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The International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO), initially created under the name International Bureau for Social Tourism (B.I.T.S.) in 1963, is an international non-profit making organization whose mission is to promote access to leisure, holidays and tourism for all i.e. young people, families, senior citizens and disabled people. It also wishes to promote sustainable and solidarity tourism to the benefit of the local population and with respect for natural and cultural heritage. 

The ISTO has two main goals:

  • To raise awareness among governments, international institutions and local and regional authorities competent for social policies in tourism and best practices which facilitate holidays for all.
  • To become a true platform for exchanges and services for the members by stimulating the exchange of experiences, know-how and project development.  

The members of the ISTO are private and public organizations that are either profit-making or non-profit-making. These include tourist organizations, such as owners of holiday centres or villages, youth hostel networks, agencies and operators, trade unions, cooperatives, NGOs, educational institutions and official tourist organizations, all of which perform an activity that is useful to social tourism. 

The ISTO currently has 160 members in 35 countries in Europe, the Americas and Africa, including about a dozen states and over 30 local and regional authorities.

Presentation ISTO leaflet:

A Fair and Sustainable Tourism for All de Oits Isto