard Noulin, President, Agence nationale du chèque vacances in France
Charles Bélanger, Directeur, International Social Tourism Organisation - Good practice: Holiday program for seniors in Spain IMSERSO [presentation]

Veronica Gomez, Director International Social Tourism Organisation Americas - Public Policies of Social Tourism in the Americas: case study of Chili [presentation]

Jean-Marc Mignon, President, International Social Tourism Organisation - Engagement of ISTO towards the UNWTO [presentation]