Designing an Accessible Tourism Destination: The Soft System Methodology and the Triple Helix as a Theoretical and Practical Proposal
Keywords:Tourism, Triple Helix, Innovation, Soft System Methodology
Accesible tourism has its origin in the 90´s, at the beginning it was proposed as part of the Social Tourism or Tourism for All programs that had their basis in the human rights. Later, with the changes in the paradigms about people with disabilities accessible tourism has not only become a matter of human rights but also an opportunity to develop business that satisfy a growing population of people with disabilities and older people that acquires one or more types of disabilities.
Demographic factors such as the increasing in life expectancy, better health care and retirement of people increase the needs of designing and building products and services that satisfy this demand. The Soft System Methodology, developed by Peter Checkland consider social factors and complex relations in tourism, its 7 phases allow the researcher to compare and simulate different scenarios that brings to the most viable practice, it brings an approximation to a model of accessible tourism, gathering elements such as research, infrastructure needs, human resources and labour market, communications, signalling, and other things that should be considered in a competitive destination.
The Triple Helix, as a theoretical and practical model allow the three main sectors, Academy, Government and Industry to join efforts to strengthen the tourism industry. The Triple Helix from Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff show that innovation can have its origins in the academy, considering that knowledge is the most valuable element nowadays in the innovation policies around the word.
The Triple Helix propose that academy should work with the research and design of products and services, the government, as the policy maker should provide elements that enable academy and the industry to work together in the incorporation of research, development of products and services and funding projects.This model, designed from the Soft System Methodology considering the Triple Helix as the basis of the tourism offer propose a better way of building policies, products and services for people with disabilities and senior adults, making more competitive the destinations and it can be considered not only for this population, research has shown that accessible destinations are conceived as better places for all people because its conditions allow tourists to walk along, drive, take a bus in an easier way.