Thank you to Michael and Philipafor their thought provoking ideas and for Scott for organising this session. [click]Forthe next20 minutes I’m going to turn the focus of our attention to social tourismand destination marketing. These are 2 distinct areas of academic inquiry, policy and practice and I’m hoping to set out arguments for why we need to combine them.Over the past decade, there has been a striking renewal of interest in the analysis of social inequality in affluent societies, driven by accumulating evidence of escalating social inequalities, notably with respect to wealth and income, but also around numerous social and cultural indicators, such as mortality rates, educational attainment, housing conditions and – of interest to us here today – around forms of leisure and tourism (non)participation.
Whilst there is much work analysing poverty in less economically developed countries, less work focuses on tourism poverty in affluent societies such as the UK.Despite the early work of people like Howard in the 1990s and more recently Scott McCabe, that exclusion from tourism limits people’s ability to enjoy the full rights of social forms of citizenship, tourism marketing and management has yet to actively engage social policy in promoting the wider socio-economic benefits of tourism participation.
At the same time many of us are actively documenting the ways in which tourism as an industry and activity is growing at an exponential rate. Soon the number of tourism trips will equal the numbers of people on the planet. Yet consumer confidence is fragile, many European economies are enduring recession and Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are on the verge of bankruptcy. This collapse has laid bare an impending European pension crisis which threatens to create a new generation of impoverished older people and spells the end of affluent retirees driving tourism growth. Lord McFall, the chairman of the Workplace Retirement Income Commission tasked with investigating the UK pension crisis, has commented that almost ¾ of private sector staff will be unable to “adequately exist” when they retire and that many workers retiring after 2020 should expect a “bleak old age.”All this is not to mention the global inequalities and human pressures which threaten climatic change and food, water and energy shortages (Hall 2010). No wonder some are describing this period as one of generational economic and social change and suggest that people will need to find alternative ways of living and working.Tourism has no long term future as we currently know it, whilst many people remain excluded
Right now it is even more difficult than usual for politicians to focus on the long view. But have academics, destination management and marketing professionals and - more importantly – politicians fully grasped the urgency or extent of tourism’s global social responsibility, stewardship and sustainability agenda?
Is it yet apparent to them that in fact, the very future of destinations – particularly when we focus on countries and major cities - depend on what we might term mindful development? Such ethical considerations should be intrinsic to destination management and marketing and yet detrimental outcomes such as wasteful investment, uneven development, unethical tourism marketing representations, social inequality and environmental degradation, rarely receive the attention that they deserve.I cant focus on all these issues today and Id like to focus on issues of non-participation by what we might term vulnerable consumers. Although that is a problematic term.
What kind of tourism consumption awaits us in the next century? One for the super elite and one for the rest of us?What kind of society awaits us?The last time there was such social inequality gap they got out the guillotine.The most recent and largest study of social divisions in the UK was published on 2 April 2013 and identifies seven classes. The Great British Class Survey (conducted by the BBC in 2011) was designed to include questions to develop detailed measures of economic, cultural and social capitals. Its questions on cultural capital asked about people’s leisure interests, tourism participation, musical tastes, use of the media, and food preferences. It demonstrates the existence of an ‘elite’, whose wealth separates them from an established middle class, as well as a class of technical experts and a class of ‘new affluent’ workers. It also shows that at the lower levels of the class structure, alongside an ageing traditional working class, there is a ‘precariat’ characterised by very low levels of all types of capital, and a group of emergent service workers.
This new seven class model recognises the ongoing salience of social class divisions in the stratification of British society. Above all, it recognises both social polarisation in British society and class fragmentation in its middle layers. It demonstrates the power of a relatively small, socially and spatially exclusive group at the apex of British society, whose economic wealth sets them apart from the great majority of the population. Representing only 6% of the UK population the elite has an average household income after tax of almost £90k and a huge savings portfolio of £142k. They overwhelming live in the SE of England, have the lowest proportion of ethnic minorities, the highest proportion of graduates (almost exclusively from institutions in the SE of England), and over half come from families where the main earner was in senior management or the professions. They are clearly an exclusive grouping, with restricted upward mobility into its ranks. Compare this with the lowest social group – termed the precariat as a reflection on the existence of a significant group characterised by high amounts of insecurity on all of our measures of capital - which has an average annual income of £8k and has just under £800 in savings. This is clearly the most deprived of the classes on all measures, yet they form a relatively large social class, with 15 per cent of the population. They are located in old industrial areas, but often away from the large urban areas. London and the SE tends to score low. Its members are unlikely to have attended university. Occupationally they are over-represented amongst the unemployed, van drivers, cleaners, carpenters, care workers, cashiers and postal workers, employment groups related to leisure and travel service occupations.
