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Inclusive Tourism Notes

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Inclusive Tourism Notes

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    Inclusive Tourism Notes Inclusive Tourism Notes Document Transcript

    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT Accessible Tourism in Manitoba Moira Horgan-Jones Laurie Ringaert M. Jones Consulting and Associates Abstract: Résumé: The Province of Manitoba, Department of Cul- Le département de la Culture, du Patrimoine et ture, Heritage and Tourism commissioned M du Tourisme de la province du Manitoba a Jones Consulting and Associates to complete demandé à M. Jones Consulting et Associés this study to assess the readiness of Manitoba d’entreprende cette étude afin de déterminer to welcome visitors who are seniors and l’état de préparation du Manitoba d’accueillir persons with disabilities. des visiteurs âgés et handicapés. moira@mjonesconsulting.mb.ca The study has three main goals: Although the report provides an encouraging 1. To understand the needs of seniors and picture of the desire of the industry to respond persons with disabilities as visitors to to the needs of seniors and persons with Manitoba. disabilities, it also indicates that the industry 2. To assess the readiness of Manitoba to has a long way to go in meeting the needs of respond to the identified needs. this largely untapped market. The analysis fur- 3. To make recommendation to the Province ther indicates that much activity has occurred of Manitoba for future action. in the past five years however, this investment This report provides an analysis of existing has not reaped the benefits of the potential research in accommodating persons with dis- market due mainly to a lack of knowledge and abilities and seniors, including information re- commu-nication with this sector. garding the market potential; identified barriers; changes that are occurring within the What We Learned About travel industry; and initiatives undertaken by Accessible Tourism other countries. Our readiness to become an A comprehensive review of literature and acces-sible tourism destination is outlined websites was undertaken to determine the including; the satisfaction of persons with extent of existing research, successes in other disabilities of existing services; the industry’s parts of Canada and other countries, issues awareness of the market and legislation; the raised and to create a database of information accessibility of existing facilities; the for future reference. province’s training and marketing readiness. Recommendations for fu-ture action provides a This literature review has demonstrated that guideline for growth. although there is evidence of a large market po- tential, the tourism industry has not addressed the market of seniors and persons with disabi- Address all correspondence to Moira Horgan-Jones, M. Jones Consulting and Associates, 748 Broadway, lities. Various authors and jurisdictions have Winnipeg, MB R3G 0X3 begun to recognize these barriers and have established initiatives both in the private and 81 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT government sectors. There appears to be a clear beliefs, there is considerable spending direction toward government and the industry power within both the seniors and persons working together to take an active role in mov- with disabilities market; ing forward on the accessible tourism industry. In Canada the average income of people The review also suggests that there is the need aged 65 and over in 1994 was 16% higher for further research in this area not only to than in 1981 in contrast there was almost on study the market potential but also to under- change in the average income of people stand travel patterns, travelers’ needs, barriers under 65; to travel, and the supply sector. Research that Seniors have higher levels of discretionary does exist points to common barriers that are income and spend a greater percentage of faced universally and these need to be ad- this income on travel than any other market dressed. Thus, the need for a study was evident segment; for the Province of Manitoba and the methodo- Aldo Papone in The Travel Agency Beyond logy was designed around past experiences and the Millennium, estimates that the current suggestions in the literature. dollar value of travel spending by persons with disabilities in the US alone in $3 There is a growing market potential: billion; As populations age, the travel market for Gerald Parker of Beyond Ability Interna- persons with disability will grow. In 1991 tional estimates that 3% of all conventio- Statistics Canada reported that 45% of per- neers from the United States to Canada are sons with disabilities in Canada were 65 wheel-chair users. “The same group deter- year of age or older. By 2041, about 23% of mines the site selection for the other 97%.” Canadians will be over 65, up from 12% in 1995; There is a lack of research: There are estimated to be 859 million people There has been limited research examining worldwide with disabilities and it is estima- persons with disabilities and tourism/hospi- ted that 70% of this group have both the tality and what exists is mostly anecdotal means and the desire to travel; and