martedì 11 novembre 2008

Turismo-Sociale (in originale) quanto condiviso a livello Planetario-SOCIAL TOURISM: Concepts and definitions from B.I.T.S.

SOCIAL TOURISM: Concepts and definitions

Considering the diversity of perceptions of “social tourism”, there is no single definition of this concept.
According to BITS, as defined in the article 3 of its statutes, social tourism is “all of the relationships and phenomena resulting from participation in tourism, and in particular from the participation of social strata with modest incomes. This participation is made possible, or facilitated, by measures of a well-defined social nature. To carry out these activities, BITS works on the basis of the principles defined and adopted in the Montreal Declaration of September 1996”. A more operational definition, as suggested by professor Louis Jolin from the University of Québec in Montreal, indicates that “social tourism “refers to programmes, events, and activities that enable all population groups – and particularly youth, families, retirees, individuals with modest incomes, and individuals with restricted physical capacity – to enjoy tourism, while also attending to the quality of relations between visitors and host communities”. […]Providing access to outdoor activities, particularly for young people […] represents another form of social tourism and serves to democratize the zones affected in terms of recreational, social and also educational opportunities. Social tourism also refers to measures taken by governments in various countries to encourage holiday travel – a right often won through struggle by labour unions, associations, and community groups”. In 1993, The European Commission stated in a report about this topic that “social tourism is organized in some countries by associations, cooperatives and trade unions, and its objective is to make travel truly more accessible to the greatest number, in particular to the most underprivileged stratums”. More recently, in 2006, the European Economic and Social Committee declared in its opinion paper about Social Tourism in Europe “that an activity constitutes social tourism whenever three conditions are met: - Real-life circumstances are such that it is totally or partially impossible to fully exercise the right to tourism. This may be due to economic conditions, physical or mental disability, personal or family isolation, reduced mobility, geographical difficulties, and a wide variety of causes which ultimately constitute a real obstacle. - Someone – be it a public or private institution, a company, a trade union, or simply an organized group of people – decides to take action to overcome or reduce the obstacle which prevents a person from exercising their right to tourism. - This action is effective and actually helps a group of people to participate in tourism in a manner which respects the values of sustainability, accessibility and solidarity”.
If we take the considerations from the Montreal declaration Towards a humanist and social vision of tourism, the main assets of social tourism are its effects as “a shaper of society”, “a promoter of economic growth”, an industry participating “in regional planning and local development” and “a partner in global development programs”.
The declaration also mentions criteria for identifying social tourism (art. 13): “any tourist organization (association, cooperative, mutual society, foundation, federation, not-for-profit organization, company, etc.) which, by its articles of association or statement of aims clearly identifies with social objectives and the aim of making travel and tourism accessible to the greatest number, - thereby differentiating itself from the sole aim of profit maximization – may claim membership of the social tourism movement.
The word “social” may evoke an increased sense of solidarity and fraternity, and be a source of hope for those many people in the world today who still have no leisure time