The term precariat was popularised by Guy Standing; he describes them as detached from old political democracy and unable to relate to economic democracy; they include those drifting from working-class backgrounds into precariousness, those emerging from a schooling system over-credentialised for the flexi-job life on offer, and migrants denied the full rights of citizens. Standing argues that neo-liberalism that sought to create a global market society in which commodification was extended into every feasible sphere, including the educational system, family life, occupational development and social policy has seen a shifting of income to capital and a growth of other inequalities, along with economic insecurity. It created a risk society, in which risks and uncertainty were transferred to citizens.Globalisation also created class transformation. Today, we have an elite of affluent global citizens, detached from any nation state but able to exert influence over governments. Stretching from multi-billionaires in Silicon Valley to oligarchs in Russia, encompassing hedge-fund managers and property tycoons, the elite dominates political discourse.At the same time, the ‘salariat’, those with above average incomes and employment security is a shrinking group, hit by the financial crisis, austerity packages and the extension of labour market flexibility, nowhere more so than in Greece. Also shrinking is the old manual working class, the proletariat, which has been dissolving for decades.However, Standing identifies the ‘precariat’ as a rapidly growing class-in-the-making. He argues that the precariat consists of millions with insecure jobs, housing and social entitlements. They have no occupational identity, and do not belong to any occupational community. Being urged to be ‘flexible’ and ‘employable’, they are denizens, not citizens, in that they have fewer rights than citizens.
Engagement brings us to the concept of social exclusion. As it is now generally understood it first emerged in France in the 1970s. Initially, it was used primarily to describe those social groups like people with disabilities, lone parents and uninsured unemployed people that were unprotected under social insurance, and who were thus literally excluded from social support, as well as from the labour market. With the development of prolonged and wide-spread unemployment following the 1973 oil crisis and subsequent era of stagflation, the concept came to be used to describe the condition of a range of people excluded from mainstream society due to factors like disability, mental illness and poverty.Given France is dominated by a republican political culture, it is not surprising that the concept of social exclusion emerged there first. In the French Republican tradition, a great deal of weight is placed on citizenship and on the importance of social solidarity.In this tradition, social exclusion is conceived not simply as an economic or political phenomenon, but as a deficiency of solidarity , a break in the social fabric. Where such a break in the social fabric occurs, the state is seen to have a central role in tackling social isolation and marginality, restoring social cohesion and renewing the social bond.Society has an obligation to provide social assistance and the means to a livelihood to its citizens who, in turn, have obligations to society as a whole.
Social inclusion incorporates notions of citizenship, status and rights. It focuses on tackling structural discrimination including barriers which prevent individuals or groups from full and meaningful participation on the basis of ethnic background, political affiliation or socio-economic status.However, it is difficult to devise a definition of social exclusion that reflects its whole complexity. Most definitions are one-dimensional and focus on aspects of economic life. But more and more studies point to social exclusion’s multi-dimensional character and demonstrate how it is related to the relative position of an individual or a group in the entirety of society. Each type of societal disadvantage potentially creates social exclusion (Donnelly & Coakley, 2002).Social inclusion is not, however, just a response to exclusion. Many consider that social inclusion has “...value on its own as both a process and a goal. Social inclusion is about making sure that all children and adults are able to participate as valued, respected and contributing members of society. It is, therefore, a normative (value based) concept - a way of raising the bar and understanding where we want to be and how to get there” (Donnelly & Coakley, 2002, p. viii).
Physical and mental disabilities have a huge impact on how children and adults and their families can enjoy life, including travel and tourism experiences. Around 20% of the UK population have a disability but this figure doesn’t include those with mental health problemsThis figure helps illustrate the disability poverty trap (and the circular nature of poverty creating disability, as well as disability causing poverty). Around a third of all disabled adults aged 25 to retirement are living in low-income households. This is twice the rate of that for non-disabled adults, Amongst those aged 25 to retirement age in the UK who are not working, almost half are disabledThus, if governments and society is really interested in ending the disability poverty trap, it is crucial to work to dismantle the negative assumptions associated with disability, as well the enactment of those assumptions. This is how work like that around social inclusion is useful to address the political economy of disablement.The Affirmation Model advocated by Swain & French argues that impairment is part of the human condition and the diversity of life, whether temporarily or permanently. Such approaches acknowledges that all of us will have access requirements at any point in time, and most people will have a disability at some stage during their life.If a person becomes disabled this should not mean their participation in society is restricted. The concept of citizenship is synonymous with the whole-of-life approach, where rights to participation in the arts, leisure, sport and tourism are central to any notions of citizenship.
