A Review of “INCLUSIVE TOURISM: International Perspectives, Accessibility and Inclusion in Brazilian Tourism”
A Review of
“INCLUSIVE TOURISM: International Perspectives, Accessibility and Inclusion in
Scott Paul Rains, email@example.com
Imagine that you went to a restaurant. Would you stay if you discovered that there were not
enough chairs for everyone in your group? If all the lights had gone out? If you were forbidden
to speak? You probably would leave and never come back.
Something published this month by Dr. Regina Cohen has placed the tourism industry of Brazil
on high alert that the country is seen like a restaurant without the essentials. Her timing is ideal
for us as people with disabilities.
Imagine again. What if our imaginary restaurant is Japanese, Thai or Afghan where sitting on
pillows on the floor is traditional? Or what if this is one of several boutique restaurants around
the world where all chefs and employees are blind and sharing that sensory experience over
good food is their specialty? Or what if you have chosen a dinner theater? Culture, attitude, and
definitions of leisure guide a business, an industry, even an entire country as they build the
experience they consider normal. Fail to understand that your “normal” is not universal and you
will simply never see those who chose to never come.
Travel for people with disabilities is the theme of the recent issue of Design for All India journal
which Professor Regina Cohen of UFRJ edited. Specifically, “INCLUSIVE TOURISM:
International Perspectives, Accessibility and Inclusion in Brazilian Tourism” is the name of this
183 page collection of articles in English. Here is a quick review.
Inclusive Tourism is the systematic application of the seven design principles of Universal Design
by the travel and hospitality industry to the idealization, development, marketing, and supervision
of all its products and services. Universal Design always includes accessibility for people with
disabilities. Yet it always surpasses accessibility by aiming all the way to the attitudinal goal of
inclusion. This philosophy of design seeks the inclusion of the broadest range of people under
the broadest range of circumstances. Summarized as oneword goals these cover the topics of:
* Body fit
* Social integration
From this worldrenowned perspective Dr Cohen joins with 5 other authors, including myself,
to review the results of her comprehensive work of the past 10 years and orient the industry to
what is needed next. And what is needed next?
What is needed next is called a supply chain.
Think of it like the bustling network that our restaurant needs to stay in business: farmers,
truckers, markets, cookware manufacturers, even people who sell chairs and lightbulbs –
sometimes. Brazil must unite its separate suppliers of knowledge, services, and products that
make possible travel for people with disabilities. Three authors of this journal, Regina Cohen,
her research colleagues Cristiane Rose Duarte, and Natalia Rodrigues de Mello operating with
the Pro Access Group of the UFRJ are one of Brazil’s strongest engines of knowledge in this
field. Authors Augusto Cardoso Fernandes of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and Ricardo
Shimosakai of Turismo Adaptado put that knowledge to practical use through services such as
workshops. From outside Brazil I help in both areas of knowledge and services, as well as
directing travel and rehabilitation products from abroad to the Brazilian market. More is needed.
To grow this supply chain it helps if each of the 12 Copa 2014 Host Cities thinks of themselves
as a product that is assembled by each traveler who visits. That product is an experience of
place. Some who come to have that experience will have disabilities. The choreography of that
experience beforehand is typically called an itinerary. Accessible and inclusive itineraries are the
product that a Brazilian inclusive supply chain makes possible.
Each city should assure that they have at least one fully accessible itinerary available for each of
the three major classes of travelers with disabilities: Blind, Deaf, and Mobilityimpaired. They
must include appropriate transportation, dining, lodging, and access to its tourist destinations
such as beaches, museums and the Copa 2014 stadiums.
Fortunately the recent issue of Design for All India provides the knowledge base to launch these
regional supply chains and unite them nationally and internationally. It contains articles like:
ACCESSIBILITY IN LEISURE AND TOURISM: Reflection of a New Society – Ricardo
The City of Rio de Janeiro, Inclusive Tourism and Megaevents – Augusto Cardoso Fernandes
Accessibility and Inclusive Tourism in Historical Cities. The Case of Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil –
Natália Rodrigues de Mello, Cristiane Rose Duarte and Regina Cohen
INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES – The Experience of Scott Rains
At the heart of this issue of the journal is a comprehensive piece by Cohen and Duarte called,
INCLUSION IN BRAZILIAN TOURISM. It covers sustainability, characteristics of the
market of those with disabilities who travel, the importance of the image of accessibility for a
tourist destination, and a methodology for creating an accessibility guide for destinations.
Someday the entire 183 page journal may be translated in Portuguese – or maybe not. What
matters now is that this treasure chest of research and vision is translated into action and
absorbed into the cultural DNA of Brazil.
The volume, “INCLUSIVE TOURISM: International Perspectives, Accessibility and Inclusion
in Brazilian Tourism” may be downloaded here: