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Best Practice in Accessible Tourism: Inclusion, Disability, Ageing Population and Tourism

  • European Network for Accessible Tourism - ENAT, Brussels, Belgium


This volume presents an international selection of invited contributions on policy and best practice in accessible tourism, reflecting current practices across a range of destinations and business settings. It brings together global expertise in planning, design and management to inform and stimulate providers of travel, transport, accommodation, leisure and tourism services to serve guests with disabilities, seniors and the wider markets that require good accessibility. Accessible tourism is not only about providing access to people with disabilities but also addresses the creation of universally designed environments, services and information that can support people who may have temporary disabilities, families with young children, the ever-increasing ageing population, as well as creating safer work places for employees. The book gives ample evidence that accessible tourism organisations and destinations can expand their target markets as well as improve the quality of their service offering, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty and expansion of business. © 2012 Dimitrios Buhalis, Simon Darcy, Ivor Ambrose and the authors of individual chapters. All rights reserved.
Editors xii
Contributing Authors xv
Acknowledgements xxiii
Foreword xxv
1 Introduction 1
Dimitrios Buhalis
Introduction 1
Universal Approaches to Accessible Tourism 3
Structure of the Book 5
Section 1: Policies and Strategies for Accessible Tourism 6
Section 2: Networks and Partnerships 8
Section 3: Accessible Tourism Value Chain 10
Section 4: Destination Development 12
Section 5: Accessible Tourism Experiences 13
Moving Forward 14
Section 1: Policies and Strategies for Accessible Tourism 17
2 European Policies for Accessible Tourism 19
Ivor Ambrose
Introduction 19
Objectives for Accessible Tourism Policies in Europe 21
Coordination of Accessible Tourism Policies 24
European Accessible Tourism Policies 25
Future Policy Needs and Targets for Accessible Tourism Policies 28
A Road Map for Accessible Tourism Policies in Europe 29
Conclusions 34
3 Accessible Tourism in Flanders: Policy Support and Incentives 36
Pieter Ghijsels
Introduction 36
Accessibility of Tourism Infrastructure 38
vi Best Practice in Accessible Tourism
Reliable and Available Information on the Accessibility
of Tourism Infrastructure 39
Development of a Label 42
Conclusion 45
4 Accessible Tourism for All in Germany 46
Peter Neumann
Introduction 46
Stage of Development and Structures of Accessible
Tourism for All in Germany 47
Conclusion 52
5 Accessible Tourism in Greece: Beaches and Bathing for All 55
Nikos Voulgaropoulos, Eleni Strati and Georgia Fyka
Introduction 55
Key Management Structures of Greek Tourism 56
National Strategies for Accessible Tourism 57
Accessible Beaches and Bathing in Greece 59
The Need for a Strategy for Accessible Tourism 60
Conclusion 62
6 The United States: Travellers with Disabilities 65
Laurel Van Horn
Introduction 65
Open Doors Organization (ODO) Travel Market Studies 66
Travel Frequency and Overall Expenditure 67
Internet Use 67
Air Travel 68
Other Modes of Transportation 70
Hotels 71
Restaurants 72
Destinations – Domestic and International 73
BTS 2002 National Transportation Availability and Use Survey 74
Discussion 76
Conclusion 77
7 Accessible Tourism in Australia 79
Simon Darcy, Bruce Cameron and Stephen Schweinsberg
Introduction 79
Rationales for Government Involvement in Tourism 80
Tourism and the Role of Government 82
Disability Tourism Strategies/Disability Action Plans 91
Industry Awareness Campaigns 93
Contents vii
Tourism Disability Research 97
Conclusions 98
Appendix 7.1 Commonwealth Government Initiatives 109
Appendix 7.2: State and Local Government Initiatives 111
Appendix 7.3: Private Industry Key Initiatives 113
8 Accessible Tourism in New Zealand 114
Sandra Rhodda
New Zealand Tourism 114
Accessible Tourism in New Zealand 115
Accessible Tourism Businesses in New Zealand 118
Why New Zealand Needs to Improve its Accessible
Tourism Offer 120
Actions to Develop Accessible Tourism in New Zealand 121
Conclusions 122
Section 2: Networks and Partnerships 125
9 Universal Tourism Networks 127
Mike Prescott
Introduction 127
Meeting the Challenge 128
Accessibility Principles 129
Network analysis 134
Application to Accessible Tourism 137
Future Trends 141
Conclusion 142
10 Tourism Victoria, Australia – an Integrative Model of Inclusive
Tourism for People with Disabilities 144
Huong Le, Yuka Fujimoto, Ruth Rentschler and David Edwards
Introduction 144
An Overview of Stakeholder Theory 145
Research Methods 146
Victorian Policy Framework: Macro Level 148
Victorian Accessible Tourism Plan 2007–2010: Meso Level 150
Evidence from the Field: Micro Level 151
Implications for Policy and Practice 153
Conclusion 154
11 Accessible Tourism in Sweden: Experiences, Stakeholders,
Marketing 157
Lilian Müller
The Development of Accessible Tourism in Sweden 157
viii Best Practice in Accessible Tourism
Accessible Tourism in Sweden – Strengths and Weaknesses 158
Actors for Accessible Tourism in Sweden 159
Marketing of Accessible Tourism in Sweden – in Mainstream
and Target-Group-Oriented Channels 160
Accessible Tourism Strategies 162
Experiences from the Municipality of Askersund 164
Conclusions: Accessible Tourism in Practice 166
12 The Third Sector Responses to Accessible/Disability Tourism 168
Philippa Hunter-Jones and Anthony Thornton
Introduction 168
Accessible/Disability Tourism 168
Tourism and the Charitable Sector 171
Research Methods 173
Findings 173
Conclusions and Agenda for Future Research 176
13 Accessible Dive Tourism 180
Caroline Walsh, Janet Haddock-Fraser and Mark P. Hampton
Introduction 180
Definition of Disability and Accessibility 181
History and Scope of the Disabled Dive market 182
Stakeholder Perspectives on Disabled Dive Tourism 185
Volunteer Dive Tourism and Disabled Divers 187
Conclusions 190
Section 3: The Accessible Tourism Value Chain 193
14 Tour Operating for the Less Mobile Traveller 195
Andrew Wright
Introduction 195
The Tour Operation 195
Elements of the Overseas Holiday Journey 197
The Resort 198
The Next Stage 200
The Way Forward 202
Conclusion 205
15 Air Travel for People with Disabilities 207
Simon Darcy and Ravi Ravinder
Introduction 207
The Low-Cost Carrier Model 207
A Note about Language and the Cultural Context of Disability 209
Contents ix
People with Disabilities, Seniors and the Accessible
Tourism Market 210
Methodology 212
The Low-Cost Carrier Model (Southwest Airlines) 212
Conclusion 217
16 Accessible Public Transport: Vienna City Tourism 222
Roland Krpata
Introduction 222
The Viennese Model 222
Development of New Low Floor Vehicles 224
Re-design of Accessible Tramway and Bus Stops 225
The Lift Retrofitting Programme 227
Accessible Station Furniture 229
Visual Guiding System of the Vienna Lines Developed in 1969 230
Tactile Guiding System of the Vienna lines 233
POPTIS – A Navigation System for Blind and Visually
Impaired Users 234
Real Time Information Accessible Even for Blind and V
isually Impaired Users 236
Qando – A Web-Based Route-Planner 237
MofA or mobility4all 238
Quo Vadis Feasibility Study 238
Conclusions: Achievements and Further Developments 239
17 Accessible Hotels: Design Essentials 241
Katerina Papamichail
Introduction 241
Accessible Hotels: Taking Away the Myths 243
Checklist 245
Conclusions 261
Section 4: Destination Development 263
18 Wheelchair Travel Guides 265
Bruce Cameron and Simon Darcy
Introduction 265
What is a Travel Guide? 265
Some Issues for Travel Guides 266
Iconography 267
Rating Systems 270
The Australian Case 270
Self Assessment versus Provision of Information 271
x Best Practice in Accessible Tourism
The United Kingdom Case 273
Europe for All 276
Mapping 276
A Strategic Approach 278
Conclusions 282
19 Accessing Heritage Tourism Services 285
Shane Pegg and Norma Stumbo
Introduction 285
Rethinking Service and Product offerings in the Heritage
Tourism Sector 286
