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Accessible tourism – the missed opportunity!
Published on November 30, 2015 26 min
Other Talks in the Series: Tourism Marketing
Welcome to this talk on "Accessible Tourism, The Missed Opportunity." I'm going to be talking about why you can't afford to ignore this subject. My name is Jennifer Littman. I have been involved in this area of inclusion in tourism for over 25 years, and specifically over the last 12 with an organization called Tourism for All which specialized in making tourism accessible to people with disabilities and impairments.
So this presentation will cover the reasons why this is an underserved market, and that is a carrot, that is a reason to get in there because there is business to be made. Secondly, there is a stick here. Most countries now have disability discrimination legislation and we're going to take a look at that. And lastly, the most important part, perhaps, how to get your share of this massive, growing market.
Tourism for All is a charity in the UK, and there are many organizations around the world who work together to raise standards on access to tourism. We work for a world-class tourism experience for everyone.
So let's come to those carrots.
Take a look at the size of the market. There are 71 percent of American adults who have disabilities, who travel at least once every two years, and they spend over 13 billion on travel, that's from the Open Doors organization. In the UK, there are 10 million people who have a disability, that's measured by people who qualify under our disability discrimination legislation in the UK. And they have an annual discretionary spend of over 80 billion. And in Europe, we're talking about 127 million people with a disability and potential spend estimated at over 166 billion euros. So we are looking at a really sizable market here. What's more, by 2025, there are going to be over a third of the population over the age of 55 in the UK. We are all living longer and we're living longer with an expectation of living active lives. However, there can be an increase in some impairments, hearing, visual, or mobility impairment as we get older, and therefore, their increase is anticipated.