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International Social Tourism Organisation

The Family Holiday Association is a long-standing and pro-active member of ISTO, the International Social Tourism Organisation (or OTIS, Organisation Internationale du Tourisme Social).

International Social Tourism OrganisationOver the last 20 years we have worked to build a wide network of contacts with relevant organisations and institutions in Britain and across Europe.

Where as social tourism isn’t a particularly well-recognised term in the UK, in Europe there are several well-established government-backed social tourism programmes. In particular, Flanders Tourism, France’s ANCV, and Spain’s IMSERSO can all provide convincing testimony of the positive impact that their particular models deliver including measurable and significant social and economic benefit.

The Brussels-based International Social Tourism Organisation is a worldwide non-profit organisation that champions the benefit of breaks and recreation for individuals. The ISTO Europe section is responsible for the promotion and development of Tourism for All in Europe and maintains contacts with the bodies of the European Union (the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions), so that the question of ‘Tourism for All’ is taken into account in policies and programs.

Being a member allows us to share our experiences and views with other members and learn from their experience, projects and knowledge.  John McDonald, the charity’s Chief Executive, is a member of ISTO’s European Committee.