relatively small in scale; In the U.S. 20.6% of the population or 54 All research points to a need for more infor- million have a disability mation and understanding of persons with In Europe there it is estimated that 50 disabilities as tourists; million people with a disability Australia has completed the most compre- In Canada alone there is a potential market hensive research in preparation for the of 2.7 million travelers with disabilities Olympics; (Kéroul 1995) Barriers to the Market Identified in the Travel is a growth industry and within it, the Literature: senior market is growing. The US magazine Despite the potential market for accessible Senior Travel Tips concludes that seniors tourism, several problems that exist prevent account for: realization of the full market potential of this 80% of luxury travel, market and these include: 70% of coach tours, Lack of awareness by the tourism industry 65% of cruises, Attitudes and Myths 32% of hotel overnights Absence of accessible destinations 28% of foreign travel. Lack of reliable and accurate information Lack of marketing and communication The potential spending power is great: Little or no staff training on disability eti- Research dispels the myth the persons with quette and sensitivity disabilities are all poor. Contrary to most 82 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT Lack of local personal care equipment to tives have undertaken partnerships with the rent and lack of personal care services industry to establish initiatives specific to the market of persons with disabilities and Changes are occurring in the travel these include: industry: The Access Canada is a program desig- The literature provides accounts of a number ned to meet the needs of seniors and peo- of initiatives that have created changes within ple with disabilities using accommoda- the industry: tion in Alberta. Participating establish- Hotel chains such as Microtel describe ments display the Access Canada logo themselves as “the preferred chain for tra- with their designated level velers with disabilities” and Embassy In Australia eight industry associations, Suites who report a gross revenue of $13 such as the Chamber of Commerce and million during 1991-1994 from guest with Industry, Tourism Council Australia, the mobility disabilities alone after undertaking Australian Federation of Travel Agents a train-ing and marketing program to reach and the Western Australian Hotels Asso- this market; ciation endorsed the "Accessing New A number of associations and agencies are Markets” Strategy. This initiative was providing specialized travel services for launched to raise industry awareness per-sons with disabilities including: about visitors with disabilities. A Canadian company, Beyond Ability Human Rights Legislation and industry International, provides travel arrange- regulation have been introduced by a ments, training, design and modification number of countries: services as well as marketing advice to In Canada, we have the Canadian Charter businesses looking to cater to this of Human Rights and Freedoms that out- market. lines in one paragraph that there cannot Kéroul is a non-profit organization, be discrimination based upon disability.; which mainly focuses on Quebec and is In the USA, the Americans with Dis- active in offering adapted tours and abilities Act (ADA) is a human rights do- assistance to the travel industry. cument that again does not allow discri- The Society for Accessible Travel & mination based on disability. Other Hospitality based in the USA, provides coun-tries such as Great Britain and resource information on accessible Australia also have similar acts to the travel. ADA. Scoot-Around North America (Winni- Another mechanism that Government has peg) specializes in scooters and wheel- to influence this area is through regula- chair equipment rentals for travelers tions of the built environment. For instan- away from home. (Bignon & Redekop, ce, in the USA the ADA provides guide- 1999). lines for designing the built environment. Thomson, a U.K based package-holiday In Canada, we have building codes and company has developed a database cal- standards in various jurisdictions. led Factfile that provides hotel and re- Organi-zations such as the Canadian sort accessibility information via the Transpor-tation Agency publish guides tra-vel agent’s computer. Thomson for persons with disabilities and establish serves approximately 12,000 travelers regulations for planes, trains, ferries and with dis-abilities per year. inter-city coaches; Governments are recognizing the need and Tax credits and deductions are another potential of the market. Most of these initia- method by which the government at all 83 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT levels can assist the tourism industry in turned. The survey results represents most achieving its goals of attracting the dis- disability types and a variety of mobility aids ability and seniors market. In Canada, were used by respondents. there are few incentives for businesses; however, the USA does have some initia- Findings of the Survey tives in this area. While our visitors with disabilities find us friendly and eager to help, we could do better A paradigm shift toward universal design accommodating the