Contents1. Introduction .................................................................................................................. 52. The FETE project: Summary .......................................................................................... 6 33. Selection criteria for beneficiaries ................................................................................ 94. Selection of suppliers and the Charter of Social Hospitality ....................................... 125. Economic impacts of FETE programme ....................................................................... 176. Social impacts of FETE programme .............................................................................. 207. Main challenges/barriers encountered ......................................................................... 248. Product development recommendations for social tourism exchanges ..................... 299. Recommendations for the maximisation of economic and social impacts ................. 3410. Financing recommendations for social tourism exchanges ........................................ 3711. A perspective from the voluntary sector .................................................................... 3812. Conclusion: The future of FETE .................................................................................... 41Appendix 1: Delivery of FETE exchanges ......................................................................... 43Appendix 2: Research manual .......................................................................................... 45Appendix 3: Charter of social hospitality ......................................................................... 49
Jämtland Härjedalen Sweden Kainuu FinlandFlandersBelgium Mecklenburg Vorpommern Germany
1. IntroductionThis report is presented in response to objective by assessing the viability of a self-sustaining FETE-three of the Calypso-funded project FETE – First style initiative in the future. 5European Travel Experience: The analysis of this report will be structured on“ To conduct objective research into the develop-ment and management of cost-efficient exchange the basis of a DESIGN – IMPLEMENTATION – EVALUATION approach.mechanisms, into appropriate and innovative For each element in the analysis, the report willfunding systems for post-pilot implementation, consider theinto the financial, legal, political and infrastructuralbarriers that need to be overcome, and into un- • conceptualization and design by the projecttapped potential in the commercial and social partners, based on discussions and agreementseconomy that can be exploited. ” at partner meetings • implementation in practice, taking into accountThe report will review the organisation of the two challenges and opportunities in each localexchanges, the selection of beneficiaries and contextsuppliers, the social and economic impacts of the • evaluation of the project element as imple-exchanges, and the main challenges encountered. mented, followed by recommendations forIt will also provide recommendations and ‘lessons future practicelearnt’ for product development, for the max-imisation of social and economic benefits and forfinancing future exchanges. The report will conclude
2. The FETE project: Summary The FETE project aimed to develop pilot mecha- a health and wellness break with activities such as6 nisms for CALYPSO exchanges of young people sauna visits, sports and relaxation. Five beneficiar- with limited or no travel experience during the low ies and two volunteers from Flanders participated season. To achieve these pilot exchanges, it has in the holiday. developed criteria for the selection of beneficiaries, as well as the selection of social and intermediary The second holiday, from the 10th until the 14th of organizations. The partners in the project are September 2012, took place in Kolåsen, Sweden. The holiday was designed as an active adventure, 1. Toerisme Vlaanderen, Belgium: lead partner & with activities such as canoeing, hiking and camp coordinator building. Five beneficiaries and two volunteers from 2. Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism, Sweden: partner Flanders participated in the holiday. All holidays 3. Kainuun ETU Snowpolis (association of Kainuun took place during the low season at the destination. municipalities), Finland: partner 4. Tourism Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany: The second objective of FETE was the facilitation partner of networking and partnership opportunities in A detailed overview of the project design can be the destinations, to build innovative social tourism found in appendix 1. collaborations. In one destination (Belgium), FETE has drawn on a strong pre-existing network of Two pilot holidays have taken place. The first, from collaborators in the social support and tourism the 20th until the 26th of August 2012, took place sectors – here links between partners have rather in Ukkohalla, Finland. The holiday was designed as been strengthened than new ones have developed.
In some of the other destinations, new collaborationshave been formed with tourism and/or voluntarysector partners. It was noted that the developmentof trans-sectorial relationships, between the tourismand the social sectors, was a particular challengefor three destinations (Finland, Sweden, Germany). 7Thirdly, FETE’s objective was to provide a detailedresearch report, which is presented here. Lastly,FETE will contribute the data of its commercial andsocial partner organisations into the Calypso webplatform.
3. Selection criteria for beneficiariesDESIGN Belgium, €800 for Finland, €890 for Germany and 7715 SEK for Sweden. 9The FETE partners have developed a selectionmechanism for participants to fit the objectives Where beneficiaries are financially independent,of the project: offering a first European travel they were required to meet two of the followingexperience to young people who have not criteria:travelled outside their own country before. An age • Income lower than the thresholds outlinedlimit of 16-25 was adopted, in line with a range of aboveother initiatives within the youth sector. These limits • No longer in education and not in regular, paidwould allow capturing young people who are likely employmentto be sufficiently independent to travel abroad, • Currently in secondary education (to excludeand who are likely to either be dependent on a students in higher education who live in studentparent or carer, or who are living independently on accommodation, and who are dependent onrelatively low incomes. high income earners) • Having a disability of a long-term health problemWhere beneficiaries are living with a parent or carer, an income threshold for the highest income earnerwas set (variable by country) of 60% of the averagenational income – this is an internationally acceptedthreshold to measure material deprivation. As aresult, income thresholds were set at €850 for
If you are financially Are you aged between If you are financially independent, do dependent, on a parent or 16 and 25? you meet 2 of the following criteria: carer, is the income of the highest income earner equal Have you never • Is your incom equal or below to or below: travelled outside your the levels indicated on the left? own country before? • Are you no longer in education, Belgium : € 850 or regular, paid employment? Finland : € 800 • Are you currently in secondary10 Sweden : KR7715 education? Germany : € 890 • Do you have da disability or severe long-term health problem? IMPLEMENTATION • Although the participants generally had limited travel experience, some had been abroad The selection criteria generally seemed to work well before – often they had visited neighbouring and allowed to reach participants who would have countries and/or their ancestral homelands, to been likely to be unable to afford travel abroad visit family. In small countries like Belgium many without the social tourism exchange. The pilot low-income young people are likely to have holidays however showed that adjustments may crossed the border at some stage, for example need to be made in the following areas: on school trips, even though they would not be able to take a foreign holiday independently • Several of the participants were in the care because of financial reasons. Even in larger system or had been in previous years. In the countries there may be young people living fairly ‘financially dependent’ category, it would thus close to the nation’s borders. be advisable to add the condition ‘in care’, without reference to income thresholds. • There are greater limitations in developing holi- days for 16-18 year olds than for participants
