Tourism and Hospitality Management, vol.28, no.2, pp.445-464, 2022 (ESCI)
© 2022 University of Rijeka. All rights reserved.Purpose - This study is aimed towards examining the experiences of visually impaired people participating in tourism and recreational activities with tandem bicycles and to explain the social integration function of cycling. Design - The research was conducted using qualitative research methods in an exploratory study. Methodology - Data were collected through in-depth interviews with a total of six visually impaired touring cyclists in Turkey. Approach - An inductive approach was used in the study. Findings - After the analysis, four themes were identified: 'embodied experiences,' 'equal difficulties,' 'friendships' and 'social inclusion.' First, the analysis revealed that participants embodied experiences of nature, socialisation, freedom, entertainment, and exploration through body performance in a multisensory manner. Second, disabled people have similar challenges as non-disabled people. Third, friendships rather than acquaintances developed between tandem partners with and without visual impairments, which contributed to long-term social inclusion. Finally, cycling tours play an important role in the social inclusion of people with disabilities by facilitating access to the social environment and raising disability awareness Originality of the research - This study contributes to the expansion of theoretical and practical knowledge about the cycling experiences of disabled individuals in tourism and leisure.