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Socialising Tourism

Book Cover

Socialising Tourism = A reorientation of travel and tourism based on the rights and interests of local communities and local peoples

Also see:
Social License

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Introduction (PDF)


  • What is ‘socialising tourism?’
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Elsewhere on the Web
Why we need to think about “socialising tourism” after Covid – Tourismticker.com
Socialising tourism for social and ecological justice after COVID-19


Concepts in Socialising: Social/ity/ism/isation
Social- “relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people and that happen during the time when you are not working”.Sociality – “the fact of living together in an organized way as a society”.Socialism- “a set of beliefs that states all people are equal and should share equally in a country’s money, or the political systems based on these beliefs”.Socialisation – “the process of training people or animals to behave in a way that others in the group think is suitable”.Socialising – “to spend time when you are not working with friends or with other people in order to enjoy yourself”.
 Applying Concepts in Socialising to Tourism:
• Application of the term “social” to tourism reminds that tourism is not just an industry and economic activity, it is a social force (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2006).
• Application of “sociality” to tourism underscores that we have to live together in and through tourism and rebalance the “host”- “guest” relationship.
• Application of the concept of “socialism” spotlights tourism assaults on the commons, the practices privileging tourists, protecting them and subsiding them and democratic deficits in tourism policy, planning and decision-making.
• Application of the concept of “socialisation” points us to a clear imperative to socialise the tourists, the tourism industry and governments into engaging with tourism on the basis of local community rights, needs and benefits (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2020).
• Finally, “socialising” is indicative that these activities are human centred, about enjoyment and being with others, but under conditions where all can thrive (including ecology), not just the paying tourists and the corporate sector. Additionally, it is indicative of an ongoing process; we are in relatedness to one another and adjusting to the need to share and engage. 

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COVID-19 has shut travel, tourism, hospitality and events in many parts of the world. It offers an opportunity to uncover the possibilities of resetting tourism. Contemporary tourism has supported neoliberal injustices and exploitation and has been co-opted for the profit of a few. ‘Responsible’ approaches to tourism alone, however, will not offer sufficient capacity to enable such a reset. Instead, such a vision requires a community-centred tourism framework that redefines and reorients tourism based on the rights and interests of local communities and local peoples. Theoretically, such an approach includes a way tourism could be ‘socialised’ by being recentred on the public good. This is essential for tourism to be made accountable to social and ecological limits of the planet.

Related: Tourism Alert and Action Forum

The Tourism Alert and Action Forum is a group formed by activists to advocate human rights, justice, equity and sustainable tournaments. There are a number of NGOs and individuals from around the world who have developed and supported this initiative. Numerous meetings and discussions have occurred, sometimes associated with the World Social Forum.The purpose of the TAAF is to: advocate and act for human-centred tourism policies and developments; champion community rights; ensure children women and vulnerable groups are not harmed by tourism; support Indigenous rights in tourism; promote justice tourism and solidarity forms of tourism.People and organisations who support our aims are invited to join us in these struggles.The Founding members of TAAF in 2018 were:Gautier Amoussou, Eco-Benin, BeninCentro de Estudios Sociales Aplicados-CESA, PerúCentre for Responsible Tourism, IndiaRuben Collio, Newen community of Tranguil, Mapuche PeopleEunice Contreras, Defense Front of the Sardinal – Guanacaste, Costa RicaEQUATIONS, IndiaFreya Higgins-Desbiolles, AustraliaRami Kassis, Alternative Tourism Group of PalestineHerman Kumara, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement and Tourism Watch- Sri LankaMarie Ange Lundu, High Point Resolutions, Democratic Republic of the CongoPierrette Nicolosi, Mouvement Chrétien Pour la Paix and Altervoyages, BelgiumRanjan Solomon, Badayl, IndiaErbene Verissimo, indigenous people of Tremembé – Itapipoca, BrasilWhen declarations or statements are made under the TAAF banner, these are done in the names of these official TAAF members unless otherwise stated.Being a member of this facebook page is not the same as TAAF membership and in no way suggests endorsement of TAAF declarations and statements. Individuals on the TAAF facebook page members’ list are subscribers to TAAF information and postings.


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