who are older. The age of independence was atmosphere can contribute to the social out- shown to be different across the partner regions, comes that are desired. There may thus be a raising questions about the guardianship of the need for further guidance for recruiting social minors. (For example in Belgium, minors are organisations, and a longer time line for prepara- under certain circumstances allowed to make tion. A more detailed analysis of this point will independent decisions as adults, whereas this be included in section 6 (social impacts). is not the case in Finland.) The FETE project has 11 shown that a more targeted approach is needed for minors, and more support of social organisa- EVALUATION tions is often needed to ensure their well-being on holiday. On the basis of the FETE exchange, It is recommended that the condition for participants it is proposed that for the younger age groups, who are financially dependent is supplemented by group holidays with a suitable number of a reference to the care system. All young people monitors are developed, whereas independent in the care system can be seen as automatically travel is more suited to young adults. qualifying for participation in social tourism.• The composition of the group has shown itself Although thorough selection criteria for participants to be of vital importance in the success of the are necessary to avoid misuse, more detailed holidays. The young people in the group, as well guidelines need to be provided for recruiting social as the volunteers who accompany them, need organisations. These could include the recommen- to be clearly briefed. If the group is to include dation to host a meet-and-greet day before young people with challenging behaviours (e.g. departure, or to conduct visits to group members. violence), it is necessary to prepare the holidays This is established practice for many organisations carefully and carry out the necessary risk assess- organising youth holidays, and could be equally ments. Support and screening before departure instrumental in the success of social tourism has been proven to be vital, so that the group exchanges.
4. Selection of suppliers and the Charter of Social Hospitality12 DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION The design of FETE included a 2-day interactive The establishment of new collaborations in the re- workshop, led by an expert, about potential gions, particularly with the social/voluntary sector, product development and financing options: with proved a particular challenge for most destinations. a presentation of product development mecha- The exception was Flanders, where these links have nisms, partnership possibilities and good practice been developing over many decades, and have examples of financing schemes. The workshop been formalised since the ‘Tourism for All’ decree aimed to provide the different regions with options in 2003. In the other destination no such stimulus they would be able to implement in their local from the public sector is in place. Particular chal- context – on the basis of these option, each region lenges encountered were: could then organise a seminar with potential partners in the commercial and social/voluntary to establish • The time frame for the FETE project was very cooperation links. Once the cooperation links had short. Because of the length of the tendering been established, partners could be accredited via process, the external expert could not be ap- the Charter of Social Hospitality: a code of conduct pointed by month 2, which meant that the in- that offers guidelines for tourism providers in their teractive workshop needed to proceed without engagement with vulnerable target groups. her input. The time pressure also meant that the pilot holidays needed to be designed, priced
and marketed to target groups within a matter of offer products for a target group with restricted months – this reduced the options available as budgets. As the cost of provision is generally the transport costs can increase strongly in this higher in these countries, it was shown to be period, and many suppliers operate more long- harder to find suitable partners. In Sweden how- term planning. As a result of the time pressure, ever, a partnership was developed by changing destinations did not host seminars with suppliers the location from Bergs kommun to Åre. Finland 13 across sectors but relied on existing contacts or operated a similar strategy and found a supplier approaching new organisations individually to in Ukkohalla at a lower cost. reduce the delay in getting a product ready. It is probably that under different time constraints, • For Belgium and Germany, cost was less prob- more effort could have been put into the develop- lematic. Both destinations opted to put together ment of new links. Even within this short time ‘DIY’ holidays: holidays where accommoda- frame, there are collaborations between inter- tion is arranged and participants could then national partners that are likely to be continued choose between a range of activities. Feedback in coming years (e.g. Belgian social organisation from other destinations however highlights that Lejo and Swedish supplier Kolåsens Fjallhotell) there may be a preference for fully organised holidays, and that this ‘DIY’ concept may not• Sweden and Finland have reported that there be suitable for minors (16-18) or for vulnerable was initially little interest from tourism partners to young people with limited travel experience.
• Transport costs were a challenge for all partners. meant that the product was only ready in June International transport providers were outside or later, with limited information available about the network of the regions and were found not the holidays until late in the summer. Many so- to be willing to offer discounts. This is partly due cial organisations operate on minimal capacity to the difference in holiday times across Europe: during the summer months; in addition young14 although August was for example a low season people were often unwilling to sign up for a month in Ukkohalla, it is not a high season month holiday due to the lack of detailed information. in Flanders, which resulted in high flight prices. As a result, only Flanders (where links with social During the low season transport options to tourist organisations were already established before destinations are often operating with reduced FETE, and with pre-existing funding mecha- availability, which may mean that the fares may nisms to support participation) was able to increase rather than decrease. Because the holi- send participants. Particularly in Sweden, where days were developed within a short time frame, public sector interest in the programme exists, a the flights had to be booked last minute, which sustainable collaboration could have been also resulted in higher prices. developed given different time constraints. In Finland, support from the voluntary sector • Time pressures were even more detrimental seems possible in the future but unlikely before for the collaborations with social organisations. the project shows tangible social outcomes Although all partners had links with tourism sup- for the participants. In Germany, collaboration pliers, many had no pre-existing networks with was attempted with two youth clubs but these social organisations. Although some partners attempts were abandoned before the end of went through considerable efforts to recruit the project – this partner currently seems least young people for exchanges, finding potential likely to be able to participate in reciprocal funders for exchanges (Navigator Centre in Swe- exchanges. den, Lyons Club in Finland), the short deadline
As a result of the challenges outlined above, it seemed premature to launch the Charter of SocialHospitality, although a proposal text is outlined inappendix 3. 15EVALUATIONFETE has shown that 11 months is insufficient toboth build innovative links in destinations withsocial and tourism partners where these links arenon-existent, and to design, market and run pilotholidays. Ideally one year is reserved for the de-velopment of partnerships and the design of theholiday, so that in the next year there is enough timeto liaise with potential participants and to marketand sell the holidays. A two year project wouldallow more time to explore and meet the needs ofboth the social sector and those of tourism partners.FETE also shows that working with international(air, rail and sea) transport providers is a challengethat supersedes the capacities of the regions – theEuropean Commission could play a certain rolehere.
