An Important Human Right

The European Union has declared that tourism is a human right and all Europeans are entitled to subsidized travel. The subsidized tours will be open to pensioners, citizens over 65 or between the ages of 18 and 25, and families facing “difficult social, financial or personal” circumstances. “Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life,” said Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry. The tours are also intended to promote European pride, bridge the “north-south divide,” and support the tourism industry in the off-season. (HT: Greg Mankiw)[%comments]

I'd be happy with dinner once a week from the government.

Beer should be regarded as a human right in Canada.

Pat McGee

Above the fold, it says, "Europe declares vacations a human right."

Below the fold, it talks about tourism and subsidized travel.

I think those are very different things, and that the line above the fold is misleading.


Near Speechless.

It's one thing to say that they hold it is a benefit which they believe everyone should have. But, to call it a "human right"?!?!

That degrades the term itself - when a term can mean almost anything, then it ceases to have any valuable meaning. Are countries which do not subsidize vacations for their citizens denying human rights?

Does this mean that a person's ability to go on vacation is of the same classification of rights as a person's expectation to not be murdered/beaten/robbed/whatever by their government?


Check your facts. This isn't really the story at all. Pretty much hyperbole.


Well if Brussels says so it must be so. Time to revise our economic models, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs.


Wow. If tourism is a right, what is not a right? Where do we say "no, we're not providing this for you, if you want it bad enough provide it for yourself."

The EU has serious issues.


The only way I'd subsidize anyone else's vacation is if I buy them a one-way ticket OUT of the country! If they want to come back, it's on their hook. If they can't do it, well then....they'll just have to get comfortable in their "new home."


This blog post is an embarrassment, not to the EU, but to the Freakonomics and NYT brands. It doesn't just misrepresent the facts, it completely invents new facts. This is an economic proposal, and has nothing to do with "human rights".


A more accurate title would be:

"the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry has declared that tourism is a human right"

Not the same thing at all.

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The Times Online article is seriously wrong, and by implication this article as well.
Now everybody is huffing an puffing again over those darn eurocrats. Look in the comments for the original Times Online article. Blood pressures are rising to new heights and the venting of steam creates a veritable mist obscuring what was really decided in Madrid.
I am not sure the Times Online can be helped, but I would expect more effort from the NYTimes in their reporting.


I think it's a great idea. Obviously a very first-word human right but a good one. In America we seem to be moving closer and closer to the Republican idea that the rich should keep every cent they make and the poor should work every single day of their life until they die from exhaustion at their job.


Ray - I want to be a Republican! :)

Mike B

I think this dangerously cheapens the concept of a Human Right. If you make everything a Human Right then the more fundamental ones lose their value and can be dismissed with the flaky ones by authoritarian regimes.


I heard European airspace was closed recently because they wanted to force large swaths of the traveling business population into a mandatory vacation.


I expect better researched posts from this blog. I come here for high quality analysis, not the lowest standards of copy and paste hyperbolic journalism.


it would have been a nice experience on your blog.

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I agree - I expect better from this blog. Please check your facts, the truth is here:

In short: lots of political blabla, no talk about subsidies or tourism as a human right.

Your blog post is highly misleading, I think it would be appropriate to correct that.


To vacation is a right? Yes. Working 40-60-80 hours a week to make someone incredibly rich at the expense of their own lives is new.

Before the corporate mentality, one would get what they needed and stopped when they wanted. There was no insatiable greed driving them to work themselves into heart failure. When the crops were done and clothes were made, then leave. Go on vacation. Enjoy the weather. You didnt NEED to check in with another PERSON to get PERMISSION to enjoy YOUR OWN LIFE. The people making zillions are taking vacations all of the time. They arent chained to a desk for half of their waking hours. They make cameos and let OTHER people handle the business. What do they do? They go on VACATION while OTHERS make them the money so they can STAY on vacation.

Or are the religious corporate types going to say the laws of corporations overrule the God given rights of freedom to individuals. (But the people can be free. They will just be broke and homeless.) Yes, thanks to the system of greed that starts the meter running from the moment people are born, in debt to another person. You think that was God's grand design?



Don't understand the people slamming the blog for bad reporting. Tajani literally said, "Travelling for tourism today is a right".