Accessible sports for people with disabilities

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People with disabilities also enjoy sports!

Offering accessible sports facilities makes sense. Because that’s how you win new customers!

Which sports come into question?

The answer is simple: Actually, almost all of them!
The Austrian Disabled Sports Association, for example, lists more than 30 sports for which accessible sports offerings, including training, are available: From basketball and equestrian sports to rowing and judo.

At the Paralympics, the Olympic Games for athletes with disabilities, there are 22 summer and 6 winter disciplines.

But simply hiking and biking are also popular sports.

What are accessible sports?

Sure, designing a wheelchair accessible funicular and alpine hiking trail can be quite costly. However, young families also benefit from being able to enjoy the mountains with toddlers in strollers.

But there are many possibilities for accessible sports offers that are relatively easy to implement with the appropriate know-how and a little good will. Clever tourism managers, hotel operators and event organizers have long since expanded their customer base:

  • The starting point for paragliding is barrier-free accessible.
  • For the bicycle tour, visually impaired guests can use a tandem bicycle and, if required, get a fellow cyclist/pilot.
  • Wheelchair users can explore the area with a hand-bike.
  • At the ski rental there are sitting skis and specially trained ski instructors.
  • Skiers with impaired vision can book a trained guide, who will provide all the important information via helmet radio.
  • Saunas, swimming pools and lake access can be used with wheelchairs.
  • On the themed hiking trail there are information boards for reading AND listening.
  • and much more.
Accessible sports - wheelchair paraglider starting down into a broad valley surrounded by mountains

Paragliding is a sport for the brave, with or without a wheelchair!

A new target group?

For sure! People with disabilities are even a very attractive target group!

  • Numerically relevant, because they represent about 10% of the population
  • Longer length of stay
  • Fewer single travelers – people with disabilities usually travel with their partner, family or friends.
  • Higher willingness to come back, because there are still relatively few truly accessible vacation and sports offers.
  • Very easy to reach with advertising via relevant clubs, associations, websites, booking platforms and word of mouth.

How to attract these customers

Accessible sports offers naturally make a destination more attractive for this target group.

The legally required accessible infrastructure is of course a prerequisite:
Is it possible to travel by train? Are there barrier-free accommodations and restaurants? Information in audio format?
What about curbs, ramps and tactile guidance systems?

So if you want to attract people with disabilities as regular guests, you should score points with well thought-out extras. Extras, that also offer all other guests more comfort, such as threshold-free crossings, large, floor-level showers or talking menus.

Universal Design - elegant bathroom with window and large level shower

Everyone is happy about a bathroom like this!

 

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