Survey: Needs of visually impaired travellers

In a survey conducted during the Young Urban Creative Inclusive City Tours (YUCIT) project, visually impaired participants named their difficulties, needs and wants while travelling.

Survey: needs of visually impaired travellers

At the beginning of the Young Urban Inclusive City Tours project, blind and visually impaired people were asked to fill out a survey concerning their favourite means of travel and multisensory experiences when travelling.

In total, 247 people filled out the survey:

  • 87 in German
  • 12 in French
  • 92 in Italian
  • 56 in Turkish

The survey had two types of questions. In numerical questions, the participants of the survey were asked to rate a statement from 1 to 5, while 1 was equal to “I do not agree at all”, and 5 equals “I wholeheartedly agree”. In the other type of question, participants were asked to provide examples.

Numerical answers are listed from highest to lowest rated.

Travel goals

The survey asked people to rate which of the listed experiences they preferred when travelling, with total point averages.

I like to…

  1. experience the culture of a place; food/music/traditions: 4,57
  2. visit places with pleasant nature: 4,47
  3. mix with locals and experience the place and culture through them: 4,23
  4. visit museums and places of historical significance: 4,22
  5. do artistic activities, visit exhibitions and concerts: 3,99
  6. visit lively cities with entertainment and a night life: 3,42

Means of travel

The survey asked if people preferred to travel with assistance and/or family etc.

I like to travel…

  1. with friends and family: 4,44
  2. with a group: 3,58
  3. with an assistant: 3,07
  4. alone: 2,7

Help and assistance

I prefer to…

  1. rely on my friends and family for help: 3,78
  2. have my vacation be geared completely towards my needs: 3,55
  3. do everything on my own, I will ask strangers for help if I need to: 3,22
  4. travel with a person whose sole task is to help me: 2,44

Troubles while travelling

I have trouble…

  1. getting information and access to interesting aspects of places: 3,66
  2. getting an overview of the city: 3,63
  3. finding the places I’d like to visit: 3,54
  4. finding assistance for my travels: 3,29

When asked for examples of their problems while travelling, participants of the questionnaire provided the following answers.

Similar answers have been grouped together to avoid repetition; however, all problems mentioned in the questionnaire are included in this list.

Participants have noted problems with

  • Language barriers
  • Ticket purchases due to barriers
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Insufficient public means of transportation (esp. in smaller cities)
  • Orientation at unknown places
  • Discrimination
  • Communicating their individual special needs in a way that is understood
  • Building a connection to the locals
  • Lack of accessibility of information, i.e. a lack of
    • Tactile city maps and plans, and miniatures of exhibitions
    • Guide-systems
    • Audio guides
    • Sufficient turn-by-turn directions
    • Large-scale maps, street signs, house numbers etc.
    • Information on support systems, discounts etc. for people with a disability
    • Information on guide dog guidelines and rights
    • Accessible/Braille menu cards in restaurants
  • A sufficient internet connection
  • Regular museum tours being not inclusive or accessible enough
  • Accessibility of public toilets
  • Availability of seating arrangements
  • Orientation at the accommodations
  • Travel agencies for visually impaired people being expensive

Sensory experiences

I like to explore/experience things through…

  1. listening: 4,34
  2. verbal descriptions: 4,33
  3. taste: 4,22
  4. an emotional approach: 4,12
  5. touch: 4,1
  6. smell: 3,71

Favourite sensory experiences

Here, participants provided examples. We have grouped the answers by theme.


  1. architecture (statues, walls, columns, fountains etc.)
  2. miniatures (of buildings or artwork)
  3. city plans/maps
  4. machines, tools, handcrafted items
  5. plants and nature


  1. guided tours and descriptions
  2. city noise (like markets, streets etc.)
  3. local music
  4. local languages and dialects
  5. nature (birdsong, water etc.)


  1. local nature
  2. local spices, food and beverages
  3. environment (city, buildings, houses of worship)
  4. artisan craftwork, perfumes and soaps


All participants liked to try local foods and beverages.



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