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For a Responsible, Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism

Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea

ISBN: 978-1-80043-901-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-900-9

Publication date: 1 March 2021


The concept expressed by the phrase ‘accessible tourism’ reflects a case of which there is a lot of talk through the means of communication and through which it is possible to promote a theme that must be at the heart of individual subjects, or the accessibility to the use of public transport and mobility, catering and leisure, so it is a concept that aims to encourage a connection between the various services to make them truly usable for all those people who have diverse needs: children, the elderly, mothers with strollers, people with disabilities who move in a wheelchair or who have difficulty walking, people who have limitations in the upper and/or lower limbs, people who do not see and/or do not hear, who have allergies or intolerances to environments or food. Tourism is, therefore, inclusive. In any case, the word accessibility is configured as an ideal towards which, in order to achieve equality of rights and duties, an equality allows the individual to participate in social life as a whole. Therefore, we must not limit the aforementioned concept, only in relation to tourism, but we must consider it in a broader sense, for example, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as the ‘possibility of accessing the benefits that everyday life can offer, without encountering architectural barriers’.

The tourism sector, first of all, is that sector that has felt the need to pay attention to this issue. In particular, the tourism sector sees on the one hand the tourist offer that is proposed by the accommodation businesses, and on the other, the demand characterized by the need to satisfy ever more varied needs.

Accessibility, from this point of view, is configured as the most important feature that the tourist offer must have because it allows to bring the demand closer to the offer, managing to satisfy all the needs inherent in the characteristics of the various subjects. The characteristics that the tourism sector must possess in order to be able to speak of accessibility are as follows: firstly, this important word contains many meanings. It is customary to consider the following aspects in order to take into consideration the concept of accessibility: architectural barriers, sources of danger and sources of fatigue. The presence of these elements makes accessible tourism incomplete because it cannot satisfy the users of these services.

Very often, in fact, institutions and ministries have framed within the concept of accessibility all those people in wheelchairs or those paraplegic subjects, as well as all those people with reduced motor skills.

It is therefore necessary to be able to frame the users of accessible tourism and in this wake to propose accessible transport, viable accommodation facilities, but also proposals and programs with itineraries that are once again accessible. In any case, the audience of recipients of accessible tourism cannot be framed in a certain and definitive way, since people with reduced mobility or to whom the offer of accessible structures and services is extended may concern not only subjects with different types of disabilities such as problems of motor, sensory, cognitive or health type but also people who have food-type difficulties such as, for example, people with food allergies or intolerances.

Tourist accessibility is, however, a problem that occurs in every situation of everyday life. The solution to solve the problem of accessibility must be implemented consistently and gradually: a shared awareness of the creation of a built, urban and building space is needed, as well as consultation at all legislative levels in order to reach a clear and efficient legislation.

Making every guest feel like an active protagonist of their tourist experience must be the goal for all those who care about the well-being and satisfaction of all their guests.

BeingBeing able to offer accessible hospitality is an indicator of not only efficiency and professionalism but also great attention to the quality of the service, also in the face of specific requests from guests with disabilities. It means being able to be highly competitive and enjoy an advantage that allows you to stand out.

Tourism companies can insert important ethical values within their strategic business vision by investing in a social business.

What are the advantages that accessible hospitality can offer to a hotel? The expansion of the market through: 1) the increase in seasonality; 2) the increase in turnover; and 3) customer loyalty.

To achieve these advantages, however, it is necessary to adopt strategies.

Training is the most powerful tool through which those who govern the company can transfer the philosophy and know-how of industry experts on accessible hospitality directly to their collaborators, both in positions of responsibility and coordination and merely executive personnel – skills necessary to set up an organized structure that aims at the best quality of its services and therefore at the satisfaction of its guests.



Lo Bianco, B. (2021), "For a Responsible, Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism", Grasso, F. and Sergi, B.S. (Ed.) Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 185-197.



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