Information: A critical factor in inclusive tourism

A map of Europe with pins placed in capital cities and string lines linking them together.“The basic task of accessible tourism is to stop focusing on the features of disability and to concentrate on various social needs and adjusting the conditions of geographical (social and physical) space to them”. This quote from a new research paper sums up the situation well. The paper focuses on the information aspects of inclusive tourism, particularly online information. It reports on a case study and lists several “rules” for accessible tourist information. The author, Anna Kolodziejczak, laments the lack of consistency of language and description across the inclusive tourism platform. The conclusion sums up the issues well:

Visibility, reliability and up-to-date facts are the basic features of tourist information. An increasing number of publications and internet websites are created for tourists with disabilities. However, due to the principles of both universal design and costs of publication it is advisable to include information on the accessibility of facilities and services in all publications intended for tourists. It ought to be emphasised that tourists, as main subjects of all activities aimed at enabling them to relax in the way they dream, need information at all stages of their journey. To this end, they use various databases of tourist information which, despite having many recipients, have also many creators. Only consistent and systematic cooperation of all information providers and the ability to react quickly to the needs of tourists can make the system work efficiently and the desired
results will be achieved.”

The title of the paper is, Information as a factor of  the development of accessible tourism for people with disabilities.

For more papers and ideas on inclusive tourism, see the dedicated section on this website. Martin Heng also writes on this topic.