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Bernadette Lo Bianco

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-901-6

Keywords

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Article

Fabio Cassia, Paola Castellani, Chiara Rossato and Claudio Baccarani

Despite a growing interest in accessible tourism, delivering high-quality tourism experiences to people with disabilities (PwD) remains a major challenge. Beyond a number…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite a growing interest in accessible tourism, delivering high-quality tourism experiences to people with disabilities (PwD) remains a major challenge. Beyond a number of acknowledged barriers (e.g. cultural, architectural, relational), the main issue is the lack of coordination amongst the many actors participating in the co-creation of tourism experiences. This paper intends to advance available knowledge on this issue by conceptually suggesting a solution that draws on the concepts of the tourism experience and digital ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is developed as a conceptual contribution, drawing also on an illustrative example that considers a tourist with mobility disability as the focal actor.

Findings

The results indicate that a digital ecosystem could contribute to making tourism locations more accessible by enabling information sharing and coordination amongst all actors that co-create the tourism experiences. Moreover, the analysis underlines that tourism locations should be designed to be useable by all people, drawing on the principles of the universal design.

Research limitations/implications

This paper describes a path to fostering accessible tourism, drawing on local authorities, particularly municipalities and universities. The suggested solution would benefit from future empirical analyses to assess its strengths and weaknesses.

Originality/value

By drawing on the concept of digital ecosystems, this paper is amongst the first studies to suggest a path to making tourism locations more accessible to all tourists (with or without disabilities) based on technology.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article

James Bowtell

The purpose of this paper is to examine the accessible tourism market potential, alongside the implications of operating in the accessible tourism market and an assessment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the accessible tourism market potential, alongside the implications of operating in the accessible tourism market and an assessment of major travel and leisure company involvement. The research focused on providing a market value forecast using historic data from 2005 and extrapolating this to 2025. An examination of the reasons for and against major travel and leisure company involvement in the accessible tourism market was accompanied by an analysis of managerial perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

The exploration of travel patterns of disabled tourists, in particular spend per head per holiday, was used to measure the value of the demand side of accessible tourism. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with employees of major travel and leisure companies in managerial positions.

Findings

The study indicates that the accessible tourism market is a distinct sector, possessing the capacity for extensive future growth, and thus presents major travel providers with a potentially substantial and lucrative market, generating potential revenues of €88.6 billion by 2025.

Research limitations/implications

Due to a lack of existing data an assumption had to be made on the evolution of travel spend per head per holiday. However, the formula used, using GDP/Capita growth, is a recognised way of forecasting this kind of data in the travel and leisure industry.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to provide an examination of the reasons for and against major travel and leisure company involvement in the accessible tourism market, as well providing a forecast of the market value up to 2025.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

Keywords

Content available
Article

Alina Zajadacz

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a critical analysis of the disability models developed to date and of how they function in practice. Furthermore, it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a critical analysis of the disability models developed to date and of how they function in practice. Furthermore, it aims to answer the following question: which model of disability (MD) will provide the most suitable foundation for any course of action undertaken in the process of planning accessible tourism development in the future?

Design/methodology/approach

In the first stage of the study a critical analysis of the MDs described in the literature as well as in selected reports and expert opinions relating to people with disability (PwD) was performer. These findings then became the basis for the second stage of the study which focuses on identifying attitudes within society towards the types of tourism on offer connected to the analysed MDs. The applied research methods include an analysis of a survey (2013, 2014) carried out face-to-face and on the SurveyMonkey web site. The study group consisted of 619 people (from Poland, Russia, Germany, Portugal, Slovakia, Canada, Tunisia and Great Britain).

Findings

The great diversity of disabilities makes finding a universal solution in the creation of accessible tourism supply a complex task. This supports the need for a flexible “mix of various models” aimed at finding optimal solutions and the personalisation of tourism. In this context the greatest potential in the development of accessible tourism are models which are a synthesis of many determiners of disability such as the biopsychosocial or the geographical model of disability. The dynamics of accessible tourism development is likely to be increasingly influenced by the economic model, reflecting current trends for the personalisation of tourism supply.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was carried out mainly within the European Community, the exception being respondents from Irkutsk in eastern (Asian) Russia. In order to gain a global view of the development of accessible tourism, research should be performed in countries representing all continents or tourist regions. Additionally, reflecting the definition of accessible tourism its beneficiaries – PwD – should participate in decision-making processes. Tourism service providers who are directly engaged in tourism supply also have a role to play. Their opinions and attitudes towards the development of accessible tourism determine its very nature in reality.

Practical implications

The survey on attitudes in society regarding the organisation of tourist trips for PwD confirmed conclusions from the analysis of the practical implications of various disability models in the creation of tourism supply that a single universal, optimal solution does not exist. All of the described MD can be applied in the development of a diverse tourism supply. The proposed model “diversification of supply […]” is the theoretical basis for the conscious development of accessible tourism in practice which in accordance with changes observed in the tourism market is undergoing increasing diversification and personalisation.

