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Accessible Tourism Destinations

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (26 March 2023) | Viewed by 33679

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Supply Chain Management, International Hellenic University, 60100 Katerini, Greece
Interests: operations research; supply chain management; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Supply Chain Management, International Hellenic University, 60100 Katerini, Greece
Interests: digital supply chain management; operations research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Accessible tourism signals an emerging market segment in the global tourism industry that can catalyze sustainability excellence via promoting social inclusiveness and human rights for the vulnerable population (Natalia et al., 2019; Sica et al., 2021), along with destination competitiveness (Natalia et al., 2019). Except for the marketing perspective, accessible tourism is an evolving field in public health and public policy agendas, as it concerns a range of primary stakeholders including people with some form of disability, seniors, and families with young children (Darcy and Dickson, 2009). Specifically, people living with a permanent or temporary disability are attracting the increasing interest of respective policy and private actors, and the WHO (2020) states that “The number of people living with disability is increasing, in part due to ageing populations and an increase in chronic health conditions.” Indicatively, according to The World Bank (2020), about one billion people, globally, experience some form of disability, not to mention the people that support those living with disability. In this context, the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations embraced the endeavor of accessible tourism as part of its vision and further considers it as a “game changer” for global tourist destinations to respond to the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic (UNWTO, 2020).

Accessible tourism posits a nascent interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary field of research and business practice (Michopoulou et al., 2015). However, the extant research studies that theoretically contribute to the topic, while investigating particular cases and cultural backgrounds, are limited. A collaborative dialogue among inquiry, industry, and community is necessary to progress academic research and creative social solutions (Gillovic and McIntosh, 2020). Furthermore, the role of digitalization in the field of accessible tourism has to be explored to inform about feasible services that can lay out the enabling conditions of accessibility and enhance the traveling experience of visitors. Ultimately, research and practice contributions to the topic of accessible tourism must have a supply chain perspective to enable the efficient and effective delivery of accessible tourism services across all respective echelons of operations (UNWTO, 2016).

The Special Issue “Accessible Tourism Destinations” aims to collect innovative ideas, solutions, decision-making frameworks and tools, experimental research, ICT tools, and state-of-the-art studies in order to support the improvement of tourism products (prior, during, and after the visit), relevant services, and infrastructures by improving accessibility for people with disabilities. Submitted contributions are expected to include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Theoretical underpinnings on accessible tourism and the hospitality sector, preferably with a sustainability outlook;
  • Empirical evidence of accessible tourism from stakeholders across the tourism supply chain who aim to contribute to the promotion of their regions as competitive international tourist destinations for people with disabilities and reduced mobility;
  • Evidence from representatives of the disability movement and from individuals coming from population groups with similar needs to inform about the actual accessibility requirements and needs and to guide future research in the field;
  • Policy-making initiatives on creating common strategies toward improving accessibility, in parallel with regional economic development and tourism business sustainability;
  • Innovative services and technological applications that enable and improve accessibility to tourist destinations for people with some form of disability.

References:

Darcy, S., Dickson, T., 2009. A whole-of-life approach to tourism: The case for accessible tourism experiences. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 16(1), pp. 32–44.

Gillovic, B, McIntosh, A., 2020. Accessibility and inclusive tourism development: Current state and future agenda. Sustainability, 12(22), 9722.

Michopoulou, E., Darcy, S., Ambrose, I., Buhalis, D., 2015. Accessible tourism futures: The world we dream to live in and the opportunities we hope to have. Journal of Tourism Futures, 1(3), pp. 179–188.

Natalia, P., Clara, R.A., Simon, D., Noelia, G., Barbara, A., 2019. Critical elements in accessible tourism for destination competitiveness and comparison: Principal component analysis from Oceania and South America. Tourism Management, 75, pp. 169–185.

Sica, E., Sisto, R., Bianchi, P., Cappelletti, G., 2021. Inclusivity and responsible tourism: Designing a trademark for a national park area. Sustainability, 13(1), pp. 1–11.

The World Bank, 2020. Disability Inclusion. Available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/disability (accessed 11 January 2021).

