The past, present, and future of accessible tourism research

A bibliometric analysis using the Scopus database




At present, it is estimated that there are more than 1 billion people with some type of disability worldwide. Against this background, it is important to reconceive every life sphere and activity to ensure the inclusion, participation and equal opportunity of people with disabilities and to promote respect for their capacities and desires as people. The tourism sector is leaving large segments of global society behind. Tourism companies need more training and guidance to address the requirements of tourists who have specific needs or require certain types of support. This study aims to analyze and map the progress in scientific research on accessible tourism. To achieve this objective, this paper presents a bibliometric analysis of scientific papers on accessible tourism published in the Scopus database between 1997 and 2021. The study used the VOSviewer and CiteSpace software to map and visualize publication trends within this field. A total of 254 articles were included, of which 95.6% were original research. These studies were published in 52 countries. Australia is among the countries with high research productivity in this field. The most productive journals are Tourism Management and Sustainability (Switzerland), and the most prominent author is Simon Darcy. The analysis of keywords allows us to continually review the opportunities that new information and communication technologies (specifically smartphones and virtual reality) offer for the future development of the accessible tourism sector.

Author Biographies

Cristian Suárez Henríquez, University of Jaen

Student of the Master of Accessibility for Smart City; THE GLOBAL CITY

Adrián Jesús Ricoy Cano, University of Jaen

Professor of the Master´´´  s degree in Accessibility for Smart City; THE GLOBAL CITY and master in dependency and equality in personal autonomy from the University of Jaen. Ph.D. student in comprehensive care and health services. Department of Psychology. Social Work and Social Services Area. Jaen University.  

Jesús Hernández Galán, Fundación Once

Director of Accessibility and Innovation at Fundación ONCE. Director of the Master's Degree in Accessibility for Smart City, the global city.

Yolanda María de la Fuente Robles, University of Jaen

Professor in social work and social services. Department of Psychology. Social Work and Social Services Area. Professor in social work and social services. Department of Psychology. Social Work and Social Services Area. Director of the Master's Degree in Accessibility for Smart City, the global city, and the Master's Degree in Dependence and Equality in Personal Autonomy.


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Article cover




How to Cite

Suárez Henríquez, C. ., Ricoy Cano, A. J., Hernández Galán, J., & de la Fuente Robles, Y. M. (2022). The past, present, and future of accessible tourism research : A bibliometric analysis using the Scopus database. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 12(1), 26–60.