Accessible tourism is the topic of the international field project in the Netherlands. At the start of the project, accessible tourism was a bit vague for me and my team members, as we had never had much to do with accessible tourism or disabilities. We couldn’t relate to the topic that much and had little knowledge about it and its importance. To gain more knowledge and see how important this tourism sector is, we decided together with our supervisors Harald and Paulina, that it would be a good idea to visit ‘Bio Vakantieoord’. This is a holiday park where everything is accessible for, for example kids in a wheelchair. Families can go there for a holiday to relax and enjoy their holiday without too much stress.
At first, I had no idea what I was going to do. All my life I have been on holiday without thinking about little things like ‘what medication do I have to take with me’ or ‘how do I get to the destination without too much hassle’.
After visiting Bio Vakantieoord, I now realise that I have been very spoiled in this sense, and that it is not so normal for everyone to just spontaneously go on holiday with only one small suitcase. Bio Vakantieoord offers full equipped bungalows to families with a disabled child. The bungalows look fantastic and are all painted with different styles of ‘Disney’ figures. The holiday park offers a cinema, a pool and even a stable with horses where kids can enjoy a little horse ride. All these facilities are there to offer the families a great holiday. Judging from the many stories we have heard about the park, people experienced the best holiday of their life at Bio Vakantieoord.
Many thanks to Bio Vakantieoord for the visit. I am very excited to do research as accessible tourism is definitely much more important than I ever thought. It will be great to do good research, gain many new insights and experiences and contribute to developing knowledge about this topic.
Written by: Suus Lieshout