needs of travelers to confe- is occurring around the world rences. Conference organizers reported willing- This shift involves both government and ness on the part of the industry to make changes industry partners. Universal design, is the where possible, however it was clear that there design of environments, services and products were shortcomings. These include the need for that are useable and accessible for people (of better curb cuts, more information on accessibility any age and various levels of ability). Univer- and services, better taxi services, and guestrooms sal design improves the quality of life for that are accessible. It must be noted that Gerald everyone. Conventional design caters to the Parker of Beyond Ability International estimates “average” person, while universal design that 3% of all conventioneers from the United recog-nizes that people have a range of States to Canada are wheelchair users. He adds, “ capabilities and need designs to include this the same group determine the site selection of the range. other 97%”. Our Readiness To Become An Accessible Demographics: Tourism Destination Most respondents were from North Ame- rica, four were from other countries; To understand our level of readiness we con- 86% of the respondents travel more than ducted two surveys; a survey of persons with dis- once a year and 15% travel more than ten abilities attending an international conference in times per year. Winnipeg and a survey of the hospitality industry Two thirds of respondents traveled with a in Manitoba. The first survey assessed attendee’s companion and a spouse or family member satisfaction with the accessible accommodations was most often reported. Only one respon- while attending the conference and the second dent reported they traveled with a paid survey assessed the tourism industry’s under- attendant and all respondents stayed in a standing of the market and their readiness to res- hotel; pond to that market. Telephone and in person 15% of respondents required assistance interviews were conducted with key stakeholders with daily activities such as dressing, eat- and a review of 170 marketing materials was con- ing, toileting and transferring; ducted. While most respondents bring their own assistive devices, respondents would like to Satisfaction Survey of Persons with be able to rent these devices at their desti- Disabilities nation; The survey assessed attendees satisfaction with the accessible accommodations while at- Level of Satisfaction: tending the 2001 Society for Disability Studies While the majority of respondents rated our conference held at the Winnipeg Convention accessibility as average or better, most Centre, June 21 to 23, 2001. We asked only respondents from the US rated our accessi- attendees with a disability to complete the sur- bility as average or lower. This may vey. Of the 350 surveys distributed 28 were re- reflect raised expectations as a result of the 84 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not. The analysis further indicates that a conside- which guarantees access to all citizens; rable amount of resources have been invested in Satisfaction with service personnel was the past five years in making facilities accessible rated as excellent and Manitoba’s reputa- and more welcoming to seniors and persons with tion as a “friendly province” was noted by disabilities. However, little or no marketing has respondents; been undertaken to let the traveler know that General comments from respondents indi- Manitoba has “the welcome out” for this sector of cate they were most unhappy with our curb the market. cuts in the vicinity of the convention centre. Seven respondents (all US) felt that our Awareness of the Market: curb cuts were the worst they had ever There is a lack of awareness of the market seen; size. Respondents estimated the market to Respondents provided the following sug- be 10% or less while Kéroul estimates the gestions to make travelers with disabilities size to be 15% and growing to 20% by the more welcome: year 2004; Better transportation to and from the Respondents estimate that of their current airport; visitors – 3.8% are persons with disabilities Train taxi drivers to understand the needs and 28.1% are seniors; of passengers with disabilities; 21% of respondents felt that persons with More accessible washrooms and in disabilities did not travel due to income particular wider doors; restraints, yet Kéroul estimates that 70% of Larger signage. potential travelers with disabilities have the financial means as well as the desire to Source of Travel Information: travel; Respondents relied mainly on conference 25% of respondents felt that they could not staff to gather information in preparation of accommodate persons with disabilities be- their trip; cause they travel in large groups. Other In non-conference situations, persons with research dispels this as a myth and suggests disabilities are most likely to seek travel in- that most people with disabilities travel formation on the Internet followed by infor- with a spouse or family member; mation from a travel agent. 