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Disabled tourists ignored?

"...few consumer groups are as ignored as the disabled"

A new special edition of the academic journal World Leisure focuses on "Leisure Health and Disability", including articles on attitudes toward disabled customers, and the long-standing problem that many leisure and tourism operators don't believe that there is a "disability market" worth catering for.

In Australia 19% of the population "report that they have a disability" and some 11% of tourism spend comes from disabled tourists - yet a small survey indicated that most operators thought that no more that 1% of their customers were disabled.

A study in Europe showed many tourism operators going some way towards acknowledging their role in making the environment accessible for disabled people. However many operators still implied a need for "compromise". In other words, they thought making accessible tourism was something that disabled people had to share some responsibility for achieving.

That article concludes that such compromises like that with the complete Social Model of disability may be more acceptable if disabled people are at least formally involved in the strategies: "If government, the industry and the advocacy sector can develop universal and inclusive strategies to create a more enabling tourism environment, then the market potential can be realised"
Articles include

  • Tourism and models of disability
  • Playground accessibility
  • Attitudes to disabled tourism
  • Dementia and Leisure
  • Successful ageing
  • Active living and spinal injury
  • Leisure in Later Life
There's a special offer - up to the end of November 2012 you can download any of the articles free of charge from the website.