Towards Strategic Intent: Perceptions of disability service provision amongst hotel accommodation managers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2011, 30 (2), pp. 468 - 476
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The tourism sector globally has become increasingly mindful of how an ageing population is reshaping service provision forms and offerings. This being particularly true of accommodation operations where there is a now a growing recognition of the commercial value for providing market groups with exceptional service. With this in mind, this study sought to ascertain the perceptions of managers in the accommodation sector towards disability service provision with a view to identifying any current service gaps or failings. An inductive, qualitative approach was used with the data collection phase incorporating a series of one on one interviews and a focus group. The in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 managers of hotels deemed to have accessible rooms that complied with the relevant building codes and standards. A focus group comprised 22 managers of hotels located in the Sydney central business district, Australia. Study findings revealed five key themes that had not been previously discussed in the literature. They were: inclusive attitudinal approach; safety; the responsibility of people with a disability to communicate their needs to the hotel; perceptions of accessible rooms by the general public; and operational processes. Related themes that emerged from the data analysis that had previously been aligned with the literature included: legislative responsibility, policy and building codes; disability as a market segment; staff awareness/training; and language, marketing, and promotion information. Implications with respect to management of accessible rooms in the accommodation sector are outlined and further areas of research are proposed.
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