5. Economic impacts of FETEprogramme 17DESIGN IMPLEMENTATIONThe aim of FETE (and Calypso) is to search for Fifteen beneficiaries and volunteers participatedmechanisms to facilitate tourism in the low- across 2 exchanges. The number of pilot holidaysseason for groups who are often excluded from and participants in this projects are too small tointernational travel for financial reasons. FETE aims draw general conclusions about the economicto create revenue for local tourism suppliers, and impacts social tourism could have on wholeto stimulate employment. Four exchanges with up regions, but data have been generated that showto 25 participants and volunteers on each holiday the value of the pilot for the suppliers involved.were envisaged. FETE moreover stimulates thedevelopment of new partnerships in the partner These data were collected via in-depth interviewdestinations, to facilitate product development and and via the form that can be found in appendix 2.innovation. This focus on innovative enterprise cansupport the competitiveness of these destinations Finland: Ukkohallain the face of increasing competition in the tourism The cost charged per delegate was €391. This wassector. This support may be of particular importance an all-inclusive price: marginal additional spendingto SMEs in the sector. was incurred on a shopping trip to Kajaani. The accommodation cost was €610, a 20% discount compared to the normal price of a cottage rental
for that period (please note however the group Sweden: Kolåsen was upgraded to luxury apartments at no extra The cost charged per delegate was €336 (2890 SEK). cost). €510 was spent on activities, a discount of The total accommodation cost was 21,700 SEK. 30% compared to normal prices. Catering was by This included all catering. Activities were charged far the largest cost: €2450. The total cost for the at 1850 SEK, staff costs were 11,000 SEK. All the18 holiday was €3570. To reach break-even the holiday prices above include a 42% discount compared to needed 9.1 participants and volunteers in total, usual rates. The total cost of the holiday was 34,550 however there were only 7, resulting in a loss. SEK. Again, due to the low number of participants, the pilot holiday resulted in a loss. Although this holiday did not result in a profit for the region, it has led to a reconceptualization of the Like Ukkohalla, the accommodation would have product towards a more cost-effective alternative. reached a very low occupancy level without this No discount was achieved for catering, and the cost group (0-10%). The business owners are keen to for catering in this holiday was very high – to mitigate develop further exchanges as with a larger group this, another potential accommodation supplier has the holiday would have been a viable product been found: a guesthouse with its own kitchen. The to develop during the low season. The business cost of this accommodation provider is also likely offers a similar product to local school children, to be low, as their (undiscounted) prices start from so FETE-style exchanges with young people €25 for a double room per night. The guest house lean closely to the enterprise’s core product. owners also recommended the use of an alternative The devaluation of the Euro compared to the airport which could potentially lower travel costs. Swedish Kroner resulted in the need to charge The Ukkohalla region was keen to develop further delegates a higher price than originally expected summer exchanges as their occupancy rate at the (€336 instead of €300). end of august is as low as 0-20%.
EVALUATION capacity and unused facilities that, given economies of scale, could be made available at a discountedDue to the low numbers, and the inability to attract rate to make them affordable for young people inparticipants from regions other than Flanders, the social tourism. Larger groups may also allow forprojected positive economic impacts on the two prices to be reduced even further as they may fillhost regions have not been materialised. The pilot the accommodation to capacity or would allow for 19holidays however have shown that given larger bulk buying foodstuffs and other supplies.groups and the selection of more suited partners,the holidays have the potential to bring beneficial It is recommended that holiday prices are formu-business to the destinations. Both Kolåsen’s lated in the host country’s own currency to avoidFjallhotell and Gasthalla guesthouse expressed a the effects of currency fluctuations.strong desire to be involved in FETE-style exchangesin the future.The findings also show that the periods that werechosen for the holiday coincided with the lowseason in the region. Even these small exchangesled to employment opportunities for local activityorganisers. In both destinations there is underused
6. Social impacts of FETE programme20 DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION The FETE holidays were designed for young people The FETE holidays have shown to have a number of with limited or no international travel experience, so positive social impacts on the participants: that this group would be able to benefit from the positive social effects of holidays. These include • All participants commented that the holiday the experience of new, life-enhancing experiences had included new, life-enhancing experiences and the generation of positive, lasting memories. that would lead to positive, lasting memories. Participation expands travel horizons, and as a Examples of new activities that were particularly result can be confidence building. It can also be appreciated by the participants were cross- a way to increase social networks. Participation in country skiing, canoeing, wakeboarding, build- international travel can also lead to an increased ing a camp and making a fire. For many, these intercultural awareness and European citizenship. activities will be the basis for lasting memories To achieve this last element, the holidays were and are the basis for new attitudes and skills: designed so that groups of young people of all four partner regions would be represented during each ‘I didn’t know how to swim before, but I do holiday. now! Isabelle1 has taught me. Everyone will be so surprised at home!’ 1 All names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participants
‘I have developed as a person – I have learnt not • Social tourism can expand travel horizons andjust to think with my brain but also with my eyes raise confidence levels in the target group:and ears’ many beneficiaries of social tourism initiative report feeling proud they have expanded their‘The food was a bit strange at first but I like it! boundaries via a holiday. For the great majorityMeat and berries, they go together really well, it was the first time they had ever taken a plane. 21who would have thought!’ ‘When we walked in the accommodation was‘I look at nature very differently now. In Belgium so beautiful… I thought ‘this can’t be right’, ‘thisnature is forced into boundaries- there every- can’t be for us’. I have made a video of it on mything was just so pure’ phone to show my friends back home’‘It was amazing to learn how to survive in the ‘It seems weird, going on holiday in a foreignwilderness… all the things people can do just country with five strangers. But you shouldn’twith things you find lying around’ think about it, just DO it’‘We live in cities and think we have everything, ‘Just spending the night in the airport was quiteand yet we miss things in our lives – we wouldn’t an experience’know how to survive in the wild like people here’ ‘The plane was a bit scary – but I also thought it‘I couldn’t believe how far we were from every- was really exciting’thing – from friends, from your home, but mainlyfrom the busy cities. It was great to experience ‘This is such a great place – I am going to dothat sort of quiet – we just don’t have it back everything I can to come back here one day’home’
