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

Monday, April 22, 2019

Australian Accessible Tourism Data Module

In 2016 an opportunity arose for Prof Simon Darcy to work with Tourism Research Australia on developing a disability module for inclusion in the 2017 National Visitor Survey (Tourism Research Australia, 2017). This was the first time that such data was collected in Australia since 2010. After a number of months working with TRA we had agreement on a disability module shown in Figure 1 that included:
  • a screening question;
  • a dichotomous question asking whether the respondent identified as having a disability or long term health condition lasting longer than six months;
  • the disability type; and 
  • levels of support needs
The module was included in the 2017 first quarter data collection but unfortunately not to the other three quarters of data as had been the case in 1998, 2003, 2009, and 2010 when the modules had been previously included. However, even with this limitation the data has been well used in producing a number of government and industry based outcomes that will be documented over the coming months on this blog (Darcy & Hergesell, 2018; Michopoulou, Darcy, Ambrose, & Buhalis, 2019; My Travel Research & Childs, 2017; Pavkovic, Darcy, & Ryan, 2017; Pavkovic, Lawrie, Farrell, Huuskes, & Ryan, 2017). Providing any sort of evidence base for business or government relies on appropriate research being collected on a regular (preferably annual) basis. If this is not done all we have is a series of data snapshots rather than a continuous understanding being built of the phenomenon or having data on which a business case can be presented. 

Figure 1: The disability module included in Tourism Research Australia's 2017 National Visitor Survey first-quarter data
Photo 2 shows an example of such a social enterprise that would benefit from regular data collection with the author at Sargood on Collaroy, which is a relatively new boutique wellness resort targeting people with spinal cord injury. Sargood on Collaroy sets itself apart by not just providing accommodation but a series of accessible destination experiences from a specialist gym, yoga, fishing, tennis, darts, swimming in an ocean pool, inclusive surfing and scuba diving. The enterprise has a person centred approach where the individual with a disability and their family or friends are able to holiday knowing that they have access to the best available expertise, equipment and community connections.
Photo 2: Simon and Fiona Darcy enjoying Sargood on Collaroy - a boutique spinal cord injury accessible accommodation and wellness resort (source: Sargood on Collaroy with permission)

Darcy, S., & Hergesell, A. (2018). Supplementing the NVS 2017 Q1 with Additional Insights on People with Disabilities. Retrieved from Sydney:
Michopoulou, E., Darcy, S., Ambrose, I., & Buhalis, D. (2019). Accessible hospitality and tourism: opportunities and challenges. Paper presented at the 27th Council  for       Hospitality       Management    Education            (CHME)  - Innovation  in         Hospitality:      connecting       all        stakeholders     to            deliver memorable       experiences, 22-25   May     2018    Bournemouth   University,       UK                                 
My Travel Research, c., & Childs, C. (2017). Understanding the Opportunity for Australia in Accessible Tourism, final report. Retrieved from Canberra:
Pavkovic, I., Darcy, S., & Ryan, R. (2017). Infographic of Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Economic Data. Retrieved from University of Technology Sydney
Pavkovic, I., Lawrie, A., Farrell, G., Huuskes, L., & Ryan, R. (2017). Inclusive  Tourism: Economic Opportunities. Retrieved from University of Technology Sydney
Tourism Research Australia. (2017). National Visitor Survey Questionnaire Final with Disability Module.   Retrieved from

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