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*.
Notes to editors:
• *Source: Department for Work and Pensions Family Resources Survey 2015/16, 21% (13.3 million)
• Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said:
“This is a marvellous initiative that recognises the need for disabled people to be able to have a holiday and rely on accessible and inclusive tourist infrastructures. This successful partnership between VisitScotland and VisitEngland will allow even more people to make an informed choice about access to holiday facilities, enabling them to explore more of our countryside and some of Scotland’s most iconic attractions.”
• VisitEngland provides tips and guidance on accessibility for tourism businesses at:
• To find out more about Accessible Tourism in Scotland visit: http://www.visitscotland.org/business_support/advice_materials/advicelink_guides/accessible_tourism.aspx
• People with accessibility requirements include those with hearing loss, visual or mental impairment, wheelchair users, older people and families with young children.
• Accessibility guides is one of a number of initiatives that seek to facilitate the provision of accessibility information by tourism businesses. The website tool allows any tourism business in England and Scotland to provide their own information for free, which is not endorsed or validated by VisitEngland or VisitScotland. There are a number of different accessibility information initiatives available that, for example, use trained auditors to collect information and provide online booking.