Dealing Effectively with a Diverse Range of Clients 288
Moving Towards More Inclusive Heritage Tourism Services 291
Conclusion 293
20 VisitOSLO, Norway: Supporting Accessible Tourism Content
within Destination Tourism Marketing 297
Bodil Sandøy Tveitan
Introduction 297
VisitOSLO’s Accessible Tourism Strategies 398
The OSSATE Project: Planning and Implementation and
Key Ingredients for Success 299
New Ways of Presenting Tourism Information Data 303
Strategic Issues and Problems in Data Integration 305
Conclusions and Key Success Factors 307
21 Accessible Tourism in Spain: Arona and Madrid 310
Jesús Hernández Galán
Introduction 310
Arona: a Tourist Destination based around the Sun and the Sea 310
Madrid: a Cultural Tourism Destination 315
Conclusions: Learning from Madrid and Arona 319
22 Visit Britain: Leading the World to Britain 322
Andrew Daines and Chris Veitch
Introduction 322
Increased Provision of Tourism Product Information in
Relation to Access 323
Access Statements 326
National Accessible Scheme 327
Product Development 329
Bosworth Battlefield, near Market Bosworth, Leicestershire 329
The Hytte, Bingfield, Northumberland 332
Conclusions 334
Contents xi
Section 5: Accessible Tourism Experiences 337
23 Australia: the Alpine Accessible Tourism Project and Disabled
Winter Sport 339
Tracey J. Dickson and Simon Darcy
Introduction 339
Project Background 340
Outdoor Activity Focus 341
Ageing Population 342
Informing the AAT Project 343
Research Design 349
Case Study Background 350
Project Details 354
Discussion 356
Project Recommendations – Success by Design 360
Conclusion 361
24 Special Needs Customer Care Training for Tourism 365
Susana Navarro García-Caro, Arno de Waal and Dimitrios Buhalis
Introduction 365
Why Train the Tourism Sector on Accessible Tourism and
Leisure? 365
Accessibility and its Importance in Tourism Training 367
Difficulties in the Tourism Sector in Spain 368
Towards an Educational Training System Focused on Total
Quality 369
Trainers for Accessible Tourism?
Training Methodologies, Content and Use of New Technologies 370
Conclusions 373
25 Conclusions: Best Accessible Tourism Practice 377
Ivor Ambrose, Simon Darcy and Dimitrios Buhalis
The Language of Accessible Tourism 378
Social Responsibility or Business Interest – Why Not Both? 379
Delivering Personalized, Accessible Experiences 381
... Poner en marcha iniciativas de Turismo Accesible implica un conjunto de actuaciones previas y durante la implementación de las acciones, desde el planteamiento de estrategias y políticas que sirvan de base para las posibles transformaciones, pasando por la creación de redes y asociaciones y el fortalecimiento de los diferentes eslabones de la cadena de valor del sector turístico, hasta el diseño o adaptación de un producto para todos. (Buhalis, Darcy, & Ambrose, 2012) A continuación se explican dos casos (Tablas 4 y 5) en los que se puede conocer la experiencia en los destinos con el Turismo Accesible. ...
... En vista del éxito alcanzado con el sendero de Carara, Costa Rica continúa planificando la creación de senderos universales en otros Parques Nacionales del país. Como se puede observar la aplicación de medidas en materia de Turismo Accesible es relativamente reciente; muchas de las iniciativas en los países han sido impulsadas por organizaciones con apoyo de las administraciones públicas, en otros casos se ha tratado más de una adaptación de los productos existentes, más que de la creación de nuevas actividades diferentes (Buhalis, Darcy, & Ambrose, 2012). ...
... Europa ha puesto un gran interés en el desarrollo de políticas favorables a la inclusión social a través del turismo, conformando en el 2006 la Red Europea para Turismo Accesible (ENAT por sus siglas en inglés). Con esta organización se busca fortalecer las políticas actuales relacionadas a los derechos de las personas discapacitadas como consumidores y turistas, así como el cumplimiento de los requisitos de acceso para estos grupos, en servicios proveídos en los destinos y a nivel de empresa (Buhalis, Darcy, & Ambrose, 2012). ...
