Accessible Tourism Consultant Chris Veitch wants the tourism industry to stop thinking of people with disabilities as special or unusual. “People with disabilities do not form some sort of niche market: they are just part of the mainstream market that all successful businesses and destinations need to be, and in many cases already are, reaching out to,” he says on NewMind.com.
“Accessible Tourism is relevant for everybody,” says Accessible Tourism Consultant Chris Veitch. On NewMind.com, Mr. Veitch presents a detailed discussion about travel and tourism, and people with disabilities, including the money they bring to business. According to England’s tourism agency, VisitEngland (https://www.visitbritain.org/), travellers with disabilities tend to stay longer, with an average length of stay of 3.3 nights compared to 2.9 for the market as a whole. Their average spending is also higher per night away, compared to the average spending level.
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.
The world of accessible travel keeps expanding. Handiscover is an online service for booking accessible travel accommodations. Founder Sebastien Archambeaud was driven to create the service after travelling with his son who uses a wheelchair. “When travelling as the family we got so frustrated about the lack of purposeful information about accessibility of both vacation rentals and/or rooms for hotels,” he says.
In Wales, train cars are being updated and modified, as part of a plan to make sure rail services are fully accessible for customers with reduced mobility. By the end of 2019, all trains in Wales will be compliant with EU regulations known as Persons of Reduced Mobility. The regulations were created to ensure there are no barriers for using public transport.
In 2015 North American travelers with disabilities spent $17.3 billion on travel, significantly more than $13.6 billion in 2002. At the same time, complaints about airlines made by passengers with disabilities have doubled to more than 30,000 per year. Amadeus, a travel industry technology company, released a report on barriers to accessibility across stages of the passenger journey that may hold some answers as to why.
Today, the significance of tourism and its contribution to the social, political, cultural and economic dimensions of our lives is recognized. The team at Together We Rock! would like to acknowledge the efforts of many corporations and organizations to make their destinations, services and products a truly accessible and inclusive experience -You Rock!
Union Station is a transportation hub in Toronto, Ontario that services for inter-city and regional rail services. The Together We Rock! team is familiar with Union Station in both our professional and personal travel plans. Union Station was officially opened to the public in 1927 and as a National Historic site of Canada in 1975.
The Oeno Gallery and Huff Estates Winery are located in the heart of beautiful Prince Edward County in Ontario, Canada. The gallery represents and exhibits exceptional original contemporary artists. The grounds of the gallery feature a unique sculpture garden and is next door to the Huff Estates Winery. This state-of-the-art winery features a tasting bar, restaurant with an indoor seating area and an outdoor patio that overlooks the vineyard.
Airbnb has just made it easier to find affordable accommodations for people with disabilities who are traveling. The accommodation platform recently introduced new “filters” for finding travel lodgings with specific features. Step-free entries, roll-in showers and entryways that are wide enough for wheelchairs are some examples.
Beautiful sandy Victoria Beach in Cobourg, Ontario is now a beautiful, accessible beach, thanks to the installation of an accessibility mat that runs down the centre of the sand to the water line. The blue heavyweight polymer mat is held in place with sturdy pegs, to create a strip of stable ground for walkers, strollers, and wheelchairs.
Accessible Tourism is making travel and tourism destinations, products, and information suitable for everyone, taking into account mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive needs. According to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), American adults with disabilities are spending an average of $13.6 billion a year on travel, making people with disabilities an important market consideration for the tourism industry.