• Extension of social networks: Participation in partners played a big role in achieving this, FETE was a way to develop new friendships. since the groups constituted only of Belgian The participants of one holiday had decided participants. to meet again two weeks after the holiday at an activity day organised by the social organisation. ‘The accommodation owners motivated us, Many are also staying in touch via social media. made us discover new things and made us feel22 incredibly welcome’ ‘Everyone in the group was so different, but somehow it just worked. It seemed like we all ‘I loved the Swedish modesty and how they brought something to the experience’ appreciate healthy food – those are things that will stay with me a long time’ ‘When I am going to think back on this holiday in a few years, I will mainly remember the group of wonderful friends I met there’ However, there were also challenges to achieve these positive social impacts. In one of the holidays, ‘It was the best birthday I ever had. Tom* and the composition of the group led to arguments Jessie* made a cake for me, we had an amazing and fights. The participants reported that although time’ they had enjoyed experiencing the destination, the arguing had affected their enjoyment of the holiday. In one instance, the fight was accompanied by • International tourism has exposed the partici- physical aggression, which was quickly addressed pants to a new language, new foods and a by the volunteers. This highlights the importance of new environment. This was seen as an enriching a careful selection and briefing of participants, and experience and can lead to an increased sense the need for professional staff to accompany the of European citizenship. The accommodation holiday if it includes young people with medium owners, activity leaders and local project to sever behaviour problems. Risk assessments
need to be carried out to ensure volunteers or paid the luxury surroundings were greatly appreciatedstaff members know how to address problematic by the group, yet both participants and monitorsbehaviour, particularly in international settings. commented that if they would have stayed in a cottage, perhaps the group would have bondedThe volunteers also highlighted that because only more – food preparation would have also taken uplimited information about the holiday was available some time that was now unfilled. (This would havebefore departure, and the time pressure, there was also reduced the food cost considerably.) 23limited opportunity to brief the participants, whichled to different groups having different expecta-tions of their time abroad. The volunteers were also EVALUATIONnot aware that the programme would include a lotof free time each day – this time proved hard to The FETE exchanges have created a range offill as during the low season many facilities were positive social impacts for the participants. Forclosed. The destination was also remote and the many the air travel and the activities were new andvolunteers had no private transport available. The unforgettable. The personal engagement of theorganisers had put the holiday together in this accommodation owners was a big factor infashion to show the participants what a ‘typically facilitating these impacts.Finnish’ holiday would be like – however theBelgian participants expected more activities, and The evaluation also shows that working on a positivethe ensuing boredom contributed to the arguing group atmosphere is of paramount importance.among the group members. This may be easier to achieve in accommodation which provides communal areas. From the FETEFinally it became apparent that the upgrade to experience it becomes also clear that there isprivate apartments led to further segregation a preference for holidays with lots of plannedamong the group. The upgrade was offered with activities, rather than programmes with a lot of freethe best intentions from the Finnish providers, and time or ‘DIY’ style packages.
7. Main challenges/barriers encountered24 This section summarises the main challenges adopt social tourism as interpreted by the European encountered in the FETE project. They are presented Commission on a national level. Attitudes of the together here as learning points for future FETE public sector in the participating regions varied exchanges and other Calypso projects. widely. Time pressure Transport costs This can be seen as the main challenges as many of Although the regional partners could negotiate with the following issues derive from the time pressure local suppliers (in Belgium for example free bus of the project. To develop the new and innovative and tram tickets are offered to all social tourism collaborations between the tourism and the social users; in Germany McPom had secured free bus sector Calypso envisages, more than 11 months and tram tickets for the participants in the whole are needed, particularly in destinations that do of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin not have a strong social tourism tradition. Finland, and parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen Sweden and Germany are three countries that did and Hamburg and also free tickets for the ferry in not participate in the Calypso Preparatory Action, the Baltic sea between Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and although this has not hindered the participation Sweden and Finland), international air carriers fall of the regions, it shows a certain reluctance to outside their remit. It was found that airlines are
not usually willing to allocate discounts for social Financetourism. In the future, alternative transport meanscould be examined, e.g. private coach companies, Although discounts were obtained in the destina-ferries or train companies (the latter two often offer tions, it proved hard to bring the costs downdiscounts for advance bookings). sufficiently in some areas for the holiday to stay affordable, particularly when international airfares 25 were added to the cost. Low-cost providersLack of existing inter-sectorial relations needed to be found, and these are not in great supply in all destinations. Particularly for Sweden,The tourism and the social sectors are very different currency devaluation was an added challenge.in their structure, aims and objectives. Although It proved difficult to find funding bodies willingthere is often a willingness to work together across to support the project financially to reduce thethe sectors, the level of understanding of the other travel costs for the participants, particularly at shortsector’s needs is often limited. FETE has shown notice. In Flanders, existing funding mechanismsthat despite often good intentions, developing were used so that each participant only paid €90-inter-sectorial working relationships is often time- €150 (for participants in care institutions) for theconsuming. It transpired that these inter-sectorial holiday, transport included. In other destinationsrelations rarely existed on the regional level (besides this support was not available, resulting in a higherFlanders), so that to achieve collaborations on holiday cost – equivalent to holidays available inan international level was a very ambitious goal the commercial circuit. Although it could be arguedfor a project of limited length. FETE however has that social tourism offers added value comparedestablished a number of international links that to commercial holidays, price stays an exclusionarycan serve an exemplary function, and that may factor when additional funding is not available.encourage further collaborations on a local, regionalor international level.
