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TripWolf Jumps onto the Travel 2.0 Path

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

OK, this site could be a big development for sharing travel information in the disability community. Now is the time to determine that for yourself. It went publictoday.

If you like it share it with your friends. Where you see it needs improvement you can share that directly with TripWolf.

Either way, as soon as you register, add me as a Friend. I’m on the site as Rolling Rains.

From their press release:

New York City, July 1, 2008. Today ( is released publicly to the US market. tripwolf is a new social travel guide that
covers the whole world, focusing mainly on Europe. tripwolf combines
professional editorial content with user-generated content from globetrotters

tripwolf is backed by MairDumont, Europe’s largest publisher of travel guides
including Baedeker, Dumont and Marco Polo
. Through collaboration with
tripwolf, MairDumont has taken the unprecedented step of putting all of its
content – covering more than 200,000 destinations and points of interest – online for free.

Sydney for All Portal: A Model to Replicate Around the World

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Sydney for All Travel 2.0 Portal

Sydney for all logo

The inclusive tourism market incorporates people with disabilities and those who are ageing and who have access needs (mobility, vision, hearing and communication). Significant numbers of Australians and people from overseas have disabilities – 600 million worldwide. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 4 million Australians have a disability [1]. Based on the National Visitor Survey 88 per cent of these people travelled within Australia in the previous year, 7 per cent travelled overseas and most travelled in independent groups with an average size of 4.1 people. The accessible tourism market has recently been valued at $4.8 billion to the Australian economy [2] with significant latent demand.

Yet, finding tourism experiences and day trips that are accessible has been a major issue for people with disabilities and those with access requirements. Many disability organizations provide member created word of mouth lists, tips and stories to help others plan their day trips and holidays more easily. However, these information systems are incomplete and problematic.

A prototype Web “portal”,, aims to make it easier to find accessible destination experiences around Sydney for those with access needs.

The portal reflects the findings of a research project and seeks to provide accessibility information about key tourism experiences that people can enjoy when they are in Sydney. The area covered by the portal includes The Rocks, Circular Quay, The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain. It also includes the Sydney Fish Markets, a ferry trip to Manly and a visit to North Head. The research project was sponsored by the Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre, Tourism NSW, the Tourism and Transport Forum and the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. The project was led by Associate Professor Simon Darcy of the University of Technology, Sydney.

One key feature of the portal is its ability to provide information to people with vision impairment. The portal has been developed to meet international W3C Web Accessibility standards and was independently assessed by Vision Australia to verify compliance with those standards.

Sydney portal

The information provided on the portal was gathered by people with disabilities actually experiencing the attraction and documenting that experience. Information was also provided by the attraction, many of which have implemented strategies to improve their access for people with access needs. For example, the Sydney Opera House has not only started to improve mobility access but also access for people with vision and hearing impairment.

The web portal offers information by icon, text, photographs and links to additional information. It embraces ‘wayfinding’ maps, transport, parking, toilets and most importantly the experience itself. The portal will also help providers within the tourism industry plan to market collaboratively, improve their services and encourage more tourists with disabilities to visit them.

As this is a test site and will be reviewed at the end of three months, feedback on the portal and suggestions are welcome. People can complete the independent survey that is linked to the portal, or you can contact either the researchers directly on or

The long-term aim is to have a more expansive portal that will assist people to plan their holidays and will incorporate detailed transport, accommodation and disability support information.

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004). Disability Ageing and Carers Summary of Findings, 2003 (Cat No. 4430.0). from

[2] Dwyer, L., & Darcy, S. (2008). Chapter 4 – Economic contribution of disability to tourism in Australia. In S. Darcy, B. Cameron, L. Dwyer, T. Taylor, E. Wong & A. Thomson (Eds.), Visitor accessibility in urban centres: Technical Report 90040 (pp. 15-21). Gold Coast: Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (forthcoming).

Further Information, please contact:

Dr Simon Darcy, University of Technology, Sydney – 61 2 9514-5100

Bruce Cameron, Easy Access Australia –

Web Portal Front Page

Peace through Tourism Course Launched

Saturday, June 28th, 2008
Peace through Tourism Course Launched World Leisure International Centre of Excellence logo While I have not reviewed the final curriculum I did contribute in the research phase of this promising new course:
At the 4th IIPT ... [Continue reading this entry]

Accessibility Improves in New Zealand Tourism

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
The Department of Conservation (DOC) on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is sitting up and taking notice of access tourism. Knights Point 1.JPG DOC manages more than 1.9 million hectares ... [Continue reading this entry]

Alaska by Kayak – and Wheelchair

Sunday, June 8th, 2008
Alaksa tests the language of comparatives and scrambles metaphors: "Land of the Midnight Sun," "the No-See-Ums are so big you can see them." From May 25 to 30, 2008 I was invited to tour Glacier Bay ... [Continue reading this entry]

US Laws, Travel, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Thursday, May 15th, 2008
One way to understand the movement for Inclusive Travel and Inclusive Destination Development is to think of it as the social phenomenon for implementing Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A new ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tourism in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Friday, March 21st, 2008
The CRPD is unique among international human rights treaties in that it specifically addresses the issues of physical and program accessibility in tourism for persons with disabilities: Article 30, Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport 1. States Parties ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Rolling Rains Report Featured Entrant in the National Geographic and Ashoka’s Changemakers Geotourism Challenge

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The Rolling Rains Report Featured Entrant in the National Geographic and Ashoka's Changemakers Geotourism Challenge

Global competition will uncover most innovative projects that support better tourism

[San Jose, CA, USA] – The National Geographic Society and Ashoka’s Changemakers ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Globalization of Disability Rights: How Tourism Fits In

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Culture in the Further Development of Universal Design

Scott Rains, D. Min

srains AT oco DOT net

By now most readers of Design for All India have a healthy grasp of Universal Design. Many, perhaps most, have become highly competent ... [Continue reading this entry]

Inclusive Tourism: A New Strategic Alliance for the Disability Rights Movement

Saturday, December 1st, 2007
Below is the text of the opening keynote of Presentation to ICAT 2007 held at the UN in Bangkok, Thailand. My appreciation to the various ministries of the Thai government, UNESCAP, and several disabled peoples' organizations (DPOs) including Disabled Peoples ... [Continue reading this entry]