Tourism travel for families with wheelchair carried children : Experiences of parents to children with cerebral palsy

University essay from Umeå universitet/Kulturgeografi


People with disabilities tend to face more difficulties and constraints when they are travelling for tourism purposes, compared to non-disabled people. This is problematic because mobility in general (and tourism in particular) is, more or less, seen as a ‘human right’ and has the potential to contribute to peoples’ well-being. Tourism travel should, therefore, be available for everyone. This thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of tourism travel for people with mobility-disabilities by studying the experiences of parents to wheelchair carried children with cerebral palsy. The main study objectives are threefold, namely: (1) which constraints these families face throughout the tourism travel chain; (2) how the child’s disability affect these families’ destination decision processes; and (3) which improvements that can be made in order to make it easier for these families to participate in tourism travel. An interview study was made including 13 parents to wheelchair children with cerebral palsy and these interviews were analysed by using thematic analysis. The findings show that different constraints and barriers (intrinsic, interactive and environmental) are evident during all different phases of the tourism travel chain and affect these families’ choices regarding type of tourism trip, which destination they travel to, which transport modes that they can use, which requirements they have in terms of accommodation and which limitations they face when participating in different activities. Some suggestions regarding improvements are also provided, based on what the parents require in order to make tourism travel easier for them.

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