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.
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.