This practical guide for tourism operators comes from Travelability. Travelability’s mission is to create accessibility in the hospitality and travel industries. Travelability also shares accessibility information for travel destinations.
Inclusive Tourism is an economic market driven by the retirement of the baby boomer generation. Inclusive Tourism is already a major tourism sector, with Australian research putting its value at 11 percent of their country’s total industry market share.
The article encourages tourism operators to see people with disabilities as customers and to redefine those "accessibility requirements" as valuable products to attract a new and growing customer group.
There are myths that suggest that people with a disability travel far less than the general population, however, the 2008 Australian National Visitor Survey estimated the following:
- among Australians, 88 percent of people with a disability take a holiday each year, accounting for 8.2 million overnight trips;
- the average travel group size for people with a disability is 2.8 people for a domestic overnight trip and 3.4 for a day trip; and
- there is a myth that the inclusive tourism market does not spend because of economic circumstance. That is false as it is a significant proportion of each travel market segment.
For tourism and hospitality operators, giving prospective guests as much information is key. For example:
- don’t bury the information on your website; put it where the rest of the facility information is. Headings such as “special facilities” or “compliance requirements” are meaningless and demeaning;
- provide enough detail. This is critical every person with a disability has a different need and a different level of expectation. Don’t try and categorize. Provide the detail so that they can make the decision as to whether a facility is suitable or not; and
- use photographs of your accessible facilities, and include people with a disability in your general marketing and imagery
Take a look at the full article for a detailed example of how to present crucial inclusivity Information on a tourism or hospitality website here.