Staff time Communication Where FETE pilot holidays were organised, they Because international networks needed to be demanded large proportions of the time of the formed fast, via the project partners, the commu- regional project partners. The regional coordinators nication chain between the participant and the26 were often personally involved in the running of the supplier in the destination became very long. The holiday, on top of their other duties. It needs to be regional coordinator in the generating region would highlighted that further holidays would not be able approach a social organisation, which would liaise to depend on this level of staff engagement. with the participants (sometimes via volunteers). Via the FETE office the regional coordinator in the destination would communicate the offer of the social regional FETE regional participant supplier organisation coordinator office coordinator
supplier. As can be seen in the figure below, the Contractual obligationschain of communication reaches thus at least sixsteps, and along the way information can get lost In one case a last-minute cancellation has shownor misrepresented, particularly considering the time that greater clarity is needed on cancellationpressure all partners were under. Communication terms and charges. These need to be agreed withissues led to uncertainty about what the programme suppliers in advance. 27would entail, what participants needed to pack, what would be expected of the volunteersaccompanying the group and how much additionalmoney would be required.Legal limitationsBecause of the EU Package Travel Directive, itwas not possible for regional coordinators torecruit participants directly. A social organisationcomplying with the PTR regulations is thus neededto sell the holidays. This is not in itself a challenge,but combined with the time pressure mentionedabove it was often not possible for the partnerregions to find a social organisation willing and ableto offer the holidays in time.
village nature 10 km• 10 km • distance between villages
8. Product development recom-mendations for social tourismexchanges 29From the FETE project, three main lessons can be destination goes up (for example through sociallearnt with respect to the product design of the tourism) this is often another stimulus for suppliers toholidays: increase their prices. From this, one can deduct that social tourism exchanges cannot be implemented on a large scale as long as providers of scheduledLow season in the destination does not always transport links do not participate in Calypso. Privateequal low season on transport routes. Coach Companies may be an untapped resource,FETE (and indeed Calypso) is based around the however these rely on larger numbers and may onlypremise that periods of high demand in one region be useful for medium distances.can correspond to periods in high availability inothers, and it is indeed a useful exercise to exploreto which extent this can be beneficial for social Involve young people in product design.tourism. However, the existing exploration of this The FETE exchanges indicate that the target groupissue rarely addresses the issue of transport. As long prefers holidays that are full of activities and thatas there is high demand in a destination, transport do not include too much free time. Programmescosts are likely to be high. When demand for a with scheduled activities seem preferred over ‘DIY’
packages, particularly for younger participants. the ‘stimulation’ model, the generating region was Although the Flemish partners had meetings with expecting a more specialised holiday for vulnerable ‘Use It’ (a travel information service for young people holiday makers under the ‘adaptation’ model. The in Belgium), who advised that a combination of free Sweden holiday also included vulnerable tourists, choice and planned activities would be best to but because the suppliers offered a holiday in the30 develop independence in the participants – yet this ‘adaptation’ model, the fit between participants view was not shared by the Finnish and Swedish and product was better. partners. TOURIST Decide if the project is mainly focused on eco- nomic impacts for a region, or on tourism par- Social tourism Social tourism users and other ticipation for the most vulnerable and excluded users only users groups. Minnaert, Maitland and Miller (2011)2 have shown Standard product that the term ‘social tourism’ can in fact refer to four Participation Inclusion different types of initiatives. All refer to ‘tourism model model PRODUCT with an added moral value, that primarily aims to increase the benefits of tourism for tourists social tourism provisions for or host communities’. Yet each type has its own Specific characteristics, aims and likely outcomes (for a full Adaptation Stimulation users explanation see following pages). A challenge in model model the Finland holiday may have been that where the host region expected to provide services under 2 Minnaert, L. Maitland, R. & Miller, G. (2011). What is social tourism? Special Issue on Social Tourism, Current Issues in Tourism, 5, 403-415
Each of the above interpretations finds an expression The inclusion model is also based on tourismin social tourism practices today. In the participation products and services that are standard (the samemodel, social tourism is clearly targeted towards for all participants, disadvantaged or not), but heresocially or otherwise disadvantaged persons in the programme is not limited to disadvantagedsociety, but is not necessarily characterised by target groups. An example of this interpretationspecialised products or services. An example of of social tourism is the ‘Chèques Vacances’ 31this approach is the Centre for Holiday Participation (Holiday Voucher) scheme in France. Companiesin Flanders, Belgium. To increase the participation participating in this scheme give their employeesin tourism of low-income groups, the Centre the opportunity of making regular savings for theirnegotiates reduced tariffs with accommodation holiday, and these savings are supplementedproviders and tourist attractions. These discounts by the employers and social organisations. Theare offered on a voluntary basis by the private companies and social organisations benefit fromsector in exchange for increased business, added reduced taxes and social contributions, which inpublicity and in consideration of CSR (corporate effect constitutes a state subsidy, funded by taxsocial responsibility) objectives. The discounted payers. The employee can redeem the total value ofproducts are only available for persons on low the savings and supplementary contributions in theincomes – their income status is either confirmed by form of holiday vouchers, which can be used ona support worker in the social sector, or beneficiaries a wide variety of items including lodgings, dining,provide a proof of their income themselves. The key transport, leisure and culture. This system aims tocharacteristics of this approach to social tourism enable access to holidays to the greatest number,are that the product offered is standard, and no and is open to everyone irrespective of income. Adifferent to the experience offered outside of the motivation for making the system available to a widescheme; and that participation in the programme is range of employees is the economic impact of thelimited to social tourism users. holiday vouchers on the domestic tourism industry:
it is estimated that total spending is four times more participation is limited to these disadvantaged than the volume of vouchers issued. target groups. An example of this form of social tourism is Break, a charity in the UK providing short breaks and holidays for families with children with learning difficulties. The charity has four holiday32 centres where care staff are available to provide specialist care, and the centres have facilities for children with associated physical disabilities and high level care needs (www.break-charity.org). The holidays are offered at reduced prices: the holiday makers pay around half of the cost, and the charity’s fundraising activities cover the other half of the stay. Other programmes in the adaptation model may focus on different target groups, such as senior citizens (e.g. National Benevolent Fund for the Aged, UK), children with long-term illnesses (e.g. Fondation de France, France), single-parent families (e.g. One Parent Families, UK) or teenage parents (e.g. CRZ, Belgium). The stimulation model differs significantly from The adaptation model applies to programmes that the ones described above, as in this model the offer a product with special provisions for social social benefits created for the destination are a key tourism users, that is thus specifically adapted to the motivation for provision. Destinations or providers needs of disadvantaged target groups, and where in this category are often affected by a decline