11% of respondents said they were not inte- While in Winnipeg, respondents felt that rested in this market, as they had never seen hotel staff provided the most beneficial anyone in a wheelchair in their establish- information; ment. 60% of respondents reported that a lack of information was the primary barrier preven- Accessibility of Facilities: ting them from travelling. 53% of respondents have made accessibility changes to their facilities in Tourism Industry Survey the past five years. Of the respondents who In June 2001 we received 168 responses to a made chan-ges 21% felt that this resulted in mailed survey distributed to 2,472 tourism related increased staff efficiency and 64% reported businesses in Manitoba. The survey provides a an in-crease in customer use. No one “snapshot” of the industry’s readiness to accom- reported a decrease in either staff efficiency modate persons with disabilities. Although the or in customer use; survey shows that many providers of tourism pro- Only large facilities have considered having ducts and services have embraced the needs of an accessibility audit or 13% of respon- seniors and persons with disabilities, many have dents, however 34% felt they could benefit 85 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT from an audit; ted their accessibility in their marketing Cost of renovations to make their facilities materials. accessible is a concern for small facilities Of those who have advertised their accessi- such as bed and breakfasts and camp- bility, Explore Manitoba Guide is the most grounds. often mentioned as the vehicle for this information. Training and Recruitment: The average portion of the marketing bud- While most respondents reported that they get assigned to a combination of persons provide training opportunities for their staff, with disabilities and seniors is 3.9% (this few provide training regarding persons with would not include government’s investment disabilities and seniors. When asked “why not” in reaching these markets). the most frequent response was seasonal staff, Less than one percent have considered followed by a lack of awareness of the using persons with disabilities in their mar- availability of such training. keting materials, while 22% have used se- 40% of respondents said they would pay for niors in their materials. training and their preferred length was a Some respondents not sure how to reach the half-day. market. Only 8 respondents had heard of Access When asked who should be responsible for Canada Training and only 3 respondents re- providing accessible information to tourists, ported that their staff had taken the training. respondents felt every avenue should be One respondent reported that their staff had utilized (see figure below). taken the Seniors Friendly Program offered by Manitoba Tourism Education Council Review of Marketing Materials (MTEC). MTEC reports a poor uptake of A review of 170 brochures was undertaken the program in the pilot stage but felt this to assess the level of information regarding may be due to marketing of the program. accessible accommodation provided to visitors When asked for the preferred format for who consider Manitoba as a travel destination. training : Crossover between publications did exist; 47% preferred self-training with a video therefore, many tourist facilities had their own and workbook brochure but were also listed in visitor/travel 41% preferred a seminar provided by a guides. Information was categorized into five professional at their place of business categories: 75% preferred on-line training 1. Tourism Information Guides 2. Events Marketing: 3. Accommodations Although respondents reported making a 4. Attractions substantial investment in upgrades to accom- 5. Tourist Information Centres. modate persons with disabilities, they have not seen the potential in this market and cones- There exists a lack of consistent information quently have not marketed to this audience. On regarding accessibility in Manitoba. Informa- the other hand, some respondents have reported tion regarding the same facility can vary from that they have recognized the potential in the publication to publication resulting in confu- market of seniors, but the investment in reach- sion for the reader. While government publica- ing this market is very low. tions are the most likely source of existing Only 22% of respondents who had made information, this information lacks clarity. The upgrades in the past five years have indica- operator submits information and the indication 86 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT of accessibility are based on the operator’s products and services accessible. In addition, perception of accessibility. on site interviews were conducted with two hotels and one theatre /restaurant. Findings In total, a hundred and twenty-eight of the The partners were a great asset to the study, hundred and seventy (72%) reviewed contained both as contacts within the industry and as a no accessibility information. A total of 33 bro- sounding board that could express the needs, chures (19%) indicated wheelchair accessibility fears and expectations of their constituencies. and 10 brochures (6%) were recorded as using They are committed to a continuing process to the international symbol of accessibility. The make Manitoba an accessible tourism destina- remaining 3 % were brochures recorded as lis- tion. These stakeholders are ready to become ting the international