Tourism Seminar: Professor Scott McCabe
Tourism at the Crossroads: The Role of Social Tourism in Securing a Positive Future
In many senses, tourism is at a crossroads. As one of the most important areas of global economic activity, tourism has become an established component of leisure consumption. Yet global forces threaten the long-term viability of tourism. The level and concentration of demand for some destinations poses a threat to sustainability for example. The aging European society, characterised by attendant challenges of increases in the proportion of people with disabilities, and the costs of health and social care, present real threats to the structure and organisation of the tourism system. Finally, huge inequalities in wealth and disposable incomes present challenges for policy makers in relation to citizenship rights, fairness and societal wellbeing.
This presentation examines the potential for social tourism to be a useful tool that can be utilised to help overcome some of these grand challenges. Social tourism concerns the inclusion of otherwise disadvantaged people in tourism participation. It is a concept that is predicated on the assumption that everyone in society should have the ability to experience a regular break away from home, such as a simple domestic holiday, and that such experiences deliver important social and emotional benefits. The presentation draws on research produced over twelve years on social tourism by McCabe. This research has assessed the concept of rights and fairness in tourism, the effects of social tourism on social and relational wellbeing, physical and psychological health and the contributions of social tourism to social and educational policies. This research has demonstrated that research on tourism’s effects on people’s lives can transcend it’s context as discretionary consumption activity. Social tourism can link policy on tourism together with broader social, health and educational policy areas. The presentation will examine the role that social tourism can play in helping to achieve a fair and just society, leading to improvements in wellbeing.
Scott McCabe is Professor of Marketing and Tourism at the Nottingham University Business School, where he has worked for eleven years. He was previously a lecturer and Associate Professor in the School, was Deputy Director of the Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute, and then Divisional Research Director and Head of Marketing Division. He is currently Head of Professional Practice, responsible for continuing professional development activities in the School.
He has been a visiting Lecturer at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Universite d’Angers, France; and currently NHTV Breda in the Netherlands.
Scott’s research focuses on the qualities of tourist experience, consumer behavior and tourist decision-making. More recently, his work has engaged debates in pro-social and pro-environmental tourist consumption, as well as responsible and ethical consumer behavior. Since 2006, he has been working on a program of research on the motivations, experiences and outcomes of holiday experiences for severely disadvantaged UK consumers. Working with a range of small and large charities, his research has helped to promote the concept of ‘social tourism’ in the UK, influencing policy and practice, raising awareness and establishing a link between holidays and subjective wellbeing outcomes. He has worked alongside European colleagues to promote social tourism internationally and within the academy. He has published widely in the tourism field, with one book, three edited volumes, and a number of scholarly research articles. He is also the current Editor in Chief (alongside Sara Dolnicar) of Annals of Tourism Research and sits on the board of a number of other journals.