Therapeutic effects of outdoor recreation holidays for people with disabilities

Published on
January 4, 2018

Cultural Geography (GEO) researchers Meghann Ormond and Pieternel Cremers and Health and Society (HSO) researcher Lenneke Vaandrager wrapped up a two-year project today on the therapeutic effects of outdoor recreation-based holidays created for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. The project, undertaken in collaboration with the Dutch NGO SailWise and the Wageningen University & Research Science Shop, gave Wageningen students from the BSc Tourism (BTO), MSc Communication, Health and Life Science (MCH) and MSc Leisure, Tourism and Environment (MLE) the opportunity to undertake thesis research that directly addressed pressing concerns raised by stakeholders in the rapidly-growing accessible tourism sector. Students used SailWise as a case study to examine how participation in its specialised holidays impacts the lives of young people with disabilities and older people who are coming to terms with their recently-acquired disabilities. At the wrap-up event today,accessible tourism programme operators, participants in these programmes,students and scholars came together to discuss the findings of the 9 different studies that together made up the project. The executive summary (in Dutch) can be downloaded at We'd like to extend special thanks to the SailWise director Menne Scherpenzeel, the Science Shop project coordinator Francien de Jonge, the Wageningen students involved in the project, and the many SailWise participants and volunteers who made this project a success.