in popularity and faced with spare capacity, and the tourist expenditure may lead to higher taxparticularly during the shoulder season, resulting income. Because of these factors, in addition toin a lack of revenue and the need to terminate the potential social benefits for the participants,employment contracts. By attracting social tourism the contribution of the State is argued to be farcustomers with specialised products during outweighed by the financial benefit of the schemethe shoulder season, a new market is created – (Minnaert et al 2010). Around 300 hotels participate 33initiatives of this type thus have economic as well in the scheme, which has benefited around 1 millionas social benefits. An example of such a scheme is participants in the 2008-2009 season and has beenthe IMSERSO programme in Spain. This programme estimated to generate or maintain 79300 jobs. Theoffers dedicated holidays for senior citizens in Spanish government has allocated €105 million forcoastal areas of Spain, during the shoulder season. the 2009-2010 season, and it claims that every EuroThe holidays are financed through contributions invested yields 4 Euro’s in tax, spend and reductionby beneficiaries (70 per cent in a single payment) in benefit payments (www.imserso.es). and the public sector (30 per cent of cost). Theholiday offer is only available to senior citizens andincludes transport, meals and activities. The Stateaims to recover its contribution through cost savingsand earnings: the scheme allows for longer seasonsand increased employment in the coastal regions;
9. Recommendations for the maximisation of economic and34 social impacts The evaluation of the FETE pilot holidays leads to required. Businesses position their product towards the following recommendations for maximising the certain customer groups in commercial tourism – it economic benefits of social tourism exchanges for is advisable for those businesses to do the same young people: towards the Calypso target groups. Businesses are recommended to focus on one particular target group and provide the best possible product, Work with suitable suppliers. rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Although some providers are willing to allocate great discounts on luxury products for philanthropic reasons (and this is to be commended), these tend Suppliers with personal motivations to be in- to be solutions that are not sustainable. The product volved in social tourism can develop into social may also not be suited to the needs of the target enterprises. group. It is therefore recommended to approach The Sweden exchange was a success partly suppliers that already work with the target group due to the dedicated support of the owners of in the destination, and those that offer a low- the accommodation – one of the owners had cost product so that no excessive discounting is been a teacher before. Gasthalla, the alternative
accommodation suggested for future holidays in accommodation suppliers. The catering costs in theFinland, is run by an owner who used to be a Finnish holiday are a prime example of costs thatsocial worker. The owner showed a great personal could have perhaps been reduced to make thecommitment to be involved. Businesses like these holiday profitable.have the potential to develop into social enterprises(or devolve part of the business as a social 35enterprise) which would give them access to new The evaluation of the FETE pilot holidays leads tofunding mechanisms and networks. the following recommendations for maximising the social benefits of social tourism exchanges for young people:Encourage suppliers to think creatively, and dothings differently.By providing suppliers with information about the Preparing and briefing the group is of utmosttarget group, they can think creatively about how to importance.reduce their costs so they can make their product The social organisation in Belgium that recruitedmore attractive, competitive and profitable. The the participants usually runs home visits and pre-Belgian holiday for example would have included departure workshops for vulnerable young peoplefree tours and chocolate tastings offered by the who go on holiday with them. Due to time pressures
these were not possible for FETE. However, in the of the experience. The most vulnerable participants future it seems these are indispensable to ensure often benefit from a holiday where the level of un- all group members have the same expectations certainty is reduced, either by reducing the length of and motivations for the holiday, and to avoid the trip, or by going with familiar people (see figure conflict. The preparation stage cannot be omitted below). In the context of international holidays, if it is the aim to maximise the social benefits for one could add to this that a familiar environment36 the participants. Although FETE tried to encourage reduces the level of uncertainty. Careful briefing and preparation via the development of ‘holiday preparation of the participant is needed to ensure passports’, a more thorough approach is needed. that they are ready to embark on an international holiday with people they may have never met. Consider the involvement of paid staff for young people with known behavioural prob- Individual holiday lems, and carry out risk assessments. Volunteers can be a good way to keep costs down Supported group but when dealing with challenging behaviour a holiday, participants paid member of staff may have the necessary skills Uncertainty and support unfamiliar and experience to assess and manage situations that can be potentially hazardous. Supported group Individual day trip holiday, participants and support familiar Find the right holiday for the right participant. Guided day trip Previous research (Tourism Flanders 20083) has in group shown that the selection of the right holiday type for the participant can improve the social outcomes Length 3 Tourism Flanders (2008). ‘Holidays are for Everyone. Research into the Effects and the Importance of Holidays for People living in Poverty’. Brussels: Tourism Flanders
10. Financing recommendationsfor social tourism exchangesTax incentivesTax holidays or tax deductions could be offered to entrepreneurial activity in the region, and could 37businesses that are engaging in the development of be used for feasibility studies or skills develop-social tourism products. These tax incentives could ment. These grants can be designed so that they arebe offered in return for the increased off-season co-financing: this would ensure optimal buy-inrevenue and employment social tourism initiatives from applying organisations.are likely to generate. Subsidies for social tourism participants in theLow-interest or interest-free loans target groupInterest-free loans are offered to encourage certain In a number of countries in Europe, fundingtypes of behaviour. The Carbon Trust in the UK for streams are available to support the target group toexample offers interest-free loans to SMEs to reduce participate in travel, via grants or holiday vouchers.energy consumption and encourage environmen-tally sound business practices. Similar loans could Application of existing funding streams to so-be offered to businesses that want to meet their cial tourismsocial sustainability and CSR (corporate social A myriad of funding streams is often in existenceresponsibility) goals via social tourism products. targeting young people, although much of this funding is not designed for social tourism fund-Product development grants ing. Co-operations with organisations like Youth InLike loans, grants can be offered to encourage Action or PEJA are avenues that could be exploredproduct development. They can lead to increased further.
