After much contemplation and brainstorming, and changing our idea multiple times, we decided to focus our research on accessible tourism in The Netherlands on the role of technology in making tourism more accessible.

While we were first thinking about using both participant observation and interviews to answer the question; however, much to my disappointment, it soon turned out that conducting observations wasn’t essential to our research. There had been talk of joining a holiday trip especially created for disabled people, which would have also allowed us to have our own ‘mini holiday’ perhaps while conducting our observations. As I myself was unable to go to Sumatra for health reasons, despite really wanting to join the International Field Trip, this would have been a fun addition.

So now, we decided the best way to collect the information and insight we needed, would be through semi-structured interviewing. We decided to focus on those who themselves had disabilities, as well as their caretakers to gain personal insight on what problem they face during the whole customer journey. However, we also wanted to hear from tour operators themselves, as well as experts in the field.

Now that we had narrowed down who we wanted to interview, came the hard part. How do we find people who have experiences related to this topic and are willing to talk to us?  First, we thought about whether we knew anyone with a disability within our personal circle. It turns out, two of us had family friends who either did have a disability or in my case, who had a son with a disability. After contacting them, they were both more than happy to participate in an interview to help us with our research.

To find more people to interview, we sollicited the help of Paulina Schmitz, who has been researching the topic for a while now and therefore has contacts in the field. Paulina has now given us contact details and in the next couple of days we will be reaching out to them, and hopefully, they will agree to meet up with us!

Written by: Alissa Lotzkes