Norway is a leader in implementing the principles of universal design in built and virtual environments. Norwegian tourism services are universally designed in terms of the service itself, but the communication aspect of the service is not. Based on a European Commission report*, people with disability spend more time than others on preparing for a trip to ensure their needs are met. So they need specific information easily found in tourist information material and websites.
The study used the excellent tourism toolkits from Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland to assess Norwegian services for accessibility and universal design. The title of the thesis is, “Universal Design in Norwegian Tourism Services for Customer Engagement“.
Extract from Abstract
Going on holiday and exploring new territories are one of many popular human activities. This type of activity usually requires a certain type of physical ability due to the condition of travel destination. In addition, the population trend leans toward an aging population in the future, which leads to lower physical abilities of this group of people.
Universal Design in Tourism or Accessible tourism for all has become a popular topic in recent year. Nearly 24% of the population of Norway has some form of disability, and through a survey it said that they could not find enough information about possible universally designed services at their desired destination. This leads to the research idea about to use universal design to assure quality of Norwegian tourism services to encourage people use these services.
Here, the usage of “Universal Design for Customer Engagement Toolkit” provides a comprehensive best practice guidance on achieving better customer communication. This thesis will use this toolkit to evaluate some sample services in order to figure out how Universal Design could assure the quality of Norwegian tourism services to improve customer engagement.
An interesting study for anyone interested in tourism and travel and the CEUD toolkits are also well designed. The CEUD website has some interesting tourism case studies.
*European Commission Report, “Economic Impact and Travel Patterns of Accessible Tourism in Europe – Final Report“.