The role of social organisations in the promotion of recreation and tourism activities for people with special needs
Keywords:disability studies, accessible tourism, social organisations, people with special needs, people with disabilities, qualitative study
Although leisure and tourism are recognised as rights for all people, many people with special needs (PwSN) still have very limited opportunities for participating in these activities. Social organisations (SO) are potential mediators between the tourism industry and this market, especially for reducing barriers to participation. However, there is a lack of research on the role these organisations perform as facilitators of access to leisure and tourism. This paper aims to identify the difficulties faced and strategies adopted by SO when developing recreation and tourism activities, as well as the benefits of these activities for PwSN. A qualitative approach was adopted, namely semi-structured interviews with representatives of Portuguese SO working with PwSN. The findings highlight that Portuguese SO have had a dynamic and proactive behaviour in the development of recreation and tourism activities, contributing to increased access of PwSN to tourism activities, especially for people belonging to socially and economically disadvantaged groups. However, the results also show that SO face several constraints, specifically financial constraints, lack of specialised human resources and the lack of suitable tourism supply (e.g. accommodation, transportation) for this market. The paper ends with strategies that these organisations may adopt to cope with these constraints.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Maria João Carneiro, Joana Pimentel Alves, Celeste Eusébio, Liliana Saraiva, Leonor Teixeira
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.