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This descriptive research was conducted to design a proposal to implement accessibility practices in the Biosphere Reserve Ometepe Island, by analyzing its potential as a major tourist destination in Nicaragua. Counting on a qualitative approach, the inductive method was applied to analyze the theory collected, by consulting different literature sources and applying a questionnaire to different representatives of institutions and companies about the perception of the tourist accessibility of the country. It was possible to establish a framework in which the Accessible Tourism and its implications were defined, as well as the set of regulations governing the general level and specific level of protected areas, and initiatives that have implemented accessibility measures were identified. With this, it was possible to create the basis to design the Accessible Tourism development proposal on the island, starting with a certification model that strengthens the way of managing accessibility in the Island; and concluding with the identification of sites of interest that have potential for practical implementation of accessibility.
... This concept pays attention to various obstacles that hinders people to actively participate in tourism activities. Furthermore, the implementation of accessible tourism requires removal of institutional and environmental barriers in the whole society, as well as includes accessibility of environments, facilities, services, and transportations (Buhalis et al., 2012). The implementation of accessible tourism could be conducted in effective manners if stakeholders in both tourism providers and wider tourism system (such as government, investors and local people) are able to collaborate to ensure the whole journey to, from and within the destinations are accessible (Cockburn-Wootten et al., 2018). ...
... Architectural designs such as ladders, inclining slopes, choices of floor, availability of ramp, or location and facilities in toilet might poses barriers for people to access the destinations. Furthermore, some locations might have certain accessible areas, but the route to the areas itself are not accessible or other crucial areas are inaccessible, thus limits its usage (Buhalis et al., 2012). For example, a tourism destination provides flat-road with no slopes in its attraction areas, yet the toilet needs to be accessed through stairs due to the no installation of elevator -thus makes wheelchair users unable to access the toilet when needed. ...
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This research presents autoethnography study of a wheelchair-users named Zo during her journey in Bali, Indonesia. Her documentations and field notes are analyzed in four main themes: information accessibility, public facilities accessibility, destinations accessibility as well as cultural and social issues. This research provides personal deeply personal view on her experience, her way to adapt with accessibility issues, as well as multiple accessibility issues that needs to be improved to ensure that all travelers are able to enjoy Bali.
... According to the World Bank report (2022), approximately 15% (one billion) of the world population suffer from some form of disability. The tourism industry recognized the rights of individuals with disabilities to enjoy tourism event and travel as everybody else that can involve in barrier-free tourism experiences (Buhalis et al., 2012) and yet, they still experience some barriers when they travel or attend tourism events (McKercher and Darcy, 2018). In an earlier study by McGuire (1984) constraints equal in meaning with barriers that can be defined as those impediments encountered while participating in a tourism experience. ...
... Improvement of accessibility can be a way to improve the quality of tourism in total. Better accessibility can expand the range of customers, open destinations to more visitors; it can contribute to long-term sustainability and increase of the quality of visitors' training [3]. ...
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Heritage value, vernacular architecture, sustainable and friendly surroundings, design technology, accessible smart cities and villages, accessible tourism, all above should become the significant issues in urban and regional planning as well as the characteristics of cities and villages of the Mediterranean region. This paper aims to present the heritage values and beauties, which must be adapted to new market conditions and to succeed in the Tourism market field by improving its accessibility. In a world, which is influenced by social and economic changes worldwide, technology plays a significant role in today's society therefore this new source of information can help modeling the evolving human landscape. What is the peculiarity of the Mediterranean Region? The Mediterranean has been known since ancient times as a large closed sea, located at an important geographical point between the three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. On the shores of the Mediterranean there located large cities with its major ports. It includes the following countries: Albania,
... Academic scholarship on disability often justifies the importance of inclusion, with global estimates that disabled people make up 10-20 % of the world's population (Darcy et al., 2020;Disabled World, 2016). Disability and tourism research gained momentum while travel grew in sophistication; however, there has been a greater appreciation that constraints vary with the type of impairment, experienced disability, and level of support needs (Darcy et al., 2020;Darcy, 2010; across the sectors of the industry (Buhalis et al., 2012). Research led to a re-conceptualisation of the understanding of disabled persons' embodied ontology within tourism (McKercher & Darcy, 2018). ...
