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Ensuring full access to travel and tourism opportunities takes considerable knowledge, effort, commitment, and tenacity on the part of the service provider. Many tourism-driven agencies often unknowingly create organizational and institutional barriers to engagement through their narrow and outdated policies, practices, facilities, and programs, as well as rules and regulations that tend to exclude, restrict, or discriminate against persons with disabilities. Travel and tourism businesses need to create and implement strategies that remove attitudinal, social, and physical barriers that currently prevent or reduce the travel options of persons with disabilities. With this in mind, the purpose of this article is to highlight the changing demographics of individuals with disabilities, review some of the major barriers or constraints encountered within travel and tourism endeavors, and discuss how the removal of these constraints can enhance market share. Importantly, this article also outlines the benefits to be accrued to those in the travel and tourism trade who focus on providing equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

Keywords: Accessibility; Barriers; People with disabilities; Tourism; Travel

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *School of Kinesiology and Recreation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 2: †School of Tourism and Leisure Management, The University of Queensland, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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