Social Tourism

Social Tourism and the Montreal Declaration of the International Social Tourism Organisation

To allow for a large number of people excluded from the regular tourist movement access to holidays and travels, is both a current project and a project for the future, to which the International Social Tourism Organization - ISTO has been dedicating itself since 1963.

With the assumption of the idea of tourism of development as a guide to its actions, ISTO has harmonized the historical struggle to overcome the inequalities of access to tourism to the precepts of the social economy, seeking to ensure that the type of tourism promoted and implemented by its members brings genuine development to host populations and ensure the rights of the workers, aligning under its aegis other forms of tourism, such as solidarity tourism, community tourism, and accessible tourism.


The Montreal Declaration defines Social Tourism as:

  • A shaper of society
  • A promotor of economic growth
  • Actor of participation in regional planning and local development
  • A partner in global development programs

The identification criteria of Social Tourism are:

  • The proposed activities bring together social, educational and cultural objectives favoring the respect and the development of the individual.
  • The target public is clearly identified, without discrimination on racial, cultural, religious, political, philosophical or social grounds.
  • A non-economic added-value forms an integral part of the proposed product.
  • A will to non-disruptive integration into local environment is clearly expressed.
  • The type of activity and the price clearly indicated in the contract documents. Prices are compatible with the stated social objectives. Annual surpluses, in whole or in part, will be re-invested for the improvement of services offered to the public. 
  • Personnel management is in accordance with social legislation, and undertakes to promote job satisfaction and deliver appropriate on-going staff development training. 

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