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Social Tourism as Opportunity for Unplanned Learning and Behavior Change

Minnaert, Lynn


Lynn Minnaert


Tourism can be considered an educational experience: it is often portrayed as an integral part of personal development, that can be deep and meaningful, and that can change the way tourists think and act on their return. Relatively little however is known about these touristic learning experiences: research evidence on learning and behavior change in ecotourism highlights that the effects of the holiday are often limited unless formal learning opportunities are provided. This article reviews evidence about social tourism for low-income groups, and argues that learning and behavior change can ensue from the holiday experience without these planned, formal learning activities. These unplanned learning opportunities are theorized, and key conditions for learning are identified. Examples are provided of potential learning outcomes and of instances where these can lead to positive behavior change.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 27, 2012
Publication Date 2012-09
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2022
Journal Journal of Travel Research
Print ISSN 0047-2875
Electronic ISSN 1552-6763
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 5
Pages 607-616
Keywords social tourism, learning, experiential learning, situated learning, behavior change
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