Accessible tourism online resources: a Northern European perspective

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 2019, 19 (2), pp. 140 - 156
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Increasing market opportunities have been identified for accessible tourism as a result of improved quality of life. Disabled tourists tend to be loyal, spend more and enjoy longer stays in their destinations, although their behaviour obviously differs from one country to another. This situation is strongly influenced by the welfare policies that determine the disability model implemented and affect the extent to which disabled people are integrated into day-to-day. Northern European countries are regarded as champions in this respect. When disabled people travel, access to information is important. Information is present throughout the tourism process, not only as a communication and marketing channel, but also as a transmitter of experiences. This study seeks to establish whether the policies and regulations that govern disabled people’s access to online tourist information are applied correctly. The official tourism websites of northern European countries were analysed to this end; whereby different patterns were identified regarding their compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The atypical features of Norway’s official tourism website were found to be particularly noteworthy, as were the official tourism websites for Germany and the United Kingdom, two of the countries with the largest market share of accessible tourism.
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