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Tourism for All

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“Tourism for All – promoting universal accessibility,” is this year’s theme for World Tourism Day.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has committed to this goal with direct influence from Article 7 of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, which states that “direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants.” This includes at least one billion people living with some form of permanent or temporary disability, plus the elderly and travelers with young children.

Tourism for all is a social imperative that is extremely profitable for businesses as well. According to UNWTO, these travellers often come in groups during the low season, spend more than the average tourist, and have a higher rate of return visits.

The big question then is how destinations can get started in becoming universally accessible. According to Visit Britain, providing access for all must include the following:

  • Training employees to be “disability aware,” thereby giving them confidence when serving customers with various accessibility needs;
  • Providing accurate and easy to find information on what they can offer; and
  • Improving physical facilities that address the needs of those with mobility, visual, auditory, and cognitive requirements.

When making your destination more accessible, it is extremely important to have an inclusive process. This means including people with disabilities and accessibility requirements from the planning stage up to execution. Benchmarking and auditing the changes you’ve made from the onset will also be useful in keeping track of the effectiveness of  your progress in the long run.

Making your destination accessible to all may seem like a massive undertaking, but there is an abundance of free resources and support online that you can take advantage of (see links below).

Lastly, here is an inspiring message for “World Tourism Day 2016” from UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai: 
Resources:

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Green Hotel Bookings Made Easy

Looking to stay at a green hotel? Here we give you a presentation of the top sustainable and eco-friendly hotel booking engines. Now there is no excuse not to stay green! Peter Berg Schmidt. Read more.

 

 

European tourism professionals, accessibility experts and policymakers talk about the business case for accessible tourism and how destinations and enterprises can win more business by responding to market changes. The interviews were recorded at the European Conference, “Mind the Accessibility Gap. Re-Thinking Accessible Tourism in Europe” on 6th June 2014. Read more.

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This tool guides you to make a preliminary assessment about whether your region and property have the attributes for a successful tourism venture. If, after taking this initial assessment, you find that your property has tourism potential then we recommend you visit the websites listed on page 9.  Stage 2 allows you to make a more thorough assessment of whether to proceed with your tourism business idea and helps you develop this idea into a full business plan, and will be available in the future.

by Carolyn Fausnaugh, Paul Waight, Karen Higginbottom & Chelsea Northrope

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Farm & Country Tourism on Your Property: Stage 1 Assessment Tool

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The aim of the research project was to evaluate and assess urban tourism environments, including urban national parks, in the context of universal design principles. A secondary objective was to estimate the economic contribution of tourists with a disability using the Australian Tourism Satellite Account.

by Simon Darcy, Bruce Cameron, Larry Dwyer, Tracy Taylor, Emma Wong and Alana Thomson

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Visitor Accessibility in Urban Centres

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On 12 July 2005, a Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre Research workshop was held at the New South Wales Department of State and Regional Development, titled Setting a Research Agenda for Disability and Tourism. The workshop looked at the state of the field from the perspectives of supply, demand and  regulation/coordination research and accessible tourism industry practice.

by Simon Darcy

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Setting a Research Agenda for Accessible Tourism

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The aim of the research was to bring the insights and interdisciplinary expertise of the research team to develop best business practice case studies in accessible tourism. This project builds upon the STCRC-funded workshop held on 12 July 2005: Sydney—Setting a Research Agenda for Accessible Tourism. Key findings are contained in the subsequent report (Darcy, 2006). This research project seeks to address the third prioritised outcome from that workshop: Industry Engagement—The Business Case for Accessible Tourism, by documenting the business case for accessible tourism through the development of business based, case studies of successful operators.

by  Simon Darcy, Bruce Cameron, Shane Pegg and Tanya Packer

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Developing Business Case Studies for Accessible Tourism

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This document profiles key research into the field of disability and accessible tourism perspectives, a growing industry sector in Australia. It has been prepared to synthesise STCRC’s research in this area and to provide an easily digestible insight into the dynamics of this tourism segment. STCRC is confident this document and the individual research projects can be used to drive new strategies and actions to support the development of more accessible tourism experiences for travellers with a disability.

by STCRC

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Accessible Tourism Cover Image

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