Challenges Facing Tourism for People with Disabilities (Accessible Tourism) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Keywords:challenges, tourism for people with disabilities, accessible tourism, people with disabilities
Objectives: The purpose of this research was to investigate the barriers to accessible tourism for individuals with disabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It also demonstrated disparities in the research sample's answers based on gender, kind of handicap, nature of the visit, and location.
Methods: The survey approach was employed to reach the study's aim. The researchers constructed an "electronic questionnaire" as the study tool. After verifying the implications of its validity and reliability in the Saudi context, the questionnaire consisted of (29) items distributed in four domains: personal challenges related to the tourist himself, social challenges, economic challenges, and circumstantial challenges related to the tourist site. It was used on a sample of 201 disabled male and female respondents (sight-impaired, hearing-impaired, and motor-impaired). The stratified random approach was used to choose the sample from three locations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's south (Najran, Jazan, and Asir).
Results: The results revealed that the difficulties of accessible tourism for individuals with disabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were high. According to the replies of the study sample members, there are statistically significant variations in the obstacles facing tourism for persons with disabilities (accessible tourism), related to the type of disability variable and in favor of motor impairment. Furthermore, variances in the variable of the type of the visit favored the individual visit, whereas no statistically significant differences showed in the variables of gender and area. According to the report, the Saudi government and the Tourism and Leisure Authority should take comprehensive initiatives and measures to enhance accessible tourism and modernize its services and facilities. These services are compatible with the requirements and needs of people with disabilities, regardless of their types of disabilities, individual differences, goals, and nature of the visit to reach universality.
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