The Restaurant at the End of the Universe may be a place to visit in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but many restaurants on Earth may as well be at the end of the Universe for some people. With the release of new Australian research putting the Accessible Tourism market at $10.8 billion, the need is greater than ever for leadership in the tourism industry. Accessible Tourism is still generally regarded as a physical access issue. There are some that have embraced a customer focused experience model to create inclusive products and services.
In his article, Disabled Traveller’s Guide to the Galaxy, Bill Forrester says that changing from an access model to a product development model is the key. This is a significant and growing market that is worth the investment of both time and money. Moving the language from “accessible” to “inclusive” tourism could be a good start. See also Local Government NSW free online learning program about creating inclusive places and activities for tourists and local residents alike. Many improvements can be made with little or no cost. So in the words of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, DON’T PANIC.