UNWTO, 2016. World Tourism Day 2016, “Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility”: Good Practices in the Accessible Tourism Supply Chain. Madrid: United Nations World Tourism Organization.

UNWTO, 2020. Accessible Tourim Identified as ‘Game Changer’ for Destinations. Available at: https://www.unwto.org/news/accessible-tourism-identified-as-game-changer-for-destinations (accessed 11 January 2021).

WHO, 2020. Disability and Health. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/disability-and-health (accessed 11 January 2021).

Prof. Dimitrios Aidonis
Prof. Charisios Achillas
Dr. Naoum Tsolakis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • accessible tourism
  • people with disability
  • sustainable tourism
  • mobility
  • digitalization of tourism
  • tourism services and infrastructures
  • tourism supply chain management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 5517 KiB  
Article
Conservation of Culture Heritage Tourism: A Case Study in Langkawi Kubang Badak Remnant Charcoal Kilns
by Chen-Kim Lim, Kian-Lam Tan and Minhaz Farid Ahmed
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086554 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
Remnants of old charcoal kilns found at Siam Village in Kubang Badak are about 100 years old, from approximately the same time as World War I. However, little research has been conducted into promoting the antiquity of remnant charcoal kilns as a representation [...] Read more.
Remnants of old charcoal kilns found at Siam Village in Kubang Badak are about 100 years old, from approximately the same time as World War I. However, little research has been conducted into promoting the antiquity of remnant charcoal kilns as a representation of the historical inheritance of the Siamese community and their early settlement on Langkawi Island. This paper reveals the great potential of the abandoned charcoal kilns as a tourist site and shows the role of heritage conservation through reviewing the conditions. Following the methodology, firstly, charcoal kilns in Malaysia are investigated in term of their natural, cultural, and social history. Secondly, interviews were conducted to examine empirically the community life of that heritage area and the impacts of the charcoal kiln as tourist product. The segmentation of the narration into preservation means, sustainable activities, and historical knowledge is exemplified by extracting important data for taxonomic derivation of heritage conservation, economic, and community development. Finally, a set of guidelines including conservation approaches is proposed to support sustainable tourism development. The findings from the interviews conclude that the conservation of remnant charcoal kilns is vital for the long-term sustainability of cultural heritage tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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13 pages, 889 KiB  
Article
Smart Cities and Tourism: The Case of Tel Aviv-Yafo
by Arie Herscovici, Gavriel Dahan and Gil Cohen
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10968; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710968 - 2 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2667
Abstract
This study explores tourists’ preferences and how Smart Cities (SC) can provide for them, using Tel Aviv-Yafo (TLV) as a case study. The theoretical model that we suggest measures gaps between the tourists’ perceived importance of the city’s characteristics, such as transportation, personal [...] Read more.
This study explores tourists’ preferences and how Smart Cities (SC) can provide for them, using Tel Aviv-Yafo (TLV) as a case study. The theoretical model that we suggest measures gaps between the tourists’ perceived importance of the city’s characteristics, such as transportation, personal safety, recreation, etc., and their satisfaction with them. Then we evaluate the extent to which an SC can narrow those gaps and thereby enhance tourists’ satisfaction. The evaluation was performed by aligning each characteristic with a relevant indicator of the SC standard ISO 37122. Our model identified that SC measures can contribute the most to TLV tourists’ experience in the following aspects: information, transportation, personal safety, and disabled accessibility. Therefore, those aspects should be prioritized to improve tourists’ satisfaction and a promote longer stay in the city. We also recommend that cities will continuously challenge themselves with the most advanced technologies that will enable every single tourist to fully experience the city for all purposes of visits and for the different time frames of stay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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14 pages, 4043 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Pattern of World Heritage and Its Accessibility Assessment in China
by Yanjun Che, Yun Cao, Rong Wu, Jian Liu, Lihua Chen and Jiakang Wu
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 3033; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14053033 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2698
Abstract
World Heritage is of high historical, artistic, and scientific value and represents wealth created by human beings or nature that cannot be replaced. In this paper, the tempo–spatial characteristics of World Heritage and its traffic accessibility were assessed in China using statistical and [...] Read more.
World Heritage is of high historical, artistic, and scientific value and represents wealth created by human beings or nature that cannot be replaced. In this paper, the tempo–spatial characteristics of World Heritage and its traffic accessibility were assessed in China using statistical and spatial analysis methods. The results showed that development of Chinese World Heritage experienced exploratory, evolution, accelerated development, and stable development phases. To date, there are 55 World Heritage Projects in China, including 37 Cultural Heritage, 14 Natural Heritage, and 4 mixed double heritage projects. Based on the spatial analysis, global spatial correlation of these heritage sites was not significant while the local spatial correlation was significant. The majority of the heritage sites were distributed in the east–central regions of China, and the hotspots were also concentrated in these regions. In addition, an assessment of inter-regional accessibility indicated that 63.18% of heritage sites could be reached within one hour from a city center and the average time taken to reach a heritage site was at 1.03 h in the local city. Time cost was low and accessibility was good. Additionally, an analysis of the overall accessibility showed that the average time cost of the World Heritage Sites was 25.51 h. Overall accessibility in the central plain region of China was very high, with a time cost of <15 h. The overall accessibility in the western mountains and northeastern regions was very limited. In general, the development of China’s World Heritage still has great potential and strong traffic accessibility, which can effectively promote the development of heritage tourism. Meanwhile, heritage tourism can also effectively promote the development of local economies under the principle of protection priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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21 pages, 4560 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Tourism Product Development in Southeast Ethiopia: Marketing Perspectives
