Hi everyone, I am really looking forward to your ideas!
I thought I'd mention that we are also conducting a series of interviews and are looking for participants that are based in the Asia-Pacific region and are either working with a destination marketing organisation (local, regional, national...) or with an accommodation provider or a museum. Interviews are about 45 minutes long, through a video call and there's no need to prepare anything. All results will be de-identified. If you're interested you can send me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ultimate goal of this project is to help us understand how we can (re)design our products and services better to help the travel & tourism industry connect with the accessible & inclusive tourism market.
To me accessible & inclusive travel means a lot of things but I would say it boils down to: everyone can enjoy their holiday without having to go through so many frustrations and difficulties that they would be discouraged to go again. It certainly isn't a perfect definition!
To me, the term "accessible travel" means a few things:
1. Equality in access and use of transportation (eg. airports, planes, trains, cars)2. Freedom of exploration and discovery in destinations for people of all abilities 3. A globally recognized right to mobility
That's a great way to put it! Would you say there is a difference with inclusive travel for you?
In the context of accessible travel, the term "inclusive travel" means to me a sense of social belonging. Just solving the physical barriers of travel for people with disabilities doesn't make it "inclusive". I can imagine there's a whole host of things for tourism operators and the hospitality industry to solve here to make people with disabilities feel more welcome and included.
For sure! I specialize in making sure that everyone can do everything no matter what and I think this right here sums it up very well. There are often times when people do not have an showing condition that prevents them from walking a popular landmark but they don't do it because they know they will pay for it at the end of the day. A scooter, takes that away and they are allowed to scoot around for longer distances and only walk when they want to get up and see things. Vacation is not for soaking your sore, tired, legs, feet and back. No shame in preventing the hurt and keeping up with the group!
Think inclusive should cover those who suffer from sensory overload (which affects many people from those with autism, ADHD and learning disabilities to people with Fibromyalgia, PTSD as their needs are often overlooked at present.
Great that you mention sensory overload, something our family deals with any time we go out, even shopping (sound systems in American grocery stories are stunning in the volume they consistently broadcast music).
SOOO glad someone started this conversation! We just wrote a blog about what places should have to qualify them as "accessible". We did this so our app members that are not wheelchair users can feel empowered to look for these items and add the mention in the app!! gowhee.com/what-every-wheelchair-friendly-vacation-spots-should-have/
What a great article! So much to consider and great stategies to figure out less than aparent methods of access.
Your point about tall tables rings so true in my own experience. Gettin gup or down from the bar stools is a real challenge for me. When I am in a venue with only this type of seating I will leave.
The words "accessible" and "inclusive" can mean different things to different people. For example, a ramp does not make an activity accessible to someone deaf or hard of hearing. ASL translation services will not support someone in a walker that has low vision.
In my experience, very few activities, accommodations, dining, and transportation options can say they are fully accessible and inclusive. For travelers, having details to make the trip "accessible enough" for their specific needs can make the greatest difference between a successful trip and a nightmare.
It comes down to the details provided by the activities, accommodations, dining, and transportation and the ability to weigh the available options for that individual and/or family.
That's definitely true, I think a big part of making an experience accessible is providing information on whatever accessibility features exist (even if there are few of them) in order to empower each individual to decide whether or not it is something that fits their needs.
And then take into account the feedback you get from clients and potential clients to understand where to focus your next efforts.
For sure--There is such a wide range of situations within the disability community for neccessary accomodations. I deal with trail access and try hard to note trails that are 'handicapped friendly' but this does not specifically include those with visual impairments. I am learning form the followers of my American based Facebook group Easy Walks, Massachusetts, RI and beyond, that we have visually impaired members who appreciate the details provided by group members. The responsiveness of members is a huge asset in providing specific information that an individual is looking for.
UnTours helps travelers spend the time in one new special place to experience it as a local and take home meaningful cross-cultural understanding.