Despite the several barriers people with a disability face in tourism, the number of active tourists is increasing. Studies have shown that active tourism participation can reinforce confidence, social interaction and well-being. In collaboration with the WUR Science Shop project and SailWise, this qualitative exploratory study focused on participants with an acquired brain injury (ABI), who went sailing with the Lutgerdina. ABI has several bodily and psychological effects, of which growing dependence and a less-positive body image are examples. This study tries to explore the connection between independence, self-esteem and body image, in relation to a sailing holiday. Interviews were conducted before, during and after the holiday using relational maps, visual elicitation and observations. This study argues that independence, self-esteem and body image are connected, and that the effects of the holiday on dependence and body image are rather short-term than long-term. In addition, the effects have a bigger influence on first-time visitors compared to repeat-visitors. To generalise the results of this study, further research must be undertaken that focuses on the concepts of dependence and body image in relation to different disabilities or different types of tourism.
Author: S. Peters (2017)