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OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis


This report presents an analysis of the terminology related to disability, accessibility and tourism. The demand and supply analysis covers an estimation of the market size for accessibility in Europe and worldwide, the identification of key stakeholders and the current supply of accessible products and services.

The report aims to provide a comprehensive market and stakeholder analysis for the accessibility requiring market and assesses the potential of the marketplace. It brings together information on both tourism demand and supply and demonstrates its significance.

Two major models of disability exist: the medical and the social model. The medical model positions disability as being the ‘problem’ of the individual. In contrast, the social model stresses that disability should not be regarded as a deviance but as a normal aspect of life and it is the society that should build appropriate structures to cater for people’s needs.  Following these models, a typology of impairments is identified including mobility, sensory and communication impairments to intellectual/ mental disorders as well as hidden impairments in the form of health problems. Ageing is identified as a key contributor to disabling conditions and with an ageing society the need for inclusive design is emphasised. Thus, the ageing population has, amongst other market segments, varying accessibility requirements that have to be addressed.

The report illustrates the needs for physical accessibility through the design and modifications of facilities. It also stresses that access to suitable and accurate information using the Internet, designed according to ICTs accessibility guidelines, is crucial for the "accessibility- requiring" market.

An analysis of the market size demonstrated the key variations of demand types for people with impairments and the elderly population. It showed that the general demand for accessibility in Europe alone exceeds 127 million people. This represents more than 27% of the European population. It has been estimated that 70% of them have both, the financial as well as the physical capabilities to travel. If their friends, relatives and carers are included, this figure raises substantially with estimated tourism revenues exceeding €80 billion.

Worldwide the number for people with impairments accounts for 600 to 900 million citizens. In fact, this figure is even greater, taking into considerations that all citizens need some degree of accessibility for their general comfort and quality when travelling.

The stakeholder analysis demonstrates a wide range of potential players involved in the provision of accessible tourism products. These range from specialist operators that serve this market exclusively to mixed providers that offer both, mainstream as well as specialised tourism products, to purely mainstream providers that are not yet concerned with accessibility.

An analysis of available information demonstrates that there is a very small percentage of the market that addresses the needs for accessible tourism. Even organisations that have inclusive design or have undertaken suitable modifications often fail to publicise this fact, failing to inform people with accessibility requirements and missing a huge market opportunity.

The NGOs and other organisations that provide suitable information often address small parts of the market and rarely are able to provide a comprehensive one-stop-shop solution or to address the needs of people or facilities that are not in their local area. This demonstrates clearly the need for OSSATE as a value added mechanism.

General Information

Submitted by: Ivor Ambrose
Author(s): Buhalis D., Eichhorn, V. et al.
Language(s): EN


Publisher: OSSATE
Date published on the web: 01/11/2005


Age-related issues, (seniors) | Demographics | Disability, disabilities, technical aids | Hospitality | Hotel management, hotel business | Management of tourist venues and attractions | Policy, legislation | Special services for disabled visitors