Smart tourist destinations with accessible built environments

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IFTM comments It is a partnership between Macau News Agency and Macau Tourism Research Institute.

Written by Penny Wang

Smart tourism has become a buzzword today. Many people define smart tourist destinations by using advanced technologies such as big data, geographic information systems (GIS), and artificial intelligence to collect data about visitor behavior, predict future patterns, and assist in service delivery. (e.g. robots) and to make it easier for visitors to obtain information (e.g. apps). However, the role of accessibility in smart tourism destinations is often ignored.

One Im King Penny, IFTM Professor

Accessible tourism aims to enable people to travel with peace of mind by providing universally designed environments, products, and services that take into account individual characteristics and physical abilities. An inclusive and universally designed environment enables smart travel as visitors can travel easily and independently with dignity and joy. This is especially important for people with physical disabilities, such as disabled people and the elderly, whose numbers are increasing around the world. Research shows that accessible tourist destinations attract a wider range of visitors, especially loyal customers to destinations that offer accessible facilities, services and environments, and on average he has 1 to 3 disabled visitors. It has become clear that there may be many people with disabilities accompanying them. Family and friends traveling. Therefore, the potential economic benefits offered by this segment can be enormous.

Tourist destinations that provide a universally designed environment can improve their tourist facilities by applying the seven principles of universal design.

1. fair use – The design is beneficial to all visitors, regardless of ability, age or culture (e.g. signs with pictures are easier for visitors to understand).

2.Flexibility in use – The design provides options to accommodate a wide range of individual abilities (e.g. stairs and ramps are provided for people’s convenience).

3. simple and intuitive – The design is easy to understand and requires no relevant prior knowledge or experience (e.g. user-friendly kiosks).

Four. perceivable information – The design effectively conveys useful information regardless of the user’s sensory abilities or ambient conditions (e.g., clear signage with large letters).

Five. Tolerance for error – Designs that reduce the risk of hazards and accidents (e.g. smooth pavement).

6. Less physical burden – Designed for efficient and comfortable use with minimal physical effort (e.g. escalators).

7. Size and space for approach and use – Designed with size and space suitable for use and access, regardless of individual physical characteristics or posture (e.g. toilets with sufficient space for visitors with different needs).

Macau, a world-renowned tourism and leisure hub, has strived to improve the accessibility of its tourist facilities to improve smart travel and visitor experience. For example, the available Macau SAR Accessibility General Design and Construction Guidelines provides guidance on general accessible design. The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) will also partner with Macau’s higher education institutions to promote and disseminate knowledge about accessible tourism to the local tourism industry and provide information on accessible products and services on its website. We encourage practitioners to do so. Additionally, the hotel industry holds regular seminars and events to promote accessible tourism and share good practices with local communities.

A comprehensive study on the accessibility of physical facilities (signs, ramps, stairs, sidewalks, walkways, seating, lighting, toilets, etc.) of major tourist attractions and visitors from their target demographics (elderly people, children, etc.) A detailed study of pregnant women, the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, people in wheelchairs) and their companions will help us better understand the needs of different demographics and improve accessibility and visitor experience. Helpful. Smart tourism destinations do not only rely on smart technology, but also provide an accessible built environment that allows visitors to travel easily, independently, and smartly.

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