Is There Room in the Inn? Towards Incorporating People with Disability in Tourism Planning

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Oliver Chikuta


tourism, accessibility, planning


Despite the fact that tourism is as much a social right to people with disabilities as it is for the so-called able-bodied people, the former group received little focus worldwide until very recently. Little emphasis has been given to ensuring that people with disabilities have access to tourism facilities despite the fact that they now constitute a substantial market for tourism operators globally. While Zimbabwe’s tourism fortunes are moving in a positive direction, where is the person with disabilities? Has anyone considered them in terms of economic as well as physical access to tourism products? This research endeavoured to explore the state of affairs in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector where accessibility is concerned. The researcher modified the Scandic’s accessibility questionnaire and used it as a checklist for accessibility of hotels and lodges. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and organisations that represent people with disabilities, were also consulted in the survey. While economic policies are being crafted to bring the country back to its feet, little is being done in providing access to tourism by people with disabilities.

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