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Special Issue "Disability, Tourism and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Geography and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alison McIntosh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Hospitality and Tourism, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Interests: tourism and hospitality; sustainability; social justice; inclusive tourism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Brielle Gillovic
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Auckland University of Technology, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland City, New Zealand
Interests: accessible tourism; social tourism; health and wellness; ethic of care; phenomenology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In times of unprecedented challenges, there is a need to consider sustainability. Worldwide, there is an increasing prevalence of disability that is attributable in part to a rise in chronic health problems, increasing life expectancies, and an ageing population. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognizes the citizenship rights of people with disabilities that relate to tourism as a leisure activity. People with disabilities want to, and are, exercising their right to travel. However, emerging knowledge in the field of accessible tourism suggests that they face barriers and constraints to their full and inclusive participation. Despite growing scholarly considerations of sustainability in relation to tourism, discussions of disability remain at the margins. This Special Issue broadly examines the interface between disability, tourism, and sustainability. Within this context, we invite exploratory, empirical, or conceptual papers which contribute to discourse around the operationalization of the UNCRPD, the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UN World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Related themes include, but are not limited to: tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfilment; (dis)embodied travel experiences; quality of life, health, and wellbeing; disability, diversity, and intersectionality; social and economic rationales for accessible tourism; accessible tourism policy, planning, and development; barriers and constraints to accessible tourism; accessible tourism education, training, and employment. Submissions focusing on all aspects of the tourism system such as transport; sport and recreation; events; hospitality; accommodation; attractions and activities; facilities, amenities, and ancillary services are welcome.

Prof. Alison McIntosh
Dr. Brielle Gillovic
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • accessible tourism
  • lived experience of disability
  • tourism and sustainability
  • tourism and (in)equity
  • human rights and social justice
  • inclusive tourism research
  • accessibility in tourism education, training, and employment
  • tourism, health, and wellbeing
  • accessible cities and communities
  • information, communication, and technologies for travelers with disabilities

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Case of Leveraging a Mega-Sport Event for a Sport Participation and Sport Tourism Legacy: A Prospective Longitudinal Case Study of Whistler Adaptive Sports
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010170 - 26 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Sport participation legacies are often offered as reasons to host mega-sport events, yet there is little evidence to demonstrate the claim’s legitimacy, thus we examine “What did Whistler Sports do to leverage the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to facilitate a [...] Read more.
Sport participation legacies are often offered as reasons to host mega-sport events, yet there is little evidence to demonstrate the claim’s legitimacy, thus we examine “What did Whistler Sports do to leverage the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to facilitate a sport tourism legacy?”. Through a prospective longitudinal case study of WAS and application of the temporal extension of the socioecological framework, multiple data sources were analyzed from over a decade beginning before the event until 2019. The findings reveal the situated and embedded nature of mega-sport event legacies i.e., context. These depend upon a network of facilitators such as local, provincial, and federal policies; pre-event and post-event vision and strategies from local communities and sport organizations; the development of a pool of willing and flexible volunteers. Together these were strategically leveraged to overcome sport participation and sport tourism barriers for people with disabilities. The sport, tourism, and sport tourism experience reflected Whistler’s natural and infrastructure advantage and the needs and desires of locals and visitors with access needs that could not have occurred without the capital injection of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Leveraging the mega-sport event opportunities required leadership and a strategic vision for repositioning to a year-round program. This strategic change also opened new sport and sport tourism opportunities for current participants but importantly brought new participants and their friendship groups to Whistler over the post-event decade for year-round sustainable adaptive sport opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
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Article
Improving the Accessibility of the Tourism Industry in New Zealand
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410478 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
Internationally, the accessible tourism market has been identified as a growing segment that could lead the way for social inclusiveness, as well as providing the industry with financial gains and destination competitiveness. Despite the increased number of people who travel with access requirements, [...] Read more.