symbol of hearing im- “champions” within their own sectors and to paired, trail access, and wheelchair rental. spread the word. They recognize the potential When the data within the above categories was to expand their tourism base. This is balanced reviewed the following information was re- with a healthy dose of reality knowing that trieved: much has to be done in order to achieve the Tourism Info Guides: 71 % contained no goal. access information, 23% indicated wheel- chair access, and 6% used the international Facilities that have undertaken the challenge symbol of accessibility. are recognizing that to become accessible is ap- Event Brochures: 67% of the event bro- preciated by their guests with disabilities and chures contained no access information and others. They would like to see standards set and the remaining 33% stated they were wheel- that they be tied to a rating system to direct and chair accessible. recognize effort in the area. Their advice is... if Accommodations: 80% did not indicate you want to reach larger markets for weddings, access information, 17% stated that they conventions etc. then access is necessary. were wheelchair accessible, and 3% used The interviews demonstrated that a good the international symbol of accessibility. attitude exists within the industry. Every sector Attractions: 75% contained no access in- of the industry is ready, has to some extent formation, 12% indicated wheelchair started the process, and a growing awareness is access, 4% used the international symbol of building. accessibility, 3% used the international symbol of the hearing impaired, 3% stated Recommendations for Future Action that the trails were accessible, and the remaining 3% indicated a wheelchair/ Our key to success lays in the implementation stroller rental service. of five key strategies: Tourism information Centres used both Leadership by government and industry the international symbol of accessibility key players and the international symbol of the hearing Position Manitoba as a leader in Canada impaired. through developing this strategy. Also, ca- pitalize on what we already have such as; a Interviews with Key Stakeholders flat landscape, a policy of full Citizenship Sixteen interviews were conducted; eight for Persons with Disabilities and a tourism telephone interviews with industry partners and industry ready and willing to respond to the eight follow-up interviews with other providers needs of the market. Partners will influence in the industry who were referred as individuals change within their own constituency. Go- who have achieved success in making their vernment will need to allocate resources as an investment to the process and develop 87 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001
    • Accessible Tourism in Manitoba HORGAN-JONES & RINGAERT government policies and practices that chal- accessibility. Each level could constitute a lenges the industry to make “Manitoba an goal for the tourism provider. Upon inspec- Accessible Tourism Destination”. Each in- tion, a rated symbol would be awarded si- dustry sector will need to recognize that the milar to the star award system for hotels. travel market for people with disabilities is Institute a system of accessibility audits that growing and that planning for and serving it assist the provider in understanding their is a sound business practice. Persons with shortcomings in the area of accessibility disabilities will need to communicate their Train staff who provide services needs to the travel industry and to govern- Hand in hand with awareness raising, each ment to ensure further success. industry needs to make a commitment to Raise industry awareness train its staff to understand the needs of this Raise industry awareness through the use of market. Training programs need to be spe- industry champions. This will require each cialized to each market segment. Specific industry sector to identify one or two programs need to be developed for hotels, people who are knowledgeable in the area restaurants, small business, attractions etc. and can present the business case for Training programs should include accessibility. Deliver information session providing customer service, use of at conferences and AGM’s of each of the equipment such as TTY, awareness of a associations. In-formation publicity kits variety of disabilities, safety issues. should be deve-loped and distributed by Market our Access each association. These kits should provide Identify access availability in a consistent information such as success stories, tips, manner through the rating system. In pro- newsletter articles and speaking notes that motions materials feature people with dis- are relevant to each sector’s issues. abilities and seniors actively involved in Continue to improve accessibility of en-joying our province. Promote travel as a facilities and accommodations healthy activity for seniors and persons Accessibility standards for each industry with disabilities. Develop a website where sector need to be developed. Using the people can list accessible places based upon standards establish an accessibility rating their own experiences. system that will clearly identify levels of 88 Travel and Tourism Research Association Niagara Falls, Canada, October 14-16, 2001