Paul Maynard, MP, talks to Flanders' Tourism Minister, hears from social tourism partners and visits the EU Commission in Brussels to meet with head of Tourism Unit.
In late August, just prior to the new Parliamentary session, Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, visited Flanders in Belgium to see at first hand how one long-established social tourism programme was working.
The Flanders Tourist Board gave evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Social Tourism Group in the summer of 2011 and, following the publication of the APPG report "Giving Britain a Break", Mr Geert Bourgeois, the Flanders Government Tourism Minister, invited the Group and the Family Holiday Association over to Flanders.
APPG member, Ruth Rendell, asks a question on social tourism in the House of Lords on Monday 23 April 2012
As part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on social tourism's work to promote the benefits of social tourism, group member Baroness Randell of Baberghasked a question in the House of Lords on Monday 23 April 2012.
"To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will incorporate social tourism policies, such as the provision of holidays by the Family Holiday Association for people living on a low income, in future tourism strategies."
You can read the Daily Express's Cross Bencher column below and watch the exchanges following Lady Rendell's question in the video above or you can read a transcript of the Hansard record here.
Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys and chairman of the group urged that holidays form part of an "early intervention" agenda to tackle social problems.
He also commented "I suspect that there will be those who read this report who are as unaware of the concept as I was before I met the Family Holiday Association who prevailed upon me to seize the idea and run with it.
"This general lack of awareness has to make those of us who participated in this inquiry humble in our aims. We are but a starting point. We aim to build the foundations on which much will subsequently be erected. There must be recognition that raising awareness of what we are talking about, and placing it on the political agenda, are crucial objectives before we can go any further."