What do we mean by poverty in an affluent society? Indeed, can poverty exist in one of the world’s richest economies?Today 20% or 2.6 million children live in UK households below the poverty line.These children are at higher risk of poor outcomes (in education, employment, health, well-being and relationships) in childhood and adulthood due to a lack of resources throughout their lives. The resources that they may lack include: relationships (including but not limited to parenting) financial and material educational, cultural and leisure (the attainment gap between richer and poorer children is established by the time they are three).physical and mental health opportunities to access appropriate services and good jobs. For example, how many extra children are predicted to be pushed into relative poverty in the UK during 2013-2014 as a result of the current welfare cuts?Almost a quarter of a million.How many of the UK’s 11.7 million children and their parents cannot afford an annual holiday? The answer is 7 million children and adults.
What percentage of the UK’s 2 million lone parent households cannot afford a week’s holiday?
The answer is 60%.For comparison, the same survey in January 2013 found that 30% of all UK households cannot afford an annual holiday, up from 21% in 2007.
As British society has become more affluent since World War Two there has been little increase in the number of people able to take a holiday.The huge rise in the numbers of holidays being taken is more a ‘concentration of consumption’ rather than a genuine widening of access to tourism.
Should we in marketing and tourism practice and research be concerned about the extent of exclusion from tourism & leisure participation?It seems many in British society aren’t.And there is a growing aggressively negative discourse around welfare, benefits and poverty. And yet of the 1.6 million adults aged 34 to 42 in low-income households, 1 million are in families where someone is working and most of these are couples with children.
UNICEF recognize that child poverty is about more than poverty of income. It is also about poverty of opportunity and expectation, of cultural and educational resources, of housing and neighborhoods, of parental care and time, of local services and community resourcesTo this we could add the inability to take a holiday as an indicator of poverty in affluent countries as a holiday is regarded as an integral part of everyday lifestyles in those societies.The study provided an insight into the experiences of those who are unable to afford any form of holiday away from home. Based on semi-structured interviews with 20 low-income parents living in a deprived inner city area of London
The paper reveals that exclusion from tourism makes a profound contribution to children’s exclusion from everyday norms.The key themes of the paper are:Inter-generational tourism poverty amongst the most disadvantaged – the so-called ‘precariat’; The challenge of filling children’s summer days; Children missing out on taken for granted opportunities;The missed opportunities of family bonding during the long summer;The inability of families to escape from dangerous neighbourhoods.
There is a need to raise awareness of how tourism enriches older people’s lives and addresses global agendas on active and positive ageing, social inclusion, well-being, and life satisfaction.For example, at a time when depression is identified as the most common mental health problem in later life, with 2.4 million older people in the UK suffering from depression severe enough to impair their quality of life (Institute of Public Policy Research, 2009), the positive impact of holidays on older people’s emotional well-being is completely overlooked. Mental health is just one aspect of disability and there is a very clear link between disability, poverty and lack of tourism opportunities.Older tourists will remain vitally important to many destinations and tourism services and are more likely to travel mid-week and off-season.Policy-makers in social welfare, health, and tourism need to recognise that the benefits of holiday participation can complement the broad range of social welfare-inspired interventions designed to address older people’s well being.
