There’s a lot of potential for accessible tourism in Australia, and everyone stands to win, both operators and travellers. The business case has been well researched over many years and in different countries. However, the data are not convincing many tourism operators to re-think their business model.
Nicole Healy’s presentation at UD2021 Conference covered the facts and figures. Tourism Research Australia commissioned a research project which involved Victorian and Queensland governments. Nicole listed the research objectives which included:
- The size of the market and drivers and barriers
- Needs of travellers with disability and their companions
- The best communication channels
- The best ways to support businesses and explore opportunities
The results show the potential of accessible tourism to be in the billions of dollars representing 10% of the total domestic spend. And that’s only for those who are willing to travel. Many others say it is all too hard.
Travellers with and without disability choose trips for the same reasons. Eating out and visiting family or friends are top of the list for both groups. Sightseeing, pubs, clubs, and shopping are all popular. Going to the beach was not high on the list for people with disability.
Lack of awareness of what’s on offer and not knowing what to expect were barriers to travel. Attitudes of tourism operators and staff was not encouraging either. Higher costs for people with disability were an issue as well as not enough accessible rooms.
Travellers with disability want to see better staff training and more practical information. Better access to toilets, public transport and airports were also important. More detail is available in Nicole’s presentation slides and the data report. You can download the executive summary of the Victorian and Queensland report.
There is more about inclusive tourism in the travel and tourism section of this website.