Social implications

In each of the tourism supply for PwD types the economic model of disability based on the identification of PwD needs and surrounding society is important. The number of PwD and the scope of necessary services, social support (PwD often travel accompanied by one to three people) is determined by income in all the sectors identified in the structure of tourism supply. From the economic point of view, awareness of different types of disability and the diverse models describing it are significant aids in the segmentation of tourism supply and placement of products accessible to PwD on the tourism market.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new, critical perspective on the selected MD, the key to which is the search for optimal solutions in the development of accessible tourism. The analysis performed indicated the need for a synthesis of paradigms at the core of the conceptualisation of particular models, including those often regarded as being contrary (medical and social). The results of studies would give tourism providers important data on an increasingly competitive tourism market, and also affect changes in how PwD, the elderly, are viewed, from the category of “relatively poor” to “attractive, using a wide range of services”.

Content available
Article

Eleni Michopoulou, Simon Darcy, Ivor Ambrose and Dimitros Buhalis

Accessible tourism is evolving as a field of academic research and industry practice, set within a dynamic social context. The field is interdisciplinary…

Abstract

Purpose

Accessible tourism is evolving as a field of academic research and industry practice, set within a dynamic social context. The field is interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary. The purpose of this paper is to examine key concepts and global initiatives that will shape accessible tourism futures.

Design/methodology/approach

Three of the authors have extensive academic experience in the area and the fourth author is the Managing Director of the pre-eminent European Network for Accessible Tourism. In taking a limited Delphi approach to canvassing key areas likely to shape accessible tourism futures, the following concepts and policy initiatives were examined: motivations, dreams and aspirations of people with disability; demography; UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; destination competitiveness; universal design (UD); and the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Findings

A discussion of each of the above areas was placed in context to accessible tourism futures and to contextualise the papers that were selected for the special issue. The latter part of the paper outlines the contribution of each empirical paper to the issue discussing the approach, findings and implications. Stakeholder collaboration was identified as the key common theme of the papers and the factor for developing accessible tourism solutions, recognising the value of the market and capitalising on it. A collaborative approach is required to recognise the complementary nature of the different paradigms; to re-shape and transform the future of the accessible tourism industry. To assist in the development of accessible tourism futures, UD principles should provide a foundation to enhance the future competitiveness of tourism destinations and organisations.

Originality/value

The paper’s examination of the concepts and global policy considerations provides a strong academic and practitioner foundation for considering accessible tourism futures. In doing so, accessible tourism futures are shown to be affected by key concepts related to core tourism considerations and major policy initiatives on accessibility and sustainability. Yet, accessible tourism futures also have the potential to create their own momentum and contribute unique learnings on the diversity of tourism markets that will shape tourism concepts and global policy initiatives in their own right.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

Keywords

Content available
Article

Brielle Gillovic and Alison McIntosh

The purpose of this paper is to put forward the argument that New Zealand’s tourism industry generally fails to acknowledge the importance of the access market. Despite…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to put forward the argument that New Zealand’s tourism industry generally fails to acknowledge the importance of the access market. Despite anecdotal evidence of the market’s value and strong legislation, New Zealand’s access market arguably remains underserviced and misunderstood. The current research sought to explore social and business rationales to support a future for accessible tourism in New Zealand, from the perspectives of its key stakeholders. It sought to uncover contemporary issues in the tourism industry, to examine the capacity and context for which issues can be addressed and overcome, to achieve a future for accessible tourism in New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

Under the interpretive paradigm, original, exploratory research was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten key New Zealand tourism industry stakeholders who agreed to participate in the research. Qualitative data were thematically analysed. The following five key themes inductively emerged from the data: “Accessibility as a human right: Developing a culture of accessibility”; “Accessible tourism: Good for business?”; “Bottom-up, market-led approach”; “Leadership from the top: Moving from apathy to action”; and “Meeting somewhere in the middle”. The five themes correspond to themes evidenced in the wider literature and present propositions for the future development of accessible tourism in New Zealand.

Findings

Findings revealed stakeholder opinions of an industry exemplifying minimal awareness and consideration for accessibility. Accessibility was perceived to be an issue of social change, requiring the achievement of a cultural shift where accessibility is envisioned as a cultural norm necessary for the future. Whilst top-down leadership and support were deemed pertinent, ownership and accountability were seen to be crucial at the lower, operational levels of the industry. A “meeting in the middle” was reported necessary to see the leveraging of a greater push towards accessibility and emphasising more prominently, what has been and can be done, moving forward into the future.

Originality/value

This paper provides original insights into the current and future scope of accessible tourism in New Zealand from the perspectives of its stakeholders. The key themes derived from the research assist knowledge for aligning the industry on a pathway towards achieving the necessary awareness and collaboration required in order to offer accessible tourism experiences to all.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

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Article

Simon Darcy, Bob McKercher and Stephen Schweinsberg

This paper aims to examine the development of disability and tourism to the conceptualising and defining of accessible tourism.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the development of disability and tourism to the conceptualising and defining of accessible tourism.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a limited review of the literature as its main approach.

