Volume 1 Issue 1 June 2003: Applied Research Note 1

Aging and disability population trends: Their impact on tourism in the future

by Jaclyn A. Card (Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, University of Missouri)

Tourism is affected by many outside forces including an increase in the aging population and an increase in the number of people with disabilities. By staying abreast of these forces, tourism industries will know their customers and thus be able to provide better customer service. Just as Baby Boomers had an impact on the education system and the labor market, this large cohort will also have an impact on tourism services. With the population aging and the likelihood of acquiring a disability as one age, the growth in the number of people with disabilities will accelerate in the coming decades. With the increasing number of people with disabilities and the increasing number of older individuals, tourism services must ready themselves to meet the challenge. Providing adequate tourism opportunities and services is not only a legal responsibility but a moral obligation as well.

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