After organizing and hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s Queensland state launched Embracing 2018, whose aim was to create a legacy of long-lasting benefits to the community. One result was Six Simple Steps to Accessible and Inclusive Tourism, a how-to guide that dives down into the kind of practical details and tips that would be useful to any organization interested in attracting visitors of all abilities, and creating a first-rate experience. Here are some suggestions:
· Improve communication with guests: Create an accessibility guide to provide a clear, accurate and honest description of your facilities and services. An accessibility guide should enable guests to make an informed decision as to whether your organization meets their needs.
· Make enquiries and bookings easier: Provide different options to make enquiries and place bookings in a simple, cost effective and powerful method of improving accessibility and inclusiveness. Where possible, this should include provision for phone, fax, text message, online, email and third-party travel websites.
· Knowledgeable staff is crucial: Ensure that staff has a good level of knowledge and awareness of accessibility and inclusiveness. This will allow staff to feel confident when interacting with people with disability and other accessibility needs, and allow them to deliver an exceptional guest experience. Provide ongoing accessibility training for staff so they are equipped and confident when meeting the needs of guests with disability.
· First impressions are important: When guests enter your business it is essential to deliver on your promise. Ask: Is the entrance to my business marked and easily located? Is the door easy to open and the floor easy to manoeuvre on? Is there an option for visitors to call ahead and arrange assistance?
The guide is packed with great ideas. It is ten pages, and available to download as a PDF here: https://www.embracing2018.com/sites/default/files/accessible-inclusive-tourism.pdf