Social Tourism for low-income groups forms part of social policy in several countries of mainland Europe, but little research evidence of its benefits exists. This study empirically examines these benefits in terms of increases in social and family capital. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with participating families and their support workers, in a semi-longitudinal research design. Social Tourism was found to increase family capital in the short term, and social capital—in terms of social networks, related pro-active behavior and self-esteem—in the medium term. These increases can be seen as beneficial for the participants and to wider society. Consequently it is suggested that Social Tourism may be a cost-effective addition to social policy.
Minnaert, W., Maitland, R., & Miller, G. (2009). Tourism and social policy. Annals of Tourism Research, 36(2), 316-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2009.01.002