by Kassegn Berhanu Melese and Temesgen Heiyo Belda
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313263 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4680
Abstract
Tourism has been given much attention in developing countries like Ethiopia. In this regard, tourism product development played a great role in achieving sustainable developmental goals. The study aims to examine the determinants of tourism product development in southeast Ethiopia. The research employed [...] Read more.
Tourism has been given much attention in developing countries like Ethiopia. In this regard, tourism product development played a great role in achieving sustainable developmental goals. The study aims to examine the determinants of tourism product development in southeast Ethiopia. The research employed a mixed research approach, and descriptive and explanatory research design was used. Both secondary and primary data sources were in place to obtain the relevant data. A total of 398 samples were employed to collect the data. A convenience sampling technique was employed to select domestic tourists and walk-in guests and purposive sampling was applied to select marketing managers of hotels, lodges, boat associations, park administration, resorts, restaurants, nightclubs, and guest houses. The qualitative data was analyzed through thematic analysis and the quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics by computing SPSS. The study revealed that tourism product development is affected by marketing mixes of which promotion was the major factor of tourism product development and price was the only tool inversely related to tourism product development. The brand image also positively determined tourism product development. The results showed that the exercise of tourism product development strategies among tourism businesses was low. The main implication drawn from the study is that the tourism businesses have to develop new customer profiles or segmenting in customers in their specified characteristics like gender, level of income, and age. Furthermore, the need to invest in research and development of the current market to develop new tourism products is of great importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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22 pages, 2881 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Tourism Policy, Destination Management and Sustainable Tourism Development: A Moderated-Mediation Model
by Mustafa Rehman Khan, Haseeb Ur Rehman Khan, Chen Kim Lim, Kian Lam Tan and Minhaz Farid Ahmed
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12156; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112156 - 3 Nov 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 14365
Abstract
In the recent years, the rapid growth of the tourism industry has risen to prominence as a global concern. Tourism empowers communities and uplifts the economy. However, it poses social and environmental challenges, which in turn draws attention to tourism patterns. Sustainable tourism [...] Read more.
In the recent years, the rapid growth of the tourism industry has risen to prominence as a global concern. Tourism empowers communities and uplifts the economy. However, it poses social and environmental challenges, which in turn draws attention to tourism patterns. Sustainable tourism promises protection of the environment and the social-cultural elements of any given destination. Hence, this study aims to understand the complex relationship between sustainability policy, management, and tourist behavior. Thus, we examined the relationships between sustainable tourism policy and destination management, destination social responsibility, and tourist value orientation with sustainable tourism development. We recruited participants at managerial level coming from 163 Malaysian companies and conducted a cross-sectional quantitative study, using partial least square structural equation modeling. We propose that sustainable tourism policy and destination management and destination social responsibility significantly impact sustainable tourism development. Moreover, destination social responsibility partially mediates the relationship between sustainable tourism policy destination management and sustainable tourism development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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16 pages, 560 KiB  
Article
A Study on How the Five Senses Are Affected When Tourists Experience Towns with Forest Characteristics: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Data of Fujian, Guangdong and Sichuan in China
by Min Shao and Derong Lin
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158283 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4442
Abstract
Senses are the primary channel by which travelers enjoy tourism, and the sensory experience of tourists is very important to the quality of their tourism experience. In this study, 385 questionnaires were distributed to tourists visiting the first batch of characteristic towns classified [...] Read more.
Senses are the primary channel by which travelers enjoy tourism, and the sensory experience of tourists is very important to the quality of their tourism experience. In this study, 385 questionnaires were distributed to tourists visiting the first batch of characteristic towns classified by the China National Forestry and Grassland Administration as national towns with forest characteristics. SPSS software was used for regression analysis to test the differences in the impact of sensory experience on the experience quality and future loyalty of forest town tourists. The results show that: (1) vision makes the highest contribution to the quality of tourist experience; (2) olfactory experience makes the lowest contribution to the quality of tourist experience and has no significant impact on it; (3) auditory experience has a significant impact on the quality of tourism experience but has no significant impact on the loyalty index. The study further confirms that, when a single sensory experience of tourists is insufficient, satisfaction can be achieved through the other senses. It is of great significance for forest town managers to design a sensory landscape according to the combined components of a destination’s characteristics and the tourists’ physical identities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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Review

