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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TRANSED Accessible Public Transport and Tourism Conference, Hong Kong China 2-4 June 2010

One of the great experiences of working within universities, academia and the international research environment is the opportunity to attend conferences, share ideas and network with people from all over the world. One such opportunity is the TRANSED 2010 – 12th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Person to be held in Hong Kong, China 2-4 June  2010. The conference has stream on accessible tourism research and policy that brings together perspectives from all over the world. I am lucky enough to be a plenary speaker and I am looking forward to the conference as a first time visitor to Hong Kong and experiencing the delights of one of Asia’s great cities. The conference incorporates a series of opportunities to undertake field visits to a variety of accessible transport and tourism offerings and I will be availing myself of these opportunities. As a person with high support needs, I will also report on my experiences as a traveler with disabilities to Hong Kong. It is excellent to see that the Hong Kong Tourism Board (2010) at least has a page on Accessible Hong Kong.

In continuing from Rafael de Castro's (2010) research, Hong Kong is a city where east meets west in so many ways yet there has been very little examination in the literature of cross-cultural accessible tourism issues. In disability studies more generally, there is a recognition that disability has a cultural construct that must be factored into the way that Western disability studies theory is applied in non-Western systems. For example the work of Miles (1982, 2000, 2001), has critiqued the different value systems between eastern and western philosophies and the implications that this has for policy implementation. There has been research completed on accessible tourism in an Asian context (Bi, Card, & Cole, 2007; McKercher, Packer, Yau, & Lam, 2003; Packer, McKercher, & Yau, 2007; Yau, McKercher, & Packer, 2004) but interestingly this work has not discussed cross-cultural considerations within accessible tourism research.

As a western traveller to Hong Kong, I will report back on my observations of cross-cultural considerations that I experience as well those of my fellow travellers. If you like a personal ethnography or more correctly a heuristic inquiry that draws on the researchers experience of the phenomenon and the essential experience of others who also experience the phenomenon (Patton, 1990, p. 71).

Photo 1: Hong Kong Tourism Board website page image

Bi, Y., Card, J. A., & Cole, S. T. (2007). Accessibility and Attitudinal Barriers Encountered by Chinese Travellers with Physical Disabilities. Int. J. Tourism Res, 9, 205-216.
de Castro, R. T. (2010). Accessibility of Tourists with Special Needs to Air Transport Unpublished Masters, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro.
Hong Kong Tourism Board. (2010). Accessible Hong Kong.   Retrieved 23 May, 2010, from
McKercher, B., Packer, T., Yau, M. K., & Lam, P. (2003). Travel agents as facilitators or inhibitors of travel: perceptions of people with disabilities. Tourism Management, 24(4), 465-474.
Miles, M. (1982). Why Asia Rejects Western Disability Advice. International Rehabilitation Review, 4th Quarter,
Miles, M. (2000). Disability on a Different Model: glimpses of an Asian heritage. Disability & Society, 15(4), 603-618.
Miles, M. (2001). ICIDH Meets Postmodernism, or Incredulity toward Meta-Terminology. Disability World E-Zine (March/April), 2001(7),
Packer, T. L., McKercher, B., & Yau, M. (2007). Understanding the complex interplay between tourism, disability and environmental contexts. Disability & Rehabilitation, 29(4), 281-292.
Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Yau, M. K.-s., McKercher, B., & Packer, T. L. (2004). Traveling with a disability: More than an Access Issue. Annals of Tourism Research, 31(4), 946-960.

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