Internationally, the accessible tourism market has been identified as a growing segment that could lead the way for social inclusiveness, as well as providing the industry with financial gains and destination competitiveness. Despite the increased number of people who travel with access requirements, the sector still lacks an understanding of the expectations and experiences of access tourists. Accessible tourism covers an array of impairments from people who are immobile, visually impaired, an invisible impairment, parents with pushchairs, and seniors. The purpose of this study was to understand the expectations and experiences of the access consumer to suggest improvements for accessibility for the New Zealand tourism sector. The social model of disability was adopted to examine the sector and framed the semi-structured interviews with access consumers. Key results identified from the data were the need to achieve dignity in service offerings to gain experiences that facilitate independence and equity of access, access to information before the travel that is clear and accurate to aid planning, and accessible transport and education. In conclusion, the paper calls for the New Zealand tourism industry to align with the Disability Strategy sustainability goals to achieve equity and inclusion and create enjoyable accessible experiences in their tourist offerings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
Article
Information as the First Attribute of Accessibility: A Method for Assessing the Information Provided by Urban Rail Systems to Tourists with Reduced Mobility
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310185 - 06 Dec 2020
Viewed by 755
Abstract
It is estimated that more than one billion people worldwide have some form of disability, and that number is expected to rise as the population ages. A lack of accessible transport can represent a challenge to commuting citizens and it can also inhibit [...] Read more.
It is estimated that more than one billion people worldwide have some form of disability, and that number is expected to rise as the population ages. A lack of accessible transport can represent a challenge to commuting citizens and it can also inhibit tourists with reduced mobility. Online information about accessibility is the first point of contact that tourists have with their destination and it should therefore be considered an attribute of accessibility. In that context, this paper aims to: (a) propose a method for classifying the information about accessibility provided by the official websites of public transport systems; and (b) present and discuss the results of the application of the method to the official websites of 212 urban rail systems around the world. The results suggest that, despite it being the first indication of destination accessibility, many cities do not provide or provide unclear or insufficient information for tourists with reduced mobility on their official websites. Moreover, few official websites provide information on accessibility around stations or in the case of transfers. This novel method proved to be suitable for classifying the websites, as well as identifying aspects of the information provision that can be improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
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Article
Accessibility and Inclusive Tourism Development: Current State and Future Agenda
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229722 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1604
Abstract
Accessibility constitutes one important consideration in the field of scholarship relating to inclusive tourism development because it is fundamentally about the inclusion of people with disabilities in tourism and in society. This conceptual paper maps how accessible tourism is currently positioned against an [...] Read more.
Accessibility constitutes one important consideration in the field of scholarship relating to inclusive tourism development because it is fundamentally about the inclusion of people with disabilities in tourism and in society. This conceptual paper maps how accessible tourism is currently positioned against an established framework of inclusive tourism development and gives examples of relevant accessible tourism studies to recommend a future agenda for more inclusive outcomes that move towards sustainability. The seven elements of Scheyvens and Biddulph’s (2018) conceptual framework for inclusive tourism development form an appropriate and useful tool upon which to examine the current state of accessible tourism. The application of this framework reveals that we still have some way to go. We conclude this paper with a future agenda that posits attention to all seven elements of the inclusive tourism framework for accessible tourism, notably, to increase the involvement of people with disabilities as tourism producers and consumers; increase their self-representation and participation in decision-making; transform power relations; reimagine tourism places and people; and break down social barriers. We especially urge researchers to examine the dominant ableist discourse, to consider how our inquiry can be more participatory and inclusive, and to seek to bridge inquiry, industry and community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
Article
Understanding the Discrimination Experienced by Customers with Disabilities in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry: The Case of Seoul in South Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187328 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 896
Abstract
This article begins with the view that the research of accessible tourism should not only find justification for increasing demand but also have the ultimate purpose of seeking justice for an equitable society. To this end, prior research on accessible tourism is theoretically [...] Read more.
