The rights to tourism: Reflections on social tourism and human rights

Scott McCabe*, Anya Diekmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


There is an increasing emphasis in tourism research on the role that tourism plays in enriching the lives of tourists, including impacts on health, well-being, happiness and quality of life. Tourism is increasingly being conceived as a necessity, rather than a luxury. This is especially so in the advanced economies of the world, but also increasingly in the emerging economies which have driven growth in international tourism demand throughout the recent global financial crisis. This leads to two interconnected issues: how to ensure that opportunities to participate in tourism exist for everyone in society, and whether access to opportunities can or should be considered a right. This paper discusses these issues by considering the position of tourism as a right and in the context of research on social tourism. It argues that tourism can be considered a form of social right, rather than a fundamental human right.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-204
Number of pages11
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • Benefits of tourism
  • Entitlements
  • Human rights
  • Social tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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