England’s population is ageing and almost 1 in 5 people have some form of disability. It is a market worth over £40billion a year offering huge opportunity for tourism businesses which take accessibility seriously. Bear in mind that disabled people are usually accompanied by friends and relatives so the business opportunity is immense.
There is also a legal imperative to take measures to welcome disabled guests. The Equalities Act 2010 which supersedes the Disability Discrimination Act, reinforces the legal requirement to make reasonable provision to welcome disabled guests. This requirement has been in place since 1995 and applies to all tourism businesses regardless of size or whether the guest is charged. Remember that it is as much about the attitude of your staff as removing physical barriers to access.
A wealth of guidance and practical tools exist to help tourism businesses take advantage of the opportunity represented by the disabled market and avoid falling foul of the law. Some have been produced as part of TSE’s ongoing involvement in the Accentuate project, an initiative aimed at changing attitudes to disability and using the home of the Paralympics, Stoke Mandeville as the inspiration to make the South East the most welcoming part of the UK.
Welcome All - training courses to ensure guests get a warm welcome