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Who Are We?

Founded in 1952, World Leisure, is a world-wide, non-governmental association of persons and organizations dedicated to discovering and fostering those conditions best permitting leisure to serve as a force for human growth, development and well-being.

Access to meaningful leisure experiences is no less than the need for shelter, education, employment and fundamental health care. Yet, improving the quality of life does not occur by chance. Rather it happens through the joint efforts of our policy makers, our leisure professionals, and our public and private sector program providers.

What do we do?

  • We foster inquiry: Research and scholarship to discover the personal and social potentialities of leisure experiences.
  • We share what we know: Formal and informal dissemination of knowledge and information
  • We engage in informed advocacy: By advocating for conditions optimizing leisure experiences: legislation, infrastructure, leadership, and programming

How do we do it?

  • We provide forums:

    • Face to Face: World Congresses, Regional Conferences and workshops
    • Print and Electronic Media: World Leisure Journal, Electronic Newsletter, monographs and web site
  • We offer programs:

    • Research and Scholarship
    • Post Graduate Education
    • Commissions and Working Groups
    • Consulting and Training
    • International Student Exposure
  • We engage in Informed Advocacy:

    • Charters
    • International Declarations
    • Position Papers
  • We work with others:

    • United Nations and its Agencies
    • International, Regional and National Non-governmental Organizations
    • Private Sector

How Are We Organized?

The overall direction of World Leisure and the policies needed to pursue it are determined by an international Board of Directors of up to 20 members drawn from diverse backgrounds and geographical regions. Officers include the President, Secretary General, Vice-President, and Secretary Treasurer. There are three standing committees: Executive, Finance, and Development. The Board meets annually, while committees meet somewhat more frequently as circumstances require.

The Affairs of the Association are managed by the World Leisure Secretariat, administered by the Secretary General. Program management is decentralized, and under the direction of the several program heads, including those in charge of World Leisure Commissions, WICE, WPS, and the World Leisure Journal.


Many of the participants in our several programs have chosen to become members of World Leisure, both to show support for the Association's work, and to enjoy the benefits of membership. Thus we have members from all parts of the world, both collective (educational institutions and government agencies) and individual. They come from all walks of life, with diverse interests, such as tourism, parks and recreation services, the arts and culture, sport and exercise, theme and entertainment centres, and children's play. They include:

  • Leisure professionals from public, private and voluntary sectors
  • Researchers and scholars
  • Managers and policy makers
  • Leisure educators
  • Concerned members of the community

We Foster Inquiry

Research and scholarship to discover the personal and social potentialities of leisure experiences.

We Engage in Informed Advocacy

By advocating for conditions optimizing leisure experiences: legislation, infastructure, leadership and programming.