Social Tourism is a form of helping community people and travelling together for the short period of time. Since long time, it is in practices as volunteering. Thus, many tourists’ wants to work with fun, helping community-changing-something; in other hand, they have acute interest of cultural exchange and refreshing themselves. Sometimes, they are searching for good sources of food and shelter during their travel. As in the ground reality it is also called swap for work.
Social tourism is identified in different country in different name as their practices and cultural values. Responsible tourism in Thailand, community tourism in Nigeria, volunteering in Nepal and Myanmar whatever we say is a part of social tourism. The concept of swap for work is also rising to promote social tourism in tourism phenomenon. The Social Tourists are practices as social service in first part and second part is tourism and adventure in Nepal and around the globe where the better practices is.
Motivation of Social Tourists :
Most of the tourists are interested to make work as a fun and exercise; somehow they are interested to help community, or changing something. In other hand they have acute interest of cultural exchange and sometimes charity. To use the waste time for good work, managing retire life also found in my study. The university student in Germany does the volunteering for full fill the gap year of course as community services or military services; these are projects of university course. Sometimes, I found, sourcing the food and shelter during their stay in Nepal for their short period of travelling. In contrary, pedophile, religiously motivator and spying are also the existing in their so called social tourism.
Now, volunteering in Nepal is illegal as explain in Nepal Immigration Act 1994. In contrary, 30 thousand voluntourists were involving in different social projects in half million of total arrival of tourist as we receive the data in 2013. All the voluntourists have not police clearance from their respected embassy or high commission. They just come to the Nepal via NGOs and goes to the community services in the field. This practice invented the illegal tour operators and promoting tax avoiding practices in tourism.
The illegal tour operators are taking advantage and business in the absences of social tourism policy. Somehow, non technical volunteers are doing technical work directly which curtails the qualified jobs in the market. It is badly affected in socio-economic phenomenon. Many pedophile and religiously motivated people are involving in this service. Spies and the data collectors are working for their country.
It is essential to introduce the social tourism policy, lack of the social tourism policy tourist’s illegal activities are not been observed by the government. Policy reduced the illegal tour operators and offensive work. The social tourism policy governs the social tourists; it controls them and detects their activities in the community work.
This policy supports the Home stay and village tourism in Nepal; it is also creates the security to the tourist where they go for services. Policy addresses the social tourist contribution. It increased the governmental revenue in tax system. Due to the policy, the tourist will be honored in their work and they will be served by improved and quality services by local agency. Sharing and exchange of ideas can be help to local people. It creates the jobs in local level market. It will help to control the pedophile and religious motivator.
Government can made the Social Tourist Identification Card (STIC) which is similar to TIMS card to permit to go for trekking. STIC card will have all the information of tourists similar to TIMS card. We should prepare this scheme for STIC as valuable tourism product. Before implementation of this scheme in tourism, we should be careful to build up the policy as quality tourism product in Nepal.