As a proportion of the world population, the number of people over 60 is going to double to 22% by 2050. it is not surprising that the tourism industry has recognized the market potential of older people and tourism research has tended to focus on developing competitive business and marketing strategies to target these consumers.Yet, the overwhelming emphasis on tourist typologies and marketing priorities means that we know little about older people who cannot engage in tourism or about older peoples’ emotional encounters through travel and its impact on their physical and emotional well-being. At the beginning of this century most tourism professionals anticipated that the newly retired would emulate the current ‘golden’ baby boomer generation and enjoy even greater affluence and health (World Tourism Organisation, 2001). These forecasts appear optimistic as the economic crisis threatens to create a new generation of impoverished older people retiring on diminished pensions. In the UK for example, pensioner poverty has increased since 2008 so that today one in four older people live in poverty. Social tourism trips can have a positive impact on older people’s mental and physical well-being and levels of social engagement and increase their self-esteem and confidence. Tourism creates an opportunity for participants to break free of everyday routines and responsibilities this scheme has the potential to enable older people to re-evaluate their lives, contextualize their problems and develop life-coping skills. Leisure researchers have demonstrated how well-being has physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions, that social well-being specifically encompasses integration, acceptance, contribution, actualization and coherence and that leisure provides opportunities for meaningful later life engagement
Schemes such as Breaks Away provide participants with greater inner physical and mental resources to cope with deteriorating health, loneliness, loss and decreased income.E.g. for Mr Singh it was his first holiday since his wife’s death the previous year - this is the first time I did my own packing. My wife used to do all the packing and everything.... This is the first time in sixty years I did the packing myself.At a practical level, schemes such as this directly combat some of the barriers to older people’s tourism participation, namely: inadequate finance and transportation and a lack of travelling companions.Such explorations are common in leisure studies, where research demonstrates how later life travel offers opportunities for escape from the mundane and the everyday; for self development; and for spiritual pathways to well-being.These social tourism breaks provide a chance to refresh and face the future for many older people. The sense of the break representing a new beginning is typified by Mrs King. Her 34 year old son with special needs, whom she had cared for at home until very recently, now lives in sheltered accommodation and for her the holiday represents ...
This work sees disability as part of the human condition and does not see societies as divided between able-bodied and disabled people.Once society recognizes that disability is part of the human community, we can all begin to see disabled people as ‘us’ rather than ‘them.’Only then will we begin to create accessible tourism environments which contribute to inclusive and just societies in which all human beings with all kinds of bodies can realize their life potential.Barriers to participationPeople – confidence, mobility, etc.Societal – staff awareness, stereotyping, Visually impaired people put in wheel-chairs; Left in child’s play areas; Braille not used correctlyEnvironmental – physical access, design, lighting poor. etc
In 1991 almost three-fifths of people thought that the government should spend money on benefits, whereas by 2009 this figure had fallen to 27%. In 1989 over half of the UK public thought that the state should actively redistribute income from the better-off to the less well-off, by 2009 this figure had fallen to 36%.
Embracing global social responsibility, stewardship and sustainability requires government, business and civil society to ask fundamental questions about the kind of society they want, the kind of environment they want to live in, the significance they place on social justice and human rights, values, family, culture, learning, immigration and desirable levels of growth and development. They must consider how they reconcile competing needs, pressures and desires and build consensus and an agreed platform for action in extremely financially straitened times. Of course, these are questions beyond the compass of DMOs but when it comes to tourism, communities must ask what kind of tourism industry they want, and who will be included and excluded?
Panel Session Presentation at the UK Marketing Association Conference April 2013
Tourism policy & research does not have the same tradition
of addressing non-participation as sport or leisure.
• Tourism is such an integral component of modern
lifestyles that to be outside it is to be outside the
norms of everyday life.
• Tourism provides opportunities for family members
to spend time together and spaces in which
families seek to connect.
• Non-participation in tourism makes a deep
contribution to exclusion that goes beyond the
immediate experience of being deprived of
participation in these activities.
and places will
need to find new
ways of living and
poorest and most
deprived class in
Britain. With low levels
of economic, cultural
and social capital,
everyday life for these
15% of the UK
ELITE: This is the most
privileged class in Britain. With
high levels of all three types of
capital, their high amount of
economic capital sets them apart
from everyone else at 6% of the
CLASS: Not quite elite but
members of this class have
high levels of all three capitals.
They are a gregarious and
culturally engaged class at
25% of the population.
Graphic from The Independent, 4 April 2013
Data based on Savage, M., et al. (2013) A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment, Sociology, doi:
other classes but
also scores low
on all forms of the
They are not the
and form 14% of
CLASS: a small,
distinctive new class
group (6%) which is
prosperous but scores
low for social and cultural
capital. Distinguished by
its social isolation and
WORKERS: a young class
group (15%) which is
socially and culturally
active, with middling levels
of economic capital.
WORKERS: a new,
young, urban group
(19%) which is
relatively poor but
has high social and
Household Income: £47k
Social Contact Score: 45
Adapted graphic from The Independent, 4 April 2013
Data based on Savage, M., et al. (2013) A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment, Sociology, doi:
Standing, G. (2011). The Precariat: The New
Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
'Participation in civil society, community and/or political life,
characterised by mutual respect and non-violence and in
accordance with human rights and democracy' (The European
Commission cited in Hoskins 2006).
