Three UK West Country Attractions in line for Accessible Tourism Awards
16/03/2010 | 0 comments
THREE West Country businesses have been shortlisted for the first UK tourism award recognising attractions with access for disabled visitors.
The new Rough Guide to Accessible Britain Awards named the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm – whose population includes tame owls, rescued hedgehogs and red squirrels – alongside the South Devon Railway and the Eden Project in Cornