A one-day conference was held on Monday 9 January on the subject of Accessible and Inclusive Tourism for Wales.
Jointly hosted by the School of Management and the Centre for Visitor Economy Research (CVER), the event took place on the Bay Campus and was attended by around 20 delegates from the university’s academic departments, our autism team, destination marketing organisations, and those representing tourism-related businesses in the area.
The conference showcased a number of projects in which the School of Management is currently involved, on the themes of accessibility to tourism businesses and activities for disabled people. A particular focus was on neurodiversity, with the interests and needs of neurodivergent people (such as those with autism and ADHD) being put front and centre of the debate. Presentations were made by Professor Brian Garrod, Swansea University, on “Dismantling the informational barriers to accessible tourism”, Dr Allan Jepson, University of Hertfordshire, on “Neurodiversity and family tourism”, and Dr Marcus Hansen, Liverpool John Moores University, on “Neurodiversity in the tourism and hospitality workplace”.
Prof Brian Garrod, who hosted the event, said “I was delighted to see so many people with an interest in accessibility and inclusivity in tourism coming together to hear about our research and to discuss ways forward for this vital topic for the Wales tourism industry. In view of the focus that is being put on the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act in Wales, it is important that we recognise the vital role of tourism as a source of wellbeing, especially for people with disabilities, and the need to develop a more equitable and accessible tourism provision. There can be no sustainability without accessibility. I believe that Wales has the potential to be at the cutting edge of such developments, so it is good to be able to bring interested parties together today to begin to map out a way forward”