Accessible tourism and sustainability: a discussion and case study

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Sustainable Tourism (Building a Decommodified Research Paradigm in Tourism: The Contribution of NGOs), 2010, 18 (4), pp. 515 - 537
Issue Date:
2010-01
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This paper explores the concept of accessible tourism and its links with triple-bottomline (TBL) sustainability. Accessible tourism is reviewed through some of its central features including dimensions of access, universal design and the nexus between ageing and disability. The TBL is then examined to better understand the financial, environmental and social considerations that arise from accessible tourism. The research design used in this explorative research incorporated a case study approach, where a business case study instrument was developed. Methods included a Delphi group, review of management information systems, in-depth interviews with key informants, observation and participant observation. The study results revealed that rather than accessible tourism being a single construct, it forms one critical dimension of a series of interrelated, overlapping and interdependent business arrangements that extend beyond the business entity through a series of social networks within the destination region. It is argued that to properly satisfy the accessible tourism market, a more sophisticated understanding of accessible destination experiences is needed by tourism operators. The case study illustrates the considerable size and multi-niche markets served by accessible tourism destinations, the good fit between accessible tourism and TBL sustainable tourism, and the need for further research.
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