All abilities trek to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko - Australia's highest peak

All abilities trek to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko - Australia's highest peak
All abilities trek to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko - Australia's highest peak - © Jennifer Johnson 2008

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Accessible tourism and sustainability: a discussion and business case study

An article has been published by the Journal of Sustainable Tourism that links accessible tourism and sustainability to triple bottom line reporting (Darcy, Cameron, & Pegg, 2010). The article was one outcome from a broader study looking at the business case for accessible tourism funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) (Darcy, Cameron, Pegg, & Packer, 2008). While the article focuses on O’Carollyns Resort, Port Stephens New South Wales (O'Carrollyns, 2006), the report investigates business cases from the convention and exhibition, transport, accommodation and recreation provisions sectors. More importantly, the report provides a foundation on which to collect data to create business case studies for accessible tourism through triple bottom line approaches as the abstract the report states:

"The research project was an STCRC scoping project to formulate a procedure for undertaking accessible tourism business cases. The project sought to case study examples of high standard accessible tourism product, facility or experience. The accessible tourism market is comprised of seniors and people with disabilities with access needs. It is recognised in the literature that there are significant barriers that constrain the tourism experiences of the group. A key component in the constraint is the supply of accessible tourism product and the understanding of the elements of business success with the market by the tourism industry. The methodology was informed by a case study approach and the triple bottom line scorecard. The research design sought to expand the thinking in general business performance more broadly than financial measures. The evaluation of environmental and social benefits has become part of core corporate practice. The preliminary work utilised a Delphi group to identify a range of high standard of accessible product, across states, segments and reflecting a range of ownership structures. The next stage involved developing Business Case Instrument to ‘capture’ triple bottom line metrics. The ‘metrics’ were collected through reviews of management information systems, in-depth interviews with key informants and review of other performance information. The research resulted in five business case studies on which the refined Business Case Instrument was based. This will assist the industry stakeholders to understand the components likely to be present when a destination experience meets the needs of travellers with a disability. The research suggests that provision can be improved by each organisation but that provision of access will not be the only factor present in a business successfully meeting the needs of travellers seeking an accessible destination experience. The purpose of this technical report is to document and present the business case instrument" (Darcy, et al., 2008, p. v).

I call for followers of this blog to bring our attention to other case studies of accessible tourism that provide the evidence required to create interest from the business community to invest in accessible tourism product.

Darcy, S., Cameron, B., & Pegg, S. (2010). Accessible tourism and sustainability: a discussion and business case study. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, published online 24 April. doi: 10.1080/09669581003690668
Darcy, S., Cameron, B., Pegg, S., & Packer, T. (2008). Technical Report 90042: Developing Business Cases for Accessible Tourism STCRC technical report   Retrieved from
O'Carrollyns. (2006). O'Carrolyns at One Mile Beach - Accessibility  Retrieved 12 October, 2006, from

Photo 1: Preparing to board  an accessible dolphin watching cruise at Port Stephens, NSW  (© Fiona Darcy 2008)

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