Accessible Tourism is making travel and tourism destinations, products, and information suitable for everyone, taking into account mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive needs. According to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), American adults with disabilities are spending an average of $13.6 billion a year on travel, making people with disabilities an important market consideration for the tourism industry.
GSTC says many historical and highly sensitive environmental sites are not yet equipped for accessible tourism, but this is slowly beginning to change. Fortunately there are plenty of resources available that lay out guidelines and best practices for implementing accessible tourism in a respectful manner:
- The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality
SATH is an educational non-profit membership organization whose mission is to “raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and abroad.” Members include travel professionals, consumers, and corporations who support their mission.
- The European Network for Accessible Tourism
ENAT is a non-profit association for organisations that aim to be 'frontrunners' in the study, promotion and practice of accessible tourism. ENAT says by leveraging the knowledge and experience of the network, members are improving the accessibility of tourist information, transport, infrastructure, design and service for visitors with all kinds of access needs, and providing models of excellence in accessible tourism.
Read the full article, and start exploring GSTC here.