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Holidays Matter Conference

ethos is founded in helping to get people out into the countryside as well as what the organisation is doing to help more people visit. “Millions of people love spending time at historic places and in the outdoors, and these places add to our quality of life in all sorts of ways. But we can’t take these places for granted and we hope as many people as possible will feel inspired to look after our heritage and countryside. The trust exists for the benefit of everyone and Holidays Matter helps us to do that bit more for families that we might not otherwise reach.”

Lee McRonald, international partnerships manager, VisitScotland McRonald and his team have been inspired by a number of organisations that have shown best practice in the

field of social tourism, including the FHA, VisitFlanders and Visit Kent. VisitScotland is also keen to see social tourism grow in Scotland and views it as benefiting both the visitor economy and social inclusion. “We appreciate that more Scots need to understand the importance of tourism, and for social tourism to live up to its potential, the industry needs to engage and participate more widely. VisitScotland could help support and facilitate greater awareness of social tourism and its potential,” he says. “At VisitScotland, we say that

‘Tourism is everyone’s Business’ and perhaps we should extend that to ‘Tourism is everyone’s right to enjoy’. “We are working on a proposal for a small social tourism initiative in Scotland in 2016, which would aim to deliver a positive case study and enable us to raise the profile and potential benefits of social tourism for both the families and tourism businesses.”

VisitScotland’s Lee McRonald

Professor Nigel Morgan, chair in hospitality and tourism management, Surrey University As an expert in the field of social tourism, Morgan will discuss the research he has carried out into the impact of social tourism on older people, as well as give an overview of the most up-to-date research on social tourism as a whole. He will consider the difference it makes

Surrey University’s Nigel Morgan

to people as well as the economic benefits, such as increasing the season. Morgan says: “While older people

are living longer, problems of isolation, loneliness and depression mean that many of them are actually living with low levels of life satisfaction. More focus on older people’s quality of life and wellbeing through social tourism will yield economic and medical benefits and ease pressure on other social services.” Morgan will also look ahead to

where he sees the future of social tourism heading. “In the current economic climate,

social tourism will only grow. By 2030, the world’s over-65 population will exceed one billion. And contrary to popular predictions, this ageing population is generally not financially affluent, or even comfortable. A quarter of UK retirees live in poverty,” he adds.

More at the conference

As well as inspiring people to get involved in fundraising in 2016 and discussing the benefits of “social tourism”, the Holidays Matter Conference will include:  The latest research on how many people are missing out on holidays in the UK

 Presentations from a range of Holidays Matter network members on their activities to help more people across the UK get a break

 Developing a project to help more people benefit from donated or spare capacity in the industry

 A chance to sign up to the Holidays Matter network

The National Trust is working to offer families in need access to its historic sites, such as Stourhead in Wiltshire

The Holidays Matter Conference, run by the Family Holiday Association, is taking place today from 10am-3pm in Platinum Suites 5 & 6

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