It is important that social exclusion and inclusion
are not considered as a dichotomy: one is
normally not totally excluded or included.
Lareau, A. & McNamara Horvat, E. (1999), Moments of Social Inclusion and
Exclusion: Race, Class, and Cultural Capital in Family-School Relationships,
Sociology of Education 72 (1), pp. 37-53.
resources & social
relationships...For example, lone mothers are particularly
vulnerable to economic inactivity and low
income. In 2008, 58% of lone mothers in the UK
with at least one child aged under 5 were
economically inactive compared with 34% of
equivalent married or cohabiting mothers.
33% of all children in UK lone parent families live
in relative poverty.
poverty & ill-
social & human
social & cultural
and denial of
civil & political
Social & cultural
http://research.dwp.gov.uk, 2012 & Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011
Poverty• Having a household income below 60% of the
• Low income is only one indicator of poverty and it
can also be measured subjectively
by one’s own perceptions,
consumption needs, relationships
and levels of social interaction and
What percentage of the UK’s 2 million lone parent
households cannot afford a week’s holiday?
What percentage of the UK’s 2 million lone parent
households cannot afford a week’s holiday?
Office for National Statistics 2013
As British society has
become more affluent since
World War Two there has
been little increase in the
number of people able to
take a holiday.
Instead demand for tourism
in the UK has remained
relatively stable at just over
half of the population; a
proportion which has
actually declined recently.
Morgan, N. & Pritchard, A. (1999) Power & Politics at the Seaside, Exeter University Press.
• Insight into the experiences of those who are unable to afford any
form of holiday away from home.
• Based on semi-structured interviews with 20 low-income parents
living in a deprived inner city area of London.
• The paper reveals that exclusion from tourism makes a
profound contribution to children’s
exclusion from everyday norms.
• The study also suggests there is a
trans-generational dimension to such
‘tourism poverty’ amongst the
most disadvantaged – the so-called
No respite from dangerous neighbourhoods
Where I live there are ... a lot of alcoholics and
people who take drugs and sometimes they’re on the
stairs and for [daughter’s name] to come back up the
stairs I wouldn’t want her to have to pass them… you
go outside and some people have got wild dogs that
they don’t keep on the chain and the dogs are just
running all over the place.
One dog bit this little boy, really just bit him really
badly and I don’t think I could have that happen to
my daughter, I’d go mad.
• At the beginning of this century most tourism
professionals were anticipating that the so-called
grey market would remain a highly profitable
segment and that the newly retired would continue
to follow in the footsteps of the current ‘golden’
boomer generation and enjoy even greater affluence
and health in their old age (WTO, 2001).
• Tourism managers and policy-makers need to
reappraise their understandings of older tourists as
market segments and reassess the role of tourism in
social tourism in later life
Many older people face financial,
psychological and physical barriers to holiday
Holidays provide mental and physical benefits
and can enable older people to better cope
with everyday adversity, illness and routine.
For these individuals their holidays can
present escape, respite and excitement and
for some, opportunities for companionship
and new beginnings.
• “well I’ve left them all [my worries] behind and I sleep so
much better. In fact, I’ve had a better night’s sleep here
than I’ve had for months at home because I haven’t got
anything to worry about” (Mrs Wood).
• Mrs King: ‘Freedom… I’ve started a new life… It’s a new
world to me.’
• What am I getting out of this holiday? A great deal
actually ... it’s nice to be with other people because when
you lose your husband or your partner it’s a very strange
experience going into an empty house and being on your
own so that’s number one; also when you live alone,
sometimes you don’t always feel like cooking and it’s
very nice to be able to come away and have your meals
prepared so that’s another big bonus and also to meet
new people, see different places and a lot of benefits.
‘Lisa’ says: …if I … want to go on a plane I gotta have assistance,
I just can’t do that journey without assistance. I would never go
again, no I don’t want that stress, it’s that anxiety and fear of
how ‘do I do that journey again? Oh my God I’ve got to do this
coming back and I’m in a foreign country’.
Richards, V., Pritchard, A. & Morgan, N. (2010) (Re)Envisioning Tourism & Visual Impairment,
Annals of Tourism Research 37 (4), pp. 1097–1116.
Travelling with disability
Jean Paul Sartre (1905–1980), French philosopher
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