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  • Writer's pictureMeghann Ormond

New report: Accessible tourism in the Netherlands

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Wageningen, 17 December 2019. The Netherlands is today home to an estimated 2.5 million people with disabilities, and this number is on the rise with the country's rapidly ageing population. Given that the Dutch government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) only in 2016, there remains a lot to be done within the country to implement the Convention's articles. Recently, the country's tourism and travel industry has begun to respond, trying to identify how it can comply with (international) regulations regarding the rights of travellers with disabilities as well as how to tap into this growing sector.

In light of recent developments, the Dutch Association of Travel Operators (ANVR), Reiswerk, the Dutch Association of Specialised Travel Operators (NBAV) and CELTH together commissioned a report on current and future challenges and opportunities for accessible tourism in the Netherlands. The team of researchers working on that report came from three Dutch institutions: Wageningen University's Cultural Geography Group (Rene van der Duim, Meghann Ormond, Paulina Schmitz and Joost van Heiningen), Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUAS) (Bert Smit and Jorn Fricke), and NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences' European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) (Bernadett Papp).

The report entitled 'Toegankelijk toerisme: Op weg naar een ‘inclusieve’ reisindustrie' ('Accessible tourism: Towards an inclusive travel industry'), was released in December 2019 in Dutch. It is organised around the customer journey of people with disabilities, describing the barriers that people with different kinds of disabilities experience before, during and after their journeys and how the travel industry can respond to these challenges. The report was formally released on 17 December 2019 at the ANVR's Specialised Travel event entitled 'Towards an inclusive travel industry', which will be held at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. It builds on the English-language Accessible Tourism in the Netherlands: Sector Analysis Report 2017 (Cremers and Schmitz 2017).

Check out our publications on accessible tourism in the Netherlands:

Cremers, P. and Schmitz, P. (2017) Accessible Tourism in the Netherlands: Sector Analysis Report 2017, Wageningen University. (in English)

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)

van der Duim, V.R., Smit, B., Ormond, M., Papp, B., Fricke, J., Schmitz, P., and van Heiningen, J. (2019) Toegankelijk toerisme: Op weg naar een ‘inclusieve’ reisindustrie, Netherlands: ANVR, CELTH and Reiswerk. (in Dutch)

> Find out more about my Disability and Travel research line

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