Hello! Today I am going to write about a vital topic: inclusive and accessible tourism. Let me introduce myself, and we’ll start right away with 3 essential things to know!
My name is Sara, I am a tourism consultant, and on this website, I talk about tourism, sustainability, theory and practices to become a more sustainable operator.
I strongly believe that this topic (Accessible and sustainable tourism) is crucial, and for this reason, I invite you to read carefully. I will try to be brief and write about it several times to address different aspects of the topic.
I will start by saying that accessible and inclusive tourism is a fundamental part of any tourism approach that is sustainable. I will also say that for many activities proposing inclusive and accessible tourism is not easy, indeed for all activities.
But there is a big, BUT it is not impossible!!!
Knowing and exploring the subject in depth will help you discover solutions and strategies to use to get used to it and get into the right frame of mind, and then you can improve your initial ideas and implement them.
Today we start with the basics
the definitions of accessible tourism and inclusive tourism
The needs of people that we have to take into account to make tourism for all or inclusive;
And we will talk about the mental changes to be made to work well in this area.
Let’s start with definitions because we need to speak the same language to understand the problem and the solutions. So we understand each other.
Accessible tourism is defined as an approach that we can apply to any tourism type and operator to create a proposal that everyone can experience, including people with special needs.
Inclusive tourism is the approach to any tourism type and product that considers not only accessibility but also the needs of LGBTQ people, women and people from ethnic minorities (just to name a few categories).
When talking about accessibility and inclusiveness, one should think first of people’s needs:
- Family with young children in wheelchairs
- Senior people
- People with different dietary needs
- People with cognitive disabilities
- People with sensory disabilities (blind, deaf)
- People with motor disabilities who may need aid: from a temporary cast to a permanent wheelchair.
Change of mentality
Only by proposing a tourism offer and services for ALL can we go beyond the regulatory requirements and not make mistakes such as a mirror in the bathroom where the person in a wheelchair cannot see himself reflected, despite being a room for people with disabilities.
It is necessary to think about the tourism proposal for ALL to better accommodate those with disabilities and further pamper people with similar needs, such as seniors or families with children, compatible with our target product.
If our target group is an active tourist, we will have to tailor all our assessments to our guests’ needs, considering the target group’s characteristics.
Finally, a small informative note.
The accessible tourism market has exciting characteristics:
- Tourists with disabilities are estimated to be about one billion in the world, about 10 million in Italy;
- Multiplier factor x2 (these customers never go on holiday alone but with relatives, friends and travel companions)
- They take more than a 10-day holiday every year.
I would like to thank @Villageforall and, in particular, Roberto Vitali for the opportunities of confrontation, training and knowledge that he gave me and thanks to which I was able to write and spread this article, one article in Italian and also a video.
I hope this article is useful, has inspired you or simply started you thinking about the topic. Please let me know if you have any experience with this topic or if you already know about it. It would be a pleasure to get to know you a little better.
Sara – tourism sector consultant
- Market https://projectforall.net/quanto-vale-il-turismo-accessibile-i-numeri-del-mercato/
- Hotel per tutti (Hotels for all) https://projectforall.net/hotel-per-disabili-oppure-hotel-per-tutti/
Definition of inclusive tourism https://www.happyminds.it/2019/11/27/turismo-inclusivo-4-tipi-di-turista/