DOI: 10.1177/03611981231193611 ISSN:

Actual Conditions and Issues Concerning Barrier-Free Access for Tourist Boats

Taro Aratani, Keiko Miyazaki, Toru Takahashi, Shinichi Inoue, Yui Fujimoto
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

As an island nation, Japan has numerous remote islands that serve as tourist attractions, and, as such, involve the operation of many tourist boats. In Japan, it has been mandatory to comply with barrier-free technical standards for newly licensed tourist boats and passenger liners since April 2019. However, Japanese tourist boats tend to be older (i.e., licensed before April 2019) because daily sailing distances are shorter and hull damage is less severe compared with regular passenger ships. As a result, tourist boats are less likely to be barrier-free. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify the existing conditions and issues concerning barrier-free access for tourist boats in Japan. First, we investigated several function parameters, such as the actual conditions of the structures, equipment, routes, and piers for representative tourist boats in Japan. Next, we conducted an interview survey with operators of representative tourist boats to clarify passenger demand for barrier-free access, the burden on seafaring crews, and the possibility of investment in barrier-free access. Based on the results of the survey, we organized the issues and discussed the best possible approaches to solving these problems. The findings suggested that the development of space-saving lifting equipment is a possible solution on the technical side, whereas the enhancement of subsidy programs and collaboration with industries other than those involved in maritime passenger transportation are possible solutions on the management side.

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