Global Social Tourism

Global Social Tourism is a global business venture linking the world’s communities, travellers, social enterprises, businesses, and institutions in a unique collaborative development of social tourism.

By ‘social tourism’, we mean social and business activity that:

a. builds on social connections to introduce communities to travellers and travellers to communities with the aim of providing rich social and cultural experiences;
b. develops interactions, trust, learning, and social relationships between travellers and communities; and
c. provides substantial financial and social benefits to host communities.

We aim to develop a Global Social Tourism ‘brand’ to identify social tourism ventures which:

1. provide opportunities for travellers to interact with local people through social experiences, cultural events, education, volunteering opportunities, tours, accommodation, food, and hospitality;
2. provide opportunities for disadvantaged people and communities to connect with travellers and participate in global tourism markets; and
3. signal to travellers that products and services carrying the brand are generated by groups or social enterprises which benefit the producers and their communities, and operate in an ethical manner.

Options for Participation and Partnerships

Global Social Tourism (GST) is being developed by an international working group comprising people from every continent. The business venture a multi-stakeholder social enterprise.

It is a “multi-stakeholder” model, because several categories of stakeholders will collaborate through the venture to pursue their goals (host communities, brokers/providers of social tourism experiences, social enterprise agents, partners).

It is a “social enterprise” model, because the project aims to assemble, market and sell packages of social tourism experiences (GST products).

As a multi-stakeholder social enterprise, our business model rests on collaboration between stakeholders, with a minimum percentage of revenue from the sale of each GST product allocated to key stakeholders.

Membership is invited from groups, organisations and businesses in building this collaborative venture in the following four stakeholder categories (use the online form below):

a. Host Communities
b. Brokers/Providers
c. Social Enterprise Agents
d. Partners

a. Host Communities
These are communities who wish to participate in the project, offering their places/ people/ experiences/ products to travellers. A Host Community may be a community organisation, a community group, or a local authority, that wishes to receive travellers from elsewhere in accordance with our values about social tourism.)

Membership is invited from communities wishing to participate in the development of Global Social Tourism.

b. Brokers/Providers
These are individuals or organisations who wish to participate in the project as providers or brokers of social tourism experiences. They may be established tour operators, or businesses in other fields, or new or existing social enterprises. The role of a Broker/ Provider is to assemble social tourism experiences in product formats which may be tours or events and comprise any or all of travel, accommodation, food, entertainment, introductions, experiences, education or volunteering roles. The Broker/ Provider may be a direct supplier of social tourism experiences, and/or may broker, assemble and package these as products.

Membership is invited from individuals, organisations or businesses wishing to participate in the development of Global Social Tourism.

c. Social Enterprise Agents
These are organisations that wish to act as marketing, booking and reservation agents for GST products. They may include social enterprises, charities, education institutions, local authorities, and faith institutions who support the values of the venture.

Expressions of Interest are invited from social enterprises and organisations wishing to participate in the development of Global Social Tourism.

d. Partners
These are donors and investors who wish to partner with the project by making a financial contribution to or investment in the development of Global Social Tourism.

Expressions of Interest are invited from donors and investors wishing to participate in the development of Global Social Tourism.


Membership is the key to ownership, participation, identity, marketing, and revenue sharing.

To participate in GST, membership is mandatory for host communities, brokers/providers, and social enterprise agents.

From 1 October 2015, membership is open with the following one-off joining fees:

1. Host community organisations – EUR 50
2. Brokers/providers EUR 200
3. Social enterprise agents EUR 100
4. Partners EUR 5,000

Members will constitute the GST governing board of 11 directors as follows:

1. 3 host community organisations
2. 2 brokers/providers
3. 2 social enterprise agents
4. 2 partners
5. 2 independent directors.

The GST governing board will commence its governance function from 1 January 2016.

Members may express their interest in joining the GST Governing Board.

Register your interest in participating here.