Constituted in June 1963 in Brussels, BITS sees its mission in becoming the international body for all activities, aimed at promoting the ideal of bringing the improved tourism within the easy reach of the vast majority. Since its foundation the goals and objectives of BITS has remained much the same, namely to foster the Social Tourism's development by coordinating tourism activities of its members and keeping them informed on all matters related to the Social Tourism's evolution worldwide.
In pursuing these objectives, BITS strives to become a melting pot for all experiences, interests and research that foster the development of Social Tourism internationally. Based on national organizations for Social Tourism, BITS is the rallying point for private and public sector organizations with the social and human vision of tourism, namely national governments, international organizations for Social Tourism and Youth and such international organizations as UNESCO and OMT.
Among the constituent members of the Bureau International du Tourisme Social are three principal world unions: the FSM, the CNT and the CISL; independent operators, like the Touring Clubs and Youth Hostels; international and national companies. In addition to organizations operating within the tourism sphere, counted among BITS members are those representing commercial sector, including the hotel business, transport and travel. The majority of them are associated organizations making up the General Assembly and eligible to the Council of Administration. However, the BITS membership is not limited exclusively to organizations oriented towards the concept of Social Tourism. There are affiliated organizations, recognized as important players in BITS activities but having no voting rights. The Bureau International du Tourisme Social also welcomes twelve governments as its honorary members that confirm their interest in the Social Tourism's development. Currently BITS is working towards completing the list of its honorary members with the countries, which share the vision of bringing tourism within the reach of every individual.
In order to meet the needs of various world regions in a more positive way, BITS set up regional sections in the mid-1990s. In this way the European body - BITS Europe was established with the aim of ensuring development of the Social Tourism in European countries. In 1993 the BITS-Ameriques was established as a center of promotion, coordination and exchange for Central, North and South America.
BITS activities can be divided into three spheres, namely conception, study and research; collaboration, coordination and mutual operational aid; and representation. The decision body of BITS is the General Assembly, composed of all member organizations and held every two years.
The Council of Administration is comprised of representatives from the associated organizations elected by the General Assembly for a term of four years. Appointed by the Council along with the President and the General Secretary is the permanent College of BITS.