Home Travel Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Philosophy and Practice
Employment of Disadvantaged Groups
A second activity is the employment of disadvantaged groups (e.g. the poor, homeless, drug addicted or disabled groups). This can create a variety of benefits to the individual (e.g. housing, salary and psychological benefits) by providing meaningful work and personal development. These benefits allow the individual to reintegrate into society by providing them with development perspectives that restore their self-sufficiency and economic independence (Sommerrock, 2010). The hospitality and tourism industry is both a labour intensive industry and one that can be entered with a relatively low set of skills, while still providing strong opportunities for professional growth. This makes it an ideal sector to provide employment and a career path with low barriers to entry to disadvantaged groups or individuals in the host communities.
Designing the Product Service
Moreover, SE often creates social value by solving specific problems through product and service design inspired by local circumstances, cultures and traditions which existing products have not considered. On the other hand, the production of the service or product can also create social value by making it more efficient, thus reducing costs and making it more affordable to disadvantaged people (Sommerrock, 2010). The design of the tourism product or service can maximise local economic and social impacts. Travel itineraries can include visits to areas in need of assistance and tourists can be involved in the co-production of social value (e.g. voluntourism).
Marketing and Distribution
Lastly, another way along the value chain SE can create social value is through marketing and distribution. For example, a UK-based carbon neutral company allows consumers to check their carbon footprint on the internet and offset their consumptions through the same channel (Sommerrock, 2010). The last two decades have seen the embryonic emergence of tourism distribution networks that are sensitive to both the requirements of the conscious traveller (who wants to travel with organizations and to destinations that are sustainably managed), and the needs of tourism social enterprises who require cost effective distribution and marketing partners.
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