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Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions

Published: 2014-07-17 - Updated: 2021-11-23
Author: University of Surrey | Contact: surrey.ac.uk

Synopsis: Researchers find European tourism sector losing out on 142 billion a year due to poor infrastructure, services and attitudes towards travelers with disabilities. The research, is the first of its kind to study the economic impact of accessible tourism in its report, Economic impact and travel patterns of accessible tourism in Europe. Accessible tourism is a huge market opportunity, research provides clear evidence that accessible tourism services are also better services, that increase the visibility and reputation of tourism destinations, and give a competitive edge to operators.

Main Digest

The research project, which was funded by the European Commission, found that travelers within the EU who required special access (whether through disability or age) undertook 783 million trips within the region in 2012, contributing 394 billion and 8.7 million jobs to the European economy. However, if European destinations were fully accessible, this demand could increase by up to 44% a year - producing an additional 142 billion GDP and creating 3.4 million jobs.

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The research, which was carried out by Dr Victoria Eichhorn, Dr Gang Li, Professor Graham Miller and Dr Jason Chen from the University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, is the first of its kind to study the economic impact of accessible tourism within Europe.

"The worry of many small and medium-sized businesses has been recouping the cost of adapting for special access needs", explained Professor Miller. This research shows that this cost will not only be recovered, but will result in market growth.

"In the long-term, commitment is required from both the public and private sectors. However, even small changes in the meantime will reap massive rewards."

Following the research, the European Commission has identified several key recommendations for improving accessibility in its report, Economic impact and travel patterns of accessible tourism in Europe (ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/5566/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/native) .

Person in wheelchair entering ramp - Photo Credit Aqeel Qureshi
Person in wheelchair entering ramp - Photo Credit Aqeel Qureshi

Antonella Correra, Policy Officer at the European Commission, commented:

"This is the most comprehensive research on accessible tourism carried out so far in Europe.

"Far from being a niche sector, accessible tourism is a huge market opportunity. The research provides clear evidence that accessible tourism services are also better services, that increase the visibility and reputation of tourism destinations, and give a competitive edge to operators."

Explore the full report (ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/5566/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/native) on the European Commission's website and discover more about hospitality and tourism research.

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Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions | University of Surrey (surrey.ac.uk). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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Cite This Page (APA): University of Surrey. (2014, July 17). Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions. Disabled World. Retrieved January 24, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/travel/tourism.php