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Scholars show the interdependent relationship between the quality-ofservice delivery and the capacity acquired by tourism practitioners from tourism education. Extant literature shows that the content in tourism education material fails to reflect skills and knowledge to handle disabled people in the tourism industry. Yet there is a symbiotic relationship between teaching methods and educators’ extent of preparing learners to handle disabled people in tourism. The chapter investigates if learners are equipped to serve disabled people in tourism. In-depth face-to-face interviews with tourism educators and key informant interviews with gatekeepers of disabled people in South Africa were conducted. Creswell’s qualitative analysis framework guided the data analysis carried out with Atlas.ti 8. Findings show the absence of competencies among educators to develop content for learners to manage disabled people in tourism. The study identified success factors for the co-creation of accessible tourism education that produces sustainable and resilient education products. KeywordsDisabilityImpairmentDisabled LearnersLeast Restrictive Teaching and Learning EnvironmentAccessible Tourism Education.
... S. . The experience of organizing inclusive tourism is studied by such authors as D. Buhalis, S. Darcy, and I. Ambrose (2012), who collected the best world practices in the design, management, and implementation of inclusive tourism products and recommendations to participants in the tourism industry market providing services for people with disabilities and limited mobility. The potential and prospects for the development of inclusive tourism as a separate sector of the economy are presented in the works by J. Bowtell (2015). ...
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Objective: Attention to the problems and interests of people with disabilities has become an important part of the social and economic policies of various states in the modern world. The purpose of this research is to study the concept of inclusive tourism and its potential benefits for people with disabilities who face numerous barriers related to access to infrastructure, services, and products. Methods: The concept of inclusive tourism is not unambiguous and is a debatable issue, which is proved by the literature review. The authors sought to identify models of inclusive tourism development by analyzing publications, state tourism development strategies, and approaches to understanding disability. The authors conducted an online survey to collect data on the special needs of tourists with disabilities and people with disabilities with different nosologies. The data were analyzed to identify the features of the creation and implementation of an inclusive tourism product. Results: The survey data allow coming to important conclusions about the need to organize social rehabilitation of people with disabilities through inclusive tourism. The authors presented a two-factor model of inclusive tourism development, considering the special needs of tourists with disabilities. Conclusion: Inclusive tourism helps to improve the quality of life, socio-psychological adaptation, and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The two-factor model proposed by the authors can serve as a guideline for the creation and implementation of an inclusive tourism product that meets the special needs of tourists with disabilities and people with disabilities with various nosologies.
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Celem badania przeprowadzonego przez autorkę było określenie wpływu wybranych cech (demograficznych, społecznych, ekonomicznych) na aktywność turystyczną osób z niepełnosprawnością. W badaniu wykorzystano metodę sondażu diagnostycznego, technikę ankiety rozdawanej i elektronicznej. Analiza treści kwestionariusza umożliwiła wytypowanie pytań wskazujących na aktywność turystyczną osób z niepełnosprawnością, dla których przeprowadzona została procedura badania związków między zmiennymi a wybranymi cechami charakteryzującymi respondentów.
