The Guardian - Charity holidays widen children's horizons
Research by Scott McCabe, Associate Professor in Tourism Management and Marketing at Nottingham University Business School's DeHaan Institute, finds evidence for the educational value of family holidays and the benefits of ‘social tourism’ to the economy.
Low-income families are having their first holiday in years, thanks to a charity. But should it be during term-time?
McCabe's research project is the first evidence-based survey looking at the effects of social tourism on wellbeing and the economy. "Not just the economy of the resorts where these families are sent," he stresses. "We're also trying to measure whether improved wellbeing helps to reduce the demand for prescription drugs and support services."
McCabe's team are also asking whether schools should offer more flexibility to families wanting to take their children out of school for term-time holidays. And is there potential for weaving in learning opportunities?
"There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to build certain key stages into these holidays," he says. And when I suggest that a week in a cramped caravan with the rain hammering on the roof might cause more family tensions than staying at home, he already has five months of research to draw on for an answer. "I interviewed a family who had spent a week in a caravan in Yorkshire during one of those summers when there was an absolute deluge. The kids thought it was a fantastic adventure. Many of them come from the inner cities and they're not allowed to 'play out' at home."
Read the full story in The Guardian
Posted on Tuesday 24th May 2011