11. A perspective from the voluntary sector38 A telephone interview was conducted with the visit. From this perspective, FETE could be seen not social support organisation in Flanders (Lejo) that as a mere holiday, but as a personal development liaised with and sources the participants to the FETE trajectory or a process which culminates in the holidays. Although their views are not necessarily foreign experience. representative for the whole sector (research into their attitudes on a more general level falls outside Lejo is interested to develop further international the realm of this study) it was deemed of interest to social tourism programmes but would be keen present their views here. to run these as exchanges between cultures – as was planned originally in the FETE project. The Lejo considered international social tourism to intercultural learning aspect would justify the potentially bring a great added value to their additional use of resources for international travel. target group of socially vulnerable young people. An appealing programme for Lejo is one that International travel is exciting and appealing to includes contact with local young people or local the youngsters they work with, and for many a families, and that facilitates learning about local unique opportunity to expand their travel horizons. world views and customs. However, it is also apparent that the threshold for international travel is high for this group, as their Finally, price is an important inhibitor to travel: travel experience is usually limited. Therefore it although Lejo appreciates the discounts that is important to provide adequate support and were provided, some aspects of the trip were preparation with each participant, including a home still expensive (e.g. transport, food). The price for
the whole package needs to be attractive: if oneelement is expensive it can affect the feasibility ofthe whole holiday. Lejo was supported by TourismFlanders to cover the costs of the holiday partly PROCESS– they are aware however that this is not alwayspossible elsewhere. They therefore recommend 39collaborations with international organisations suchas ‘Youth in Action’ to raise awareness.The views of Lejo can thus be summarised in thefigure below: an attractive social tourism pro-gramme is based on a well-considered process, PROGRAMMEprogramme and price: PRICE
12. Conclusion: The future of FETEThe FETE pilot holidays have been instrumental is confirmed. Advertising opportunities could alsoin highlighting the opportunities and challenges be offered.of international social tourism. Key buyers andsuppliers have been identified in all participating The current FETE partners are dedicated to form anregions, and the FETE team sees its future role mainly initial product offer. All suppliers in the offer will 41in the facilitation of links between the two groups. be asked to sign the Charter of Social Hospitality.This report has provided recommendations on This offer will then be communicated and furtherthe product that is most appealing to buyers (fully supplemented. Trade shows and conferences oforganised group holidays) – it has also highlighted social support organisations are identified as keythat the chain of communication between buyers opportunities to introduce the FETE database toand suppliers needed to be shortened. On the potential buyers in social organisations. Potentialbasis of these recommendations a web-based funding opportunities also need to be highlightedsolution is proposed. to make the database attractive to them. Within each of the regions the FETE partners will continue toFETE has produced a website where holiday build awareness about the business opportunitiespackages will be offered social organisations social tourism can offer in the shoulder season.working with minors and young adults. Eachpackage will be accompanies by a number of The management of the website is likely to becalendar periods to choose from. Independent undertaken by one of the project partners in thetravellers will have the opportunity to join these short term, with the aim of moving the webmastergroup holidays – the holiday will be confirmed rights to an independent organisation in the youthwhen the minimum number of participants has travel / social tourism field in the longer term. It maybeen reached. To be self-sustaining, a commission also be possible to include the FETE offer in thecould be charged to the suppliers when a holiday STEEP database that is currently under development.
