Research Needs

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Access Tourism is tourism, travel, and hospitality for people with disabilities, seniors, and Baby Boomers who will experience increasing disability with age.

Access Tourism includes:

  • Barrier-free destinations: infrastructure and facilities
  • Transport: by air, land and sea, suitable for all users
  • High quality services: delivered by trained staff
  • Activities, exhibits, attractions: allowing participation in tourism by everyone
  • Marketing, booking systems, Web sites & services: information accessible to all

Why the Development of Access Tourism is Important to New Zealand

The population of New Zealand already includes 17% who have a disability, and this figure is bound to increase due to our ageing population, as disability increases with age.   Populations in New Zealand and worldwide are ageing, and disability will therefore increase worldwide.  Research overseas shows that the disabled already make a sizeable contribution to the tourism industry, and would spend more on tourism, travel, and hospitality if products and services were reliably available. In addition, the large Baby Boomer cohort will continue travelling as
they age and become more disabled.

State of Access Tourism in New Zealand
Access Tourism is poorly understood and undeveloped in New Zealand.  Government and industry are not aware of the economic and tourism sustainability imperatives for developing Access Tourism here.  This contrasts with
developments in this field overseas.  In order to maximize benefits for Access Tourism, New Zealand needs to research and develop this sector.

Research Needs

Research needed includes descriptions, understanding, and critiques relevant to NZ of:

A. Supply side

1)     The current state of Access Tourism (AT) supply worldwide and in NZ  (snapshot overview), including current provision of tourism products (access surveys)

2)     Best practices for developing AT and Seniors Tourism (ST) products

3)     The current state of information provision, promotion, and marketing worldwide and in NZ about AT products that visitors/potential visitors can access in order to plan trips; quality of the information AND access to this information (quality, detail, format)

4)   Best practices for developing AT and ST information

5)     The current state of understanding of AT and ST in NZ by international agents

6)     Current worldwide and NZ tourism industry training in AT and ST

7)     Best practice in AT and ST training worldwide and in NZ

8)     The current understanding of and approach to People with Disabilities (PwDs), seniors, AT and ST by government, industry, industry bodies, travel agents etc worldwide and in NZ

9)     Potential for collaboration between the disabilities sector, seniors groups, government, and industry in developing AT

10)  Description of NZ legislation and international conventions obligations as they pertain to tourism and travel

11)  Current understanding by government, industry, industry bodies, travel agents etc  of their responsibilities in tourism and travel under NZ legislation and
international convention;

12)  Assessment of compliance with NZ human rights and other legislation (for example, building legislation),  and international human rights instruments we
are party to

13)  International policy initiatives in AT and ST

14)  Current understanding and approaches to AT quality rating systems worldwide and in NZ

15)  Best practices for developing AT and ST quality rating systems

16)  Blocks to the development of AT and ST worldwide and in NZ; what parts of the tourism chain present the most problems to developing an AT industry

17)  Disjunction between claimed and actual access in tourism

18)  Support for development in NZ for “niche” markets (backpackers, cycleways etc), the impact of this support on niche market development, and an analysis of the results of hypothesised support for AT

19)  Best practices in marketing to PwDs and seniors; effective responses and strategies to capture this market

20)  Role of Universal Design (UD) in the development of AT and ST worldwide and in NZ

21)  Best practice for developing adoption of UD in tourism

22)  An examination of the current provision of Medical Tourism in New Zealand.  Medical Tourism is related to Access Tourism because recovering medical tourists need better access to tourism, travel, and hospitality products and services

B. Demand side

1)     Current size of AT and ST demand, world and NZ; role (contribution) of PwDs and seniors in current tourism markets;

2)     Tourism activities/patterns of PwDs and Seniors: when, why, where, how, how often; influence of accurate  information; other influences; comparison
between activities and patterns of PwDs and those that don’t have disabilities and
younger age groups worldwide and coming to/in NZ

3)     Use of computers and technology

4)     Tourism experience of PwDs and Seniors; attitudes of PwDs and seniors to current supply, marketing etc

5)     Role of tourism leisure in the lives of PwDs and seniors; social benefits

6)     Future size of AT and ST demand, world and NZ; potential role (contribution) of PwDs and seniors in future tourism markets;

7)     What do PwDs and seniors want; how does this differ depending on the disability experienced, origin, gender etc, how does it compare to the non-PwD market; PwD and ST market segmentation, consumer trends

8)     What do Baby Boomers want?  What are their plans and expectations for
retirement?  For tourism and travel?  How do their expectation differ depending on
gender, urban and rural, single and partnered; Boomer segmentation, consumer

9)     How important will women become to tourism?

10)  What is the importance of sandwiching?

11)  How do PwDs or seniors relate their disability or age to their decision to travel or not to travel, and their decision where to travel

12)   Dimensions of disability and requirements of PwDs based on hearing, vision, cognitive needs

13)  Where do PwDs and seniors get the information they need to inform their travel decisions

14)  Current role of tourism marketing and the provision of tourism access information in tourism planning by PwDs and seniors, world and NZ

15)  Preferences for information provision/formats by PwDs and seniors depending on dimension of disability, age group (word-of-mouth/agents/websites etc)

16)   PwD and seniors market segmentations and the information requirements of each market segment

17)  What marketing will work in future (likes/dislikes/needs/wants of PwDs, seniors in information provision)

18)  The appeal of different types of tourism to PwDs and seniors (e.g., cruise, package, independent)

19)  The current and future demands  for Medical Tourism and the potential for New Zealand

Research should lead in New Zealand to:

1)     An improved understanding and appreciation by NZ government and industry of AT and ST as legitimate tourism markets

2)     Routine collection and dissemination of data concerning AT-users along with other data, for example, in monthly IVA reports

3)     Development of genuine AT products based on what PwDs and seniors themselves say they want

4)     Development of a seamless AT sector

5)     Development of an AT organisation

6)     An ongoing business case for the development and enhancement of AT and ST

7)     Incorporation of access into total product experiences (every part of the tourism journey is accessible)

8)     The establishment of a reliable AT rating system

9)     Provision of accurate, reliable and timely information relevant to the various dimensions of disability

10)  Adoption of Universal Design in tourism and standardization of provision of access for PwDs

11)  Adoption of AT categories in annual TIANZ awards

12)  Inclusion of training about AT, PwDs, ST, and seniors  in tourism and hospitality courses

13)  Development of on-the-job training about AT, PwDs, ST, and seniors  in tourism and hospitality businesses, and seminars and workshops for industry

14)  International agents and others fully aware of AT and ST in NZ

15)  A vibrant, growing, and profitable AT sector that enhances sustainability in the industry