Findings

In reviewing the development of the field from disability and tourism to accessible tourism, it became apparent that there has been a change in focus on the accessibility of the key sectors of tourism (e.g. transport, accommodation and attractions) to incorporating an embodied understanding of tourism in developing accessible destination experiences that provide an equality of offering to that of nondisabled tourists.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution by clearly following the development of the field from papers that only considered tourism and disability to conceptualise and define the accessible tourism field. It then goes on to identify a significant challenge due to an underlying empirical data gap through a lack of nationally and regionally collected tourism data that incorporates disability questions.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Content available
Article

Gamze Özogul and Günseli Güçlütürk Baran

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the comprehension of the importance of “Accessible Tourism” for the specialized travel agencies by proposing suggestions and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the comprehension of the importance of “Accessible Tourism” for the specialized travel agencies by proposing suggestions and key factors to improve the supply of accessible tourism offers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts specialized travel agencies on the accessible tourism perspective of disabled tourist flows. Also, this paper describes the circumstances, social, politic, economic consequences and key decisions that thereby Turkey would be recognized, preferring, establishing on the intention of purchased and suggested positive word of mouth among people.

Findings

According to European Commission (EU) (2013) more than half of the individuals with disabilities in the EU made approximately 170 million day trips and a similar number of overnight trips within the EU during the 12 months between mid-2012 and mid-2013. Despite the developments in tourism, lack of product/service appropriate to the travel rights of the individuals with accessibility needs is one of the obstacles should be overcome. Accessible tourism is one of the keys for the survival of the specialized travel agencies in the future. Providing appropriate product/service by targeting the individuals with accessibility needs together with a correct approach and strategy, the specialized travel agencies will be able to have a competitive advantage and continue their activities. Also this market segment will create having sustainable activity and a golden opportunity for the specialized travel agencies in the future.

Originality/value

Little research has been done on accessible tourism, future development and on the impact that disabled tourists have on tourism. The paper presents suggestions on what the specialized travel agencies should do with regards to making Turkey be preferred in the future by the individuals having accessibility needs.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

Keywords

Content available
Article

Aristotelis Naniopoulos, Panagiotis Tsalis and Dimitrios Nalmpantis

The purpose of this paper is to develop accessible tourism in two areas of Greece and Turkey. The areas of Drama in Greece and Mersin in Turkey have cooperated in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop accessible tourism in two areas of Greece and Turkey. The areas of Drama in Greece and Mersin in Turkey have cooperated in the frame of MEDRA project to assess their potential and set up a plan for developing accessible tourism.

Design/methodology/approach

The choice of the two areas was not random. Mersin currently enjoys continuous development, as one of Turkey’s biggest ports and a free trade zone. Drama is a developing area in agricultural manufacturing and high-tech sectors with a rich physical environment which aspires to develop a healthy alternative tourism industry.

Findings

The findings include, amongst others, the identification of needs of tourists with disabilities, and the relevant historical evolution, legislative framework, international good practices, policy-improvement proposals, accessibility assessment in Mersin and Drama, and suggestions for developing accessible infrastructure together with the training of stakeholders.

Practical/implications

Greece although made a lot of progress regarding the issues of disability and accessibility still is not on the same level as many European countries, while Turkey has a lot to learn in order to deal with accessibility from a holistic point of view.

Social/implications

Both countries owe a large percentage of their national income, to the tourist industry and seek ways to gain advantages in this highly competitive sector.

Originality/value

The successful implementation of the MEDRA project constitutes an example worthy of a wider application in the development of accessible tourism, not only in the two countries but also to countries with similar characteristics.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

Keywords

Content available
Article

Rafael Cruces Portales

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the analysis and grasp of accessible tourism, from its present into a medium-term future. It provides a socio-anthropological…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the analysis and grasp of accessible tourism, from its present into a medium-term future. It provides a socio-anthropological approach.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the scenarios-planning analysis framework proposing four scenarios arising from the interaction of aforementioned driving forces. The author also use a trilemma to both form and evaluate scenarios. The criteria for the trilemma were (stakeholders, cooperation and prejudice).

Findings

The strength of combining a new set of driving forces, namely, empathy, apathy, certainty in economic profits and fear of economic losses, which would enable to draw four plausible scenarios into the future of accessible tourism within a scenarios-planning framework. The significance is to provide “food for thought” to address the future through a range of different concepts.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation is the difficulty to obtain honest answers about why the lack of development of accessible tourism.

Practical implications

Participant observation on both groups and individuals in vacation atmosphere. Also, in-depth interviews to different stakeholder representatives.

Social implications

To try to explain to the stakeholders their wasted economic benefits and, at the same time, the opportunity of getting social prestige.

Originality/value

The main value is about considering the interplay of social concepts as empathy, apathy, “aesthetic prejudice” and fear of losses or faith in profits.

Details

Journal of Tourism Futures, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-5911

Keywords

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