Disability and tourism in southern africa

A policy analysis

Authored by: Oliver Chikuta , Forbes Kabote

The Routledge Handbook of Disability in Southern Africa

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138242333
eBook ISBN: 9781315278650
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter interrogates disability policy issues as applied in southern African countries’ tourism industries. The two concepts, disability and tourism are discussed in unison with the aim of identifying legal frameworks that provide disabled people with opportunities to participate in tourism. By analysing government documents of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, the chapter addresses questions such as: what legal frameworks exist in these countries to promote tourism access by disabled people? How inclusive are these policies especially looking at the diversity of disabilities? The main findings from these countries are lack of implementation and enforcement of frameworks. As such, southern African countries must take disability issues seriously if the desires of disabled people are to be met. It is evident that these countries have disjointed legal instruments to deal with disability and tourism, with only South Africa having what looks like a more tourism-specific document. Of concern in this chapter is that in all the tourism policies discussed, there is little or no mention of disability issues. However, legal documents developed in these countries since the 1960s, have helped shape organisational mandates to serve disabled people by offering tailor-made services.

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