Learning never goes on holiday: an exploration of social tourism as a context for experiential learning

Lilian Bos*, Scott McCabe, Sarah Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper applies Experiential Learning Theory to examine learning experiences of UK children during a holiday to assess the potential of holidays as influencing factors in educational achievement and attainment. The paper presents findings from a study undertaken with low-income families who had received financial support to take a holiday through the concept of social tourism. The study concludes that across a range of holiday styles, tourism can provide a context for experiential learning, and that the holiday can help to contextualise classroom learning through relearning. Finally, this form of social tourism, which included cooperation between schools, families, social and education services and social tourism organisations helped to improve relationships between the schools and families, which could be beneficial for children's learning in school. This paper calls for further research on the links between tourism and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-875
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Taylor & Francis.


  • educational benefits
  • Experiential Learning Theory
  • social tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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