This article begins with the view that the research of accessible tourism should not only find justification for increasing demand but also have the ultimate purpose of seeking justice for an equitable society. To this end, prior research on accessible tourism is theoretically outlined, and the concepts, causes, and aspects of disability discrimination are considered. In addition, cases of discrimination of customers with disabilities in the tourism and hospitality industries are investigated by an ethnographic approach. The findings are categorized into seven sections, depending on the type of lack of understanding of customers with disabilities. In other words, service providers have a stereotypical view that customers with disabilities have similar attributes, and they also fail to free customers with disabilities from the prejudice of customers with nondisabilities, who may generalize the group with disabilities with a negative and hostile attitude. Additionally, tourist attractions, lodging, and dining infrastructure have caused a stigma that lowers the activities of customers with disabilities to bystanders or makes customers with disabilities more recognized as a social protection target rather than members of society. Therefore, marketing implications can be discussed in terms of physical facilities and human services at the key points where discrimination against customers with disabilities occurs, as can be seen from the results of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
Article
Strategies of Managing Coach Driver Job Stress for Sustainable Coach Tourism Industry—The Use of DANP-V Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3690; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093690 - 02 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Coach drivers are integral to the coach tourism industry. However, they are susceptible to job stress in the tourism context. Few studies address this problem from a job stress theory and tourism scenario. This study, thus, examines the network relationships between criteria and [...] Read more.
Coach drivers are integral to the coach tourism industry. However, they are susceptible to job stress in the tourism context. Few studies address this problem from a job stress theory and tourism scenario. This study, thus, examines the network relationships between criteria and proposes a physical and workable improvement plan. A novel DEMATEL-based ANP and VIKOR (DANP-V) model is used to examine the job stress criteria based on the transaction stress framework in the tourist coach context of Taiwan. The expert survey produced useful results. The influential network relation map (INRM) illustrates the sequence of improvement is job stressors, cognitive coping strategies, and stress outcomes. The gap values of the modified VIKOR suggest the first priority to reach the aspired level is reducing stress outcomes. However, teaching active action as a strategy to cope with job stress is a long-term goal. These results are formulated into an action plan and can be easily indexed and followed. The findings have practical implications for decision-makers and coach drivers and may contribute to coach driver job-related stress management, ultimately, helping the sustainability of coach tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
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Review

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Review
Understanding Stakeholder Attitudes, Needs and Trends in Accessible Tourism: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10507; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410507 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
The inclusion of people with disabilities (PwD) in tourism is a phenomenon that encompasses various influencing factors, such as accessibility, which must be reviewed for this process to work correctly. Accessible tourism has advantages for both people with disabilities and everyone else. It [...] Read more.
The inclusion of people with disabilities (PwD) in tourism is a phenomenon that encompasses various influencing factors, such as accessibility, which must be reviewed for this process to work correctly. Accessible tourism has advantages for both people with disabilities and everyone else. It provides an opportunity for everyone to enjoy leisure without barriers. However, there are still factors that limit the proper operation of the sector, which require a review and new strategies for its improvement. The objective of this review is to offer a synthesis of those challenges that must be addressed in order to achieve quality accessible tourism, as well as to present the various emerging trends that can represent an important advance for the future of accessible tourism. To this end, a qualitative study review process has been carried out where the different opinions and perceptions of the various actors involved in the accessible tourism sector are considered. A thematic analysis and synthesis of the information was conducted using the “Thematic Synthesis” procedure. The methodological quality of the studies included in the synthesis was also assessed. The studies reviewed show a need to recognize disabled travelers as autonomous and independent people who seek to escape from their daily routine, and who require certain specific supports to facilitate their tourist experience. Accessible tourism is valued as a good market opportunity, but its proper development requires greater staff awareness to promote co-creation in tourism, as well as the support of technological systems to create individualized tourist profiles detailing the needs of each person. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability, Tourism and Sustainability)
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