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Research from the University of Surrey has found that the tourism sector in Europe is losing out on over €140 billion every year due to lack of accessible venues, services and the general attitude towards people with disabilities.

Furthermore, the research found that travellers requiring special access (whether through disability or age) undertook 783 million trips in 2012, spending €142 billion and creating over 3 millions jobs.

Destek supports the view of Professor Miller, from the University of Surrey study team, that a “…long-term, commitment is required from both the public and private sectors”.


Following the research, the European Commission has identified several key recommendations for improving accessibility in its report, Economic impact and travel patterns of accessible tourism in Europe.

Antonella Correra, Policy Officer at the European Commission, commented: “This is the most comprehensive research on accessible tourism carried out so far in Europe”.

“Far from being a niche sector, accessible tourism is a huge market opportunity. The research provides clear evidence that accessible tourism services are also better services, that increase the visibility and reputation of tourism destinations, and give a competitive edge to operators.”

Explore the full report on the European Commission’s website or discover more about hospitality and tourism research at the University of Surrey.

Source: University of Surrey