Considering that tourism involves displacement (that one must move), encounters (cognitive ability to communicate), a series of contemplations of landscapes and attractions (that one must see), and providing and receiving information (ability to speak and listen) a portion of the population is leashed in this participation, as people with disabilities. Disability is a perennial and pertinent issue experienced by 1 billion people around the world. People with disabilities are a heterogeneous group and their needs must be studied taking this plurality into account. Thus, tourism addresses these issues of inclusion-exclusion of plurality through accessible tourism. Accessible tourism, a priori, arose in the relationship between tourism, accessibility, and disability, that is, to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in tourism. However, as time went by, this area of study started to encompass the mobility of other groups: elderly people, people in social vulnerability, companions of people with disabilities, people with (stroller of) children or babies. Thus, accessible tourism is about how tourism activities operate and adapt themselves so that there is participation by all people. Having as a research question "what is the scenario of the national and international scientific production on accessible tourism for people with disabilities?", we aimed to systematize the national and international scientific production on accessible tourism for people with disabilities. We started from the initial hypothesis (H0) that research on accessible tourism for people with disabilities is homogeneous and does not represent the heterogeneity of this social group. Two hypotheses were suggested: H1: research on people with specific disabilities (physical, cognitive, sensory) is more published in the international literature; and H2: research on physical/motor disability is more published than research on sensory and cognitive disabilities. Methodologically, it is characterized as descriptive and analytical, carried out by means of bibliometric research and integrative systematic research with a qualitative approach in order to conduct a national and international state-of-the-art survey on the subject. The collection of national data took place in 25 Brazilian tourism journals that resulted in a scope of 54 articles on the subject and the collection of international data was based on the search for the term "accessible tourism" in the Web of Science, Scopus and Redalyc databases that resulted in a scope of 108 articles on the subject. Data analysis was divided into two parts: a bibliometric study (EB) and an integrative literature review (ILR). The Bibliometric Study used Lotka's, Bradford's, and Zipf's Laws, which deal with authors' productivity, dispersion of articles by journals, and incidence of terms, respectively. The Integrative Literature Review was used to categorize the studies, point out gaps and future research directions. With the main results of the Bibliometric Study it was possible to identify how the published scientific knowledge on accessible tourism for people with disabilities is disseminated. The application of Lotka's Law revealed that 67% to 72% of the authors published only one article, and that a group of 17 authors was the most productive, being responsible for 27.8% of the published articles. With Bradford's Law, 79 journals with published articles on the subject were identified, divided into four Productivity Zones, with a Bradford Multiplier (Bm) = 2. The 13 journals that compose the first two Zones are responsible for 43.2% (70 articles) of the total number of published articles, proving that a small number of journals accumulate a large amount of published articles on the subject. With Zipf's Law it was verified that in the national literature the articles use keywords with scattered themes while in the international literature the studies use keywords with a group of terms related to accessible tourism. It was also identified that the studies on accessible tourism for people with disabilities were mostly published from 2016 onwards, with qualitative methodological approaches and expressively with female authorship. With the Integrative Literature Review it was identified that the studies move from a perspective of recovery, cure and rehabilitation to a perspective of inclusion, adaptation and participation, overcoming the medical model by the social model of disability. The studies also use the correct terminology to refer to this group: people with disabilities. Almost 70% of the articles treat people with disabilities as a homogeneous group, since they do not specify any type of disability in their analyses. In the national literature, 44.45% of the studies make this specification and in the international literature only 30.57%. Among the literature, 13.58% of the articles deal with physical/motor disabilities while 21.60% deal with sensory or cognitive disabilities. Both H1 and H2 were refuted. Some gaps pointed out and that can direct future studies on the subject are: studies on two or more types of disabilities; on the tourist experiences of companions of people with disabilities; children and elderly people with disabilities; how governance approaches this issue; how technology helps the inclusion of this public in tourism; employability of these people in tourism; how people with disabilities participate in the tourist information process. This dissertation contributes to scientific knowledge in tourism both by the comprehensiveness of the research and by the innovation in showing a broad, updated and detailed mapping of accessible tourism for people with disabilities.
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Music festivals (in the UK) have the potential to enhance the quality of life of attendees and participants, and therefore it might be argued they should be accessible to all. However, the barriers to participation that some may face when seeking to access and engage with festival experiences can often be attributed to the issue of marginalisation due to poverty. Utilising the three discourses of social inclusion put forward by Levitas as a framework, the study explores what UK music festival organisations are doing and could do to make their events more accessible to people living in poverty. Through an analysis of a series of festival websites and semi-structured interviews with festival organisers, some of the financial considerations that can influence participation and act as a barrier to making festivals an inclusive aspect of our cultural life were identified, and solutions were explored. The paper found that despite the social benefits of attending, those living in poverty have become an increasingly marginalised group of festival goers as a result of the disproportional rise in costs associated with attendance, which often goes beyond only the ticket price to include hidden extras. Whilst several festivals undertake outreach work and donate to charitable organisations, only a handful have specific initiatives that improve access for those living in poverty beyond spreading out the price of the ticket via instalments and volunteering opportunities. Findings suggest whilst many music festivals are starting to recognise the importance of the issue, few have specific initiatives but are willing to consider what they can do moving forward.
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