With more than 15% of the world’s population having one or more disabilities, it would be a reasonable expectation to think that the tourism industry has put some serious effort into ensuring that travel and tourism is accessible to all. Whilst many things have changed for the better in recent years there is still a number of barriers that need to be removed before we can achieve true accessibility.
As a member of the V500, a global collective of CEOs whose organisations are innovating together towards disability inclusion, Intertek is continuing in its spirit of invention and has been working with those that have a variety of disabilities to develop an accessibility standard for hotels and accommodation called AccessCheck.
Improving accessibility in tourism requires effort in the following areas:
- Increasing awareness and understanding of disabilities with a particular emphasis in improving the skills of staff working within the tourism industry and associated areas.
- Improving the accessibility of online marketing and booking systems and also improving the quality and accuracy of information available on key criteria used by those with disabilities to select accommodation providers and plan the logistics of their trip.
- Ensuring that the transportation and support options required by those with a disability can be easily obtained and are reliable and safe.
- Improve support for those with a disability when they are looking to access local services and facilities. The hotel or accommodation provider is their representative and can make a huge difference when interacting with third parties.
Accessibility is a fundamental human right and we strongly support the social model of disability that aims to remove the barriers rather than limiting the person. One aspect that should not be overlooked and adds a commercial aspect to accessibility is that this significant percentage of the global population, their family and carers have a huge combined spending power that can only be realised by those with the foresight to make their properties, products, and services accessible.
If you would like to know more about Intertek’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion please click on the following links for more information.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15% of the world’s population (1 billion people) lives with some form of disability. Accessibility for all to tourism facilities, products, and services should be a central part of any responsible and sustainable tourism policy. Accessibility is not only about human rights. It is a business opportunity for destinations and companies to embrace all visitors and enhance their revenues.