Turismo em família: a importância do Turismo para famílias economicamente carenciadas
Tourism offers opportunities to explore new environments, generating benefits to tourists. One of these benefits is the opportunity to participate in a dimension of the modern society involving contact with other dimensions of this society, with potential for increasing social inclusion. Also, although considered an activity that should be accessible “for all”, nowadays low income is one of the constraints that make tourism inaccessible for many groups in society. Conversely, the study of these effects and constraints have been relatively neglected, particularly if considering the context of family tourism.
This thesis aims to extend the knowledge about the effects of family tourism, in general, and, in particular, for economically disadvantaged families, contributing to find more effective and innovative ways of combating poverty and social exclusion, highlighting the role of tourism as social innovation action.
Considering the central purpose of this research and the methodologies adopted by previous studies it was decided to adopt a mixed methodology, allowing the complementation of the quantitative analysis with a qualitative analysis.
The empirical study analysed the Portuguese reality and was divided into three distinct and complementary parts: the first part the leisure and tourism expenditure patterns of the Portuguese families were analysed, comparing the low-income households with the other households; the second part comprised the analysis of the effects of family tourism and the constraints felt by a sample of families of the Centro region; and in the third part, the tourism activity of a sample of economically disadvantaged families was analysed.
The results show that family tourism has important effects for individuals and families, and that these effects are distinguished according to factors such as motivations and the experiences lived during the tourist practice. Results also show that these effects vary its intensity according to the socioeconomic characteristics of the families. Also, financial constraints appear as the most important type of constraint to family tourism for the surveyed families. This analysis culminates in a set of practical recommendations and implications regarding the importance of tourism for economically disadvantaged families. Guidelines for designing or improving social tourism programs for families are identified.
Keywords: Family tourism; social tourism; economically disadvantaged families; effects of tourism; tourism constraints; tourism expenditure patterns; determinants of the tourism effects; Portugal.