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18 pages, 1912 KiB  
Review
The Dialectics of (Deep) Accessible Tourism and Reality—Hermeneutics of a Journey to Madrid
by Jácint Farkas, Zoltán Raffay, József Kárpáti, Zsófia Fekete-Frojimovics and Lóránt Dénes Dávid
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3257; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043257 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1142
Abstract
The authors have made an attempt in this case study, which is based on ‘subjective’ travel and existence experiences, for the indispensable separation of technical accessibility and fundamental or ‘deep’ accessibility—in both interpretation and application—and then to reconsider these concepts in their special [...] Read more.
The authors have made an attempt in this case study, which is based on ‘subjective’ travel and existence experiences, for the indispensable separation of technical accessibility and fundamental or ‘deep’ accessibility—in both interpretation and application—and then to reconsider these concepts in their special philosophy-centred study, which is at the same time built on empirical inquiries and analyses. This is in line with a series of their publications in high-class periodicals. The authors are aware and understand at first sight that this hybrid analysis method has several shortcomings concerning objectivity expected by the academic community, and also concerning the verification of the findings with exact data. Nevertheless, they are convinced that in today’s world of transdisciplinarity, subjective and objective viewpoints are no longer dimensions mutually excluding each other in research. Accordingly, the ‘artificially’ created boundaries between ontological and epistemological philosophical approaches are not of substantial character either. In fact, their very necessity and even their existence can be questioned at certain types of applications (e.g., hermeneutical and Buddhist analytics). The experiences gained and analyses made by the authors make it clear that technical accessibility, and the interpretation and implementation of fundamental accessibility, as well as the control of these by the actual users, are still hindered by several obstacles. Additionally, the existence or lack of fundamental accessibility is a more significant issue than the mere fact of providing accessibility by technical solutions. Last but not least, it should be remarked that it is just the spirit of fundamental accessibility and its implementation in the real world that is capable of mostly meeting the personal needs for accessibility, which seems to be partially impossible. The paper is hermeneutic in nature, so it seeks to understand and interpret a phenomenon, and not to causally explain something. Accordingly, the reported data (both subjective and objective facts) serve the purpose of hermeneutics and not that of providing empirical proof. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessible Tourism Destinations)
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