Appendix 1: Delivery of FETEexchangesKEY TASKS IN FETE CALYPSO OFFICE OF THE BID PARTNERSMETHODOLOGY REGIONS1. Intermediary organisa- • Provides guidance on the • Select the intermediarytions working with the target criteria for participation organisationsgroup select candidates who agreed during the workshop • Screening if the criteria are 43can participate in the pilot • Creates the database metexchanges during the low/ • Input data into databaseshoulder season2. Provision of support for • Identifies best practices and • Exchange best practicesthe target group, who have examines how these can • Create a support systemlimited travel experience. be implemented in other that can be replicated regions throughout Europe • Identifies programme- specific support options3. Selection of appropriate • Formalises the criteria for • Organise networkingaccommodation options and inclusion in the Charter activities to identify and/oraccreditation of Social Hospitality and develop accommodation accreditation facilities • Education of staff about the Charter of Social Hospitality
KEY TASKS IN FETE CALYPSO OFFICE OF THE BID PARTNERS METHODOLOGY REGIONS 4. Selection of ‘coaches’ in • Formalises criteria for • Select potential social local social organisations to selection organisations support the target group at • Oversee selection of the destination coaches 5. Selection of appropriate • Formalises criteria for • Organise networking attractions, event and selection and accreditation activities to identify and/or activities for the target group under the Charter of Social develop potential events, Hospitality attractions and activities • Education of staff about44 the aims of the Charter of Social Hospitality 6. Evaluation of economic • Cost-benefit analysis of • Provide translation of the and social impacts of the the economic impact via questionnaires exchange, on the target measurement of spending • Facilitate the interviews group and the destination and tax revenue, taking into account seasonality factor • Questionnaires and in-depth interviews with target group, social support organisations and coaches 7. Final evaluation and • Prepares final report and • Provide data input where continuity planning conference necessary
Appendix 2: FETE research manualDear FETE coordinators, tour coordinators and group leaders, 45My name is Lynn Minnaert and I will be carrying out the research element on the FETE project. I will bevisiting each of the exchanges to collect data in August and September 2012 – I look forward to seeingsome of you then.This brief document gives you an overview of which information I am after, and how you can help me obtainit. I know you have lots to do already but the research report is important to obtain possible further fundingin the future, so I would really appreciate it if you could read this before I arrive. I have tried to keep it shortand sweet – so it won’t take too much of your time.See you soon!Lynnl.email@example.com
1. When ? Finland: 26 (evening) – 28 (AM) August Main research day 27th August Sweden: 9 (evening) – 11 (PM) September Main research day 10th September Belgium: 14 (evening) – 16 (PM) September Main research day 15 or 16 September Germany: 3 days between 18 and 23 September (Unconfirmed) Main research day unconfirmed 2. What? During my visit I would like to arrange interviews / focus groups with 3 groups of people:46 • PARTICIPANTS • SUPPLIERS • ORGANISERS Participants I would like to hold 2/3 focus groups with participants. Each focus group will last approximately 30 minutes. The maximum number of participants per focus group is 10. The focus groups can take place during the evenings or the day – I can do smaller groups too if that is easier. Any space that is relatively quiet and undisturbed will do. If the participants do not speak English / Dutch / French / German please can there be an interpreter present. Tour coordinators, please can you arrange a time and suitable space for this to happen? We will also collect data via the holiday preparation booklets. Tear-out pages are inserted for this purpose. Suppliers I would like to do one-on-one interviews or small focus groups with key suppliers for the programme: accommodation providers, attractions etc. For each destination I would be looking for 1-3 contributions. Interviews will last 15-30 minutes.
Regional / Tour coordinator, please could you make appointments with suitable providers?OrganisersI would finally like to interview the regional coordinator, tour coordinator and group leaders. These can beone-on-one interviews or small focus groups. Interviews will last around 30 minutes, focus group lengthdepends on the size (estimated 1 hour).Please can regional coordinators, tour coordinators and group leaders agree on a time for this tohappen before my arrival?Finally I would like to request that each regional coordinator / tour coordinator would fill out the templateon the next page. It assesses the economic impacts of the exchange. 47If you have any questions regarding this research plan, please do not hesitate to contact me.Lynn Minnaert – firstname.lastname@example.org 7989 232 842
ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT Destination: ……………………………………….…………… Completed by: ………………………………….….………….…… REVENUE Price charged per participants: ………………………………………………. Total number of participants: ……………………………………..…………. COSTS: Please fill in the costs for the different categories, with an estimation of the discount allocated per provider. Please calculate the discount compared to usual price in low season.48 TYPE COST DISCOUNT (in %, example: 50%) Accommodation (total) Supplementary catering (not provided by accommodation) Activities (total) Staff costs Other (please describe below) Which percentage of the accommodation would have been unused without this project? (E.g. if all rooms would have been likely to be empty without the FETE group, enter 100%) …………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Appendix 3 Five small steps By signing this charter, you declare that you willProposal for a • Look for creative ways to provide FETE participants with an enjoyable experience at aCharter of Social Hospitality low cost, without compromising on the qualityFive small steps to quality social tourism of the experience. • Provide the same high quality services to FETEMission: participants as to your other customers. UnderIt is the aim of FETE to provide access to low-cost no circumstance participation in the FETEtravel options in Europe for young people between programme will be a reason for the provision ofthe ages of 16 and 25 who have limited or no a lower level of service. 49previous travel experience. • Be discreet about the financial status of the participants, so as not to cause embarrassmentAim of the Charter of Social Hospitality: on their behalf.The FETE website allows eligible individual travel-lers and social support organisations to book • Make staff members aware that FETEtourism products with a range of providers. We are beneficiaries have limited travel experience,thrilled that you have decided to be one of them! and ask them to be attentive to any help theThis charter aims to optimise the experience of participants may require.the FETE participants, and your own: it outlines anumber of simple steps you can take to make the • Be aware of the great importance of aholiday run as smoothly as possible. By signing warm welcome. The first contact with thethis Charter you show your dedication to high accommodation provider is often vital forservice standards for all your guests, including tourists with limited travel experience, and wethe FETE guests, and to facilitating quality tourism are dedicated to making FETE participants feelparticipation for this new client group. comfortable in their new surroundings.
The FETE project has been developed by Tourism Flanders | Holiday Participation Centre (Belgium) with participation of Jämtland Härjedalen Turism (Sweden) Kainuun Etu Ltd / Snowpolis Oy (Finland) Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany)50 BundesForum Kinder- und Jugendreisen (Germany) Author Dr. Lynn Minnaert – University of Surrey Coordination Sofie Poncelet - Tourism Flanders Layout Katrien Davans With the financial support of the Calypso Program of the European Commission www.holidayparticipation.eu BundesForum Kinder- und Jugendreisen e.V.
First European Travel ExperienceGoing abroad for the first time can be exciting, scary and challenging.Exploring new things, meeting new people and discovering another country.How did we select beneficiaries and suppliers? What are the social and economic impacts of the exchanges?What main challenges did we encounter? What are the recommendations and ‘lessons learnt’ for productdevelopment, for the maximisation of social and economic benefits and for financing future exchanges?This report reviews...