Academics: Disability-oriented tourism opens door to diversity

Increasing the disability-oriented offering is a way for the tourism industry to diversify its product. This is the conclusion of a research note by the assistant professors at the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) Kim Ieng Loi and Weng Hang Kong concerning the sector and People with Disabilities [PwD], which is seen as a market niche. “Disability-oriented initiative can be seen as a tool for the tourism industry to achieve the wider social-cultural sustainability in tourism development and help diversify tourism product offerings and provide a unique and authentic tourism experience”, the authors explained. While stressing charity organisations can assume an essential role in combining efforts with the sector to create equal opportunities, the researchers also highlight the role of the government. “The construct of accessible tourism should ensure equality of access to tourism activities by all people, including People with Disabilities [PwD]. In doing so, since much of this may be related to development of infrastructure and society-wide policies, the public sector should take up a more active role in this construct of accessible tourism”, the researchers said in a note published concerning the tourism industry. “The public sector can develop policies and legislations providing a commitment to ensure all people’s accessibility to tourism.” J.S.F.