The aim of the study is to investigate the advantages and the obstacles relating to accessible tourism. Disability is a phenomenon that receives a growing academic and government attention for a number of demographic and social factors. The number of people with disabilities is expected to increase. Accessible tourism represents a challenge and an opportunity to organizations and destinations to combine tourism quality and growth with social justice. This study reviews the literature on the main constraints to tourism for persons with disabilities and on patterns of accessible tourism. With regard to this aspect, a specific focus on the “state-of-the-art” of the Italian destination is made. The study documents disability tourism policy and provides a picture of the perception of the tourist industry in serving tourists with disabilities. The survey is enriched by the analysis of a successful Italian case, aiming at evaluating best practices worthy of being replicated and emulated everywhere. The history of the social cooperative “Independent L” well embodies the new cultural lens through which to view tourism from a disability perspective. Results of research suggest that tourism accessibility is not only a goal to be achieved through measures of an architectural nature, but first and foremost is a civil, social and cultural goal. Providing opportunities for tourism in full accessibility is not only a correct action from the point of view of universal principles enshrined in the UN Convention, but it is above all an intelligent and forward-looking strategy, full of advantages, including economic benefits. The research underlines the urgent need for education and training on tourism accessibility, since knowledge is the most efficacious means of changing attitudes towards people with disabilities, so that equal dignity and opportunity among citizens are guaranteed.
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