PIONEERING SOCIAL TOURISM IN AUSTRALIA
What is Social Tourism? Have you ever heard of it before?
There are many people in Australia who have never heard of social tourism, and many others who only have the vaguest idea of what it means.
Although social tourism has been around in the UK and Europe for over 60 years, why is it that we don’t hear about it in Australia?
Social tourism helps vulnerable or disadvantaged groups to benefit from tourism opportunities. We define it as providing equitable access to breaks away from home, for people who would otherwise be excluded.
The reasons for exclusion are often about circumstances that life has brought, like:
- Children being born who require ongoing medical assistance.
- Losing a job.
- Falling in love, only then to experience horrific domestic violence.
- Being injured at work or involved in a car accident.
Holidays benefit individuals, as well as the wider society, because they:
- Improve well-being and reduce stress.
- Increase self-esteem and confidence.
- Strengthen family communication and bonding.
- Provide new skills, widen perspectives and enhance employability.
- Give long-lasting, treasured memories.
- Result in happier, stronger families and a more inclusive society.
- Increase community participation and decrease social isolation.
Going on a holiday or taking a break is therefore critically important for everyone.
Our vision is that all vulnerable or disadvantaged Australian children and families have an opportunity to change their circumstances from desperation to hope.
We are the only national charity dedicated to social tourism. As 1 in 3 Australian children have never been on a holiday, it is our mission to help as many children as we can to experience the magic and benefits of social tourism or a first ever holiday.
Below is an example of a how social tourism can positively affect a families life…
Kaylah and her mum, Bianca, received their first ever holiday in 2014 from MGF. They both had experienced horrific domestic violence which had led to Kaylah’s high absenteeism from school, destructive behaviour and severe anger outbursts.
Twelve months after the life-changing experience, Kaylah was doing really well at school. When Bianca was asked about the impact the first ever holiday had made, she replied,
‘I now have a job, I’ve bought a car and am looking forward to going on my holidays.’
Kaylah and her Mum were able to experience social tourism and the benefits that it brings.
Please support us to help give more families like Kaylah and Bianca the opportunity to experience the magic of social tourism or a first ever holiday.