Investigation of "Alarming" Lack of Accessible Tourism Information in New Zealand

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The New Zealand Tourist Board does not collect any statistics on visitors with physical disabilities or specialist needs. A new private survey will identify visitors' requirements and focus attention on accessible tourism provisions as preparations are under way for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

photo of rugby fieldWith the Rugby World Cup 2011 looming, and an international surge in interest in accessible tourism, there is a frightening lack of information about the number of tourists visiting New Zealand who have physical disabilities or specialist needs.

Accessible tourism can be defined as tourism travel and hospitality for people with disabilities, seniors, and Baby Boomers who will experience increasing disability as they age. Currently, New Zealand does not collect any statistical data on the number of visitors to the country with physical disabilities or specialist needs.

The impact of this lack of knowledge about the disabled travelling sector on the New Zealand tourism market could be huge and potentially, damaging to the experiences disabled travellers have when visiting New Zealand.

Visitor Survey

A small business start up, Freedom Researchers, is on a fact finding mission gathering feedback via an international survey on what the disabled travel sector wants and needs.

The link to completing the survey is:

Open until the end of June 2010, the survey takes minutes to complete but would provide valuable knowledge about how New Zealand could improve its tourism offering to this important sector.

Gill, from Freedom Researchers says "We are asking anyone from anywhere in the world, whether they have travelled to New Zealand or not, to spend five minutes filling in this survey. By doing this, they will contribute to telling us what's important from a disabled travellers perspective to make travel experiences better than fantastic and encourage repeat visits".

More information

ENAT Member, Sandra Rhodda is Director at Access Tourism New Zealand and Senior Research Officer, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute. Read Sandra's blog on Accessible Tourism in New Zealand at NZ Access Tourism.