What is Social Tourism?

Social tourism can be defined as the effects and phenomena resulting from the participation in tourism, more specifically the participation of low-income groups. This participation is made possible or is facilitated by initiatives of a well-defined social nature.

Social tourism should benefit low-income persons not only by facilitating travel opportunities, but also by extending the benefits of tourism development to low-income persons at the destination level. ISTO had adopted different terms for the two interpretations: the former interpretation of social tourism is referred as 'Tourism for All' and the latter as 'Solidarity Tourism'. 


Different types of Social Tourism

In order to cover the different types of social tourism, Minnaert, Maitland and Miller (2007, 2009) defined social tourism as 'tourism with an added moral value, of which the primary aim is to benefit either the host or the visitor in the tourism exchange'. This definition also makes a distinction between initiatives that mainly aim to increase participation in tourism for disadvantaged groups and those that mainly aim to increase the economic benefits of tourism for disadvantaged groups.