World Social Tourism Conference

world-social-tourism-congress-brazilThe next World Social Tourism Conference will take place from 7th to 10th October 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. Mark Watson, Tourism Concern’s Executive Director, has been invited as a guest speaker and will chair the debate on community based tourism.

For the first time in its history, ISTO (International Organisation of Social Tourism) is organizing this conference in South America thanks to the invitation of the Serviço Social do Comércio – São Paulo (SESC SP), its oldest member in the Americas.

The main theme of the Conference “Tourism based on development – Unity in Diversity” will focus on four lines of reflection which are tourism and inclusion; tourism and education, tourism and solidarity; and tourism and sustainability. Through plenary sessions, panels and workshops, the conference will present a rich and diversified panorama of “development tourism” in different continents with debates on the right to travel and tourism as a means of meeting people and the convergence of cultures. Theoretical considerations will also be linked to best practice in tourism development while providing moments to deepen discussions on social tourism, responsible tourism, community tourism and sustainable tourism.

More information about the SESC

Created in 1946, the SESC is an initiative of the Brazilian business community that started to offer, in partnership with the government, an educational and cultural alternative to a Brazil that was rapidly urbanizing and industrializing. SESC economic model is based on the fact that companies in the commerce and services sector pay a compulsory contribution, which today is equivalent to 1.5 percent of their payroll, to a fund. The SESC-SP’s annual revenue is 1 billion reais, roughly equivalent to 630 million US dollars (457 million euros). They are used to support the maintenance of the infrastructure, which consists of 33 centers located in 19 different cities. In 2013, more than 21 million people visited SESC’s cultural centers

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