Purpose – This exploratory study aims to focus on the challenges arising from the interactions between wheelchair users, individuals using crutches and blind people with the hotel environment as well as on the efforts to overcome these challenges. Design/methodology/approach – The sample was gathered through a snowballing technique. The study utilizes in‐depth semi‐structured interviews of 45 participants: 20 used wheelchairs; ten were dependent on crutches; and 15 were blind. The data were subject to thematic content analysis. Findings – Interpreted by the social model of disability, the results suggest that the challenges participants confront derive from the physical design of the environment as well as staff behaviors. Differences were found between the hotel experiences of people with various types of disabilities. Research limitation/implications – The sample was limited to Israeli participants. Practical implications – The paper offers recommendations for hotel management with regard to specific physical as well as interpersonal means to alleviate apparent difficulties faced by people with disabilities in their hotel experiences. Originality/value – This study broadcasts the genuine voice of people with disabilities. The findings are of special relevance to hospitality researchers, educators, executives, and hotel staff.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 12, 2011
Keywords: People with disabilities; Hotel experience; Crutches; Wheelchairs; Blind people; Israel
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