The Definition of Accessible Tourism

This term incorporates all possible accommodations and specific services meant to provide the same level of experience or as close to it as possible for those who are disabled, senior in age, or who have young children. Within the tourist industry, ramps on boats and airplanes, staff who are specially trained, and attractions specially designed with these people in mind are becoming more and more commonplace. This can be applied in private or public settings equally.

One of the nice things about living in the future is that being disabled is not nearly so cumbersome as it was before. New innovations in equipment and facilities as well as a more understanding attitude have changed the landscape of what is possible for someone with a disability. The ability to drive a car, use a computer, and even walk normally are all examples of ways we have adapted our environment and ideas to cultivate a way for everyone to enjoy life to the fullest. According to a study by Cambridge University;  “The importance of this approach is that it has been estimated that 30% of a population will have access requirements at any point in time, and most people will have a disability at some stage during their life.”


You might not think at first that it would be very hard for most to do the same things as non-disabled people due to modern day inventions such as functional artificial legs, electric wheelchairs, and even crutches, these types of disabilities are not the only thing that tourism industry experts would like to focus on. Mental disorders, seniors, and anyone with any type of issues that would normally be thought of as exclusionary to a certain activity are being accommodated and accounted for.

Some examples would be as follows:

  • Products and services
  • Educational tools for service providers
  • Transportation and living space modifications
  • Architecture, design and landscaping
  • Studies, legislation and laws
  • Accommodation for very young children traveling with mothers

All around the world, tour operators of all types are opening their minds and facilities to the idea of accessible tourism. Docks with ramps, lower signs, handles and doors on boats and buses, specially trained staff etc. are all considerations when creating spaces in tourist areas and transportation. This emerging market can only rise in popularity with both the disabled and elderly as well as in the industry. While it is a sad fact that many, many people live with restrictions in their daily life every day all over the world, it is the least everyone can do to make the world available to them as extensively as possible.

If you have any examples or accessible tourism in action, please leave a comment and explain the efforts in action. Our hope is that by creating further discussion of this topic we may create further expansion of actual action as well. Additionally, by creating more spaces and opening the minds of tour operators and property owners across the globe, we hope to create a world that is able to be explored by all of it’s residents.

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