Accessible tourism is tourism that can be enjoyed by everyone, including those with access needs.
Disabled people have the desire, the means and the time to travel. Travelling can be for leisure or business. The main difference is that disabled people tend to stay longer than average (3.6 nights as opposed to 3 overall) and to spend more than average (£173 compared to £168 overall). Many prefer to travel at off-peak times. So being more accessible makes good business sense.
BENEFITS OF BEING MORE ACCESSIBLE
A few changes can improve accessibility for many guests - from dad with a bad back, gran with a hearing aid or a new mum with a pram. If you are accessible you will:
- Exceed guest expectations
- Meet your obligations under the Equality Act 2010
- Grow your market - England's population is ageing and almost 1 in 5 people are “disabled”
HOW CAN YOU START TO BE MORE ACCESSIBLE?
- Attend a Visit Kent World Host Customers with Disabilities Course - a practical one-day training course to improve the service you offer to customers with disabilities and specific needs. Contact: Louisa Mungall
- Write and publish an Access Statement. An Access Statement is a description of a business’ facilities and services to inform people with access needs. Access Statements allow for a written, descriptive approach to providing a wide range of information on accessibility. All areas of a business are described from car parking & arrival to toilets. For advice and examples click here.
JOIN TOURISM IS FOR EVERYBODY
Tourism is for Everybody is free to join, they simply ask businesses to honour nine commitments which include embracing equality, training their staff, appointing an ‘Access Champion’ and monitoring performance. They help businesses make the difference with advice, awareness training, and by opening up their conversation with disabled customers. Sign up by visiting www.tourismisforeverybody.org
The National Accessible Scheme (NAS) is the only scheme that rates the accessibility of visitor accommodation throughout England. The NAS helps accommodation operators improve and promote their true level of accessibility.