VisitEngland and VisitScotland launch new accessibility guides website
VisitEngland and VisitScotland have launched a website for tourism businesses to produce accessibility guides.
The guides are a new way for tourism operators to increase business by providing potential visitors with important accessibility information in a user-friendly format.
While many places in the U.K. offer accessible features for guests with disabilities, 63 percent don’t promote the fact.
Ninety-five percent of people with accessibility issues research a venue before they visit and, if they don’t think it’s friendly to their needs, they will pass on visiting, demonstrating the need for this type of service for U.K. businesses.
UK Government Minister for Tourism John Glen said:
“The UK has an incredible range of world-class attractions and we want them to be open to as many people as possible. These new guides will give clear accessibility information to make it easier for disabled visitors to plan their trips with confidence.”
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:
“Our research shows that visitors in this important market value clear, concise accessibility information from tourism providers. The new accessibility guides will allow travellers to compare attractions, accommodation businesses and other venues before choosing their destination, enabling them to make an informed choice.”
VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said:
“It is our aim to make tourism inclusive and accessible for all, so that every single person can benefit from all that Scotland has to offer.
“This new website will help businesses produce informative guides in a user-friendly format, that will promote inclusion and enable all our customers to have the opportunity to achieve, to have fun, to live life in the same way as anybody else.”
As well as being easier for businesses to complete, the new guide format standardises how information is presented making it easier for disabled customers, their friends and family to compare venues.
Tourism operators can use the new, free website, www.accessibilityguides.org, to produce and publish their accessibility guides.
VisitEngland research in 2015 showed that £12 billion was spent on trips where a member of the party had an impairment. Research by VisitScotland in the same year found £1.3 billion was spent on those trips, which includes day trips, domestic overnight trips and inbound trips.
VisitEngland and VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism programmes have been supported by the UK and Scottish governments. By working in partnership, the organisations have ensured they bring a unified approach, creating consistency for disabled visitors.
One in five people in the UK have an impairment, which may affect where they choose to stay or visit*.
TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.
Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.
We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:
- Development of Access Statements
- Product, service and program development
- Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
- Staff and Management Training
- Marketing Services and Toolkits
- Access information kits
- Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
- Property Audits and Universal Design planning
- Self Audit Tools
- National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
- Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
- Disability Action Plans
- New Project planning and Development
- Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
- Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.