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This line of research focuses on how travel and recreational experiences and offerings are shaped by significant demographic and epidemiological trends (e.g., population ageing and growing proportions of chronic illness and disability affecting people’s mobility, senses and cognition).


  • Release of report on accessible tourism in the Netherlands (Dec. 2019): See blog entry

Related activities and output

  • 2019: Co-author of a chapter on accessible tourism in the annual Dutch Trendrapport  

    • van der Duim, V.R., Smit, B., and Ormond, M. (2019) 'Naar een inclusieve toeristische sector', in T. Vermeulen et al. (eds.), Trendrapport toerisme, recreatie en vrije tjid 2019, PleisureWorld NRIT en CBS, pp. 124-127. ISBN: 9789-94-91625-09-1. (in Dutch)

  • 2019: Co-author of the 'Accessible Tourism: Towards an inclusive travel industry' report commissioned by the ANVRthe Nederlandse Branchevereniging Aangepaste Vakanties (NBAV), ReisWerk and Centre of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality (CELTH) 

  • 2018: Supervisor and consultant for the Accessible Tourism in the Netherlands: Sector Analysis Report 2017 (Cremers and Schmitz 2017), commissioned by the Nederlandse Branchevereniging Aangepaste Vakanties (NBAV), ReisWerk and Centre of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality (CELTH)

    • This report examines the current situation of the accessible tourism sector in the Netherlands by first portraying supply and demand, and then investigated the sector’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).​ Strengths of the accessible tourism sector identified were: large variety in offer, motivated and ambitious branch organization, motivated and loyal group of volunteers, and a focus on well-being. On the other hand, weaknesses have also been perceived, such as the heavy reliance on donors and governmental funds, lack of reliable data about the market, and underdeveloped professionalism. Opportunities  include growing political and social awareness, the potential of the Dutch landscape and social environment, and a growing market in general. The external threats revolve around an increase in care and care costs, threats to the stock of volunteers, and the lack of training on accessible tourism.

  • 2015-17: Expert consultant, BSc and MSc thesis and ACT supervisor, and Wageningen University & Research Science Shop project steering committee member for 'De meerwaarde van watersportactiviteiten voor mensen met een beperking' ['The added value of recreational water sports for people with disabilities'].

    • The project (access a PDF of the final report in Dutch) was commissioned by the Dutch not-for-profit accessible tourism provider SailWise that offers adventurous water sport holidays for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. With four accomodations in three different locations in the Netherlands, the organization relies heavily on a team of enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers to support holiday-makers with disabilities as they sail clippers and dinghies, paddle in canoes and kayaks, and learn to windsurf and water-ski. SailWise has found anecdotally that participation in its holidays yields positive results that extend into participants’ daily lives even after they return home. But does scholarly research support these findings? To answer this question, SailWise asked the Wageningen University and Research’s Science Shop to investigate the impacts of SailWise holidays on participants. Nine student research projects were subsequently carried out. The studies show that SailWise’s unique approach – one that focuses on what people can do (not what they can’t), includes everyone in decision-making processes and creates the feeling of being on a special adventure together – is highly appreciated by diverse groups of participants (e.g., younger or older, with or without prior water sport experience, with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, whether congenital or acquired) as well as by their families, care-givers and teachers. Results indicate that participation in water sport activities may positively affect participants beyond the holiday itself, fostering greater independence, coping capacity and self-confidence and improved body image. Findings from the research project suggest that more significant long-term effects of participation in active water sport holidays will be more pronounced among the following groups: participants wrapping up a clinical rehabilitation program; participants with limited opportunities to feel constructively challenged in their home environments; younger participants exploring their boundaries as part of their developmental process. Accessible tourism and leisure opportunities for people with disabilities constitute both a burgeoning market and field of study. 

Related supervised thesis projects

Additional Wageningen University thesis projects

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