What does the international research on accessible nature-based tourism say? That’s what researchers in Sweden checked out. Nine major themes emerged for inclusive outdoor recreation:
- employee attitudes towards people with disability
- accessibility of tourism websites and information systems
- accessible transportation, accommodation and tourist attractions
- technical solutions
- experience, motivations and constraints in tourism settings for people with disability
- tourism for the families and carers of people with disability
- tourism and leisure activities for older people
- the accessible tourism market
- nature-based tourism and outdoor recreation
This review found that existing research took the perspective of the consumer rather than the tourism operator. The report goes into more detail on the nine factors. It includes evidence from USA, Europe, UK and Sweden. The title of the report is, Enhancing Accessibility in Tourism & Outdoor Recreation: A Review of Major Research Themes and a Glance at Best Practice.
An very academic article, but with important findings. The key point – we need more research on businesses rather than consumers.
Access to natural waterfronts
Natural landscapes generally receive less attention than landscape architecture. So it is good to see that three Hungarian researchers have taken a serious look at the issues. Their study took the perspective of tourism and looked at tourist habits. They list some of the factors that need to be specifically considered for access to natural waterfront landscapes, including beaches.
The list of factors covers mobility, vision, and hearing. Parking and approach, jetties, pontoons, bathing, and fishing are all discussed. Several photographs show good examples of accessibility.
“If inclusive design and nature conservation principles are taken into consideration from the very beginning of the whole design process, access to waterfront landscapes can be spreaded [sic], and the natural values of the landscape remain existing and provide the experience of nature for the human race.”
The title of the article is “Access to Waterfront Landscapes for Tourists Living with Disabilities“ by Gabriella Szaszák , Albert Fekete and Tibor Kecskés. It’s open access.
Swim, Sail, Relax
Having fun in the sand and surf is the iconic Australian pastime. But not everyone gets an opportunity to join in the fun and swim, sail and relax. The Association of Consultants in Access, Australia newsletter features articles and case studies on beach access, sailing, a resort for people with spinal cord injury, and provisions for people with autism. Plus the general news of the association. The articles mainly feature specialist activities and designs, such as the resort. But that is all part of creating an inclusive society.
The newsletter is available online where you can choose to view online through Issuu or download a PDF version (7MB).
Related to outdoor recreation is Agri-Tourism
A well designed conference poster published by Ohio State University encapsulates the key points.
The poster poses this question: “Ohio has almost 700 farms with an agritourism feature, which brings visitors to vineyards, orchards, and corn mazes, but are these farms welcoming to everyone?” Using photos it explains how to make farms and vineyards more accessible to everyone. Tasmania also has an Agritourism Strategy, but it doesn’t say anything about inclusion and accessibility.