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This qualitative research investigates how promoting access to annual holidaying can help combat social exclusion for children and families experiencing poverty. It aims to stimulate debate on the need for developing social tourism policy. To this end, it discusses a range of policy rationales and reviews developments in policy and practice in other EU states. Specifically, its objectives include: to demonstrate how access to annual holidaying benefits people, particularly children, living in poverty; and to produce an evidence-based case to stimulate the development of government policy, and the investment of state and private sector resources, in the area. The study found that extant provision in Ireland is predominantly dependent on NGOs. Public support is modest, ad-hoc and informal, while private sector involvement is rare. Extant provision is poorly integrated into the array of supports offered to children and families experiencing disadvantage. The findings argue that access to an annual holiday generates benefits. Specifically it found that the structured, child-centred holidays studied broadened children’s social horizons; created opportunities to learn and acquire new skills; offered exposure to positive role models and promoted positive behavioural change. In addition, further benefits were generated for guardians and the wider family unit. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Quinn, B. Griffin, K. & Stacey, J. (2008) Poverty, Social Exclusion and Holidaying: Toward Developing Policy in Ireland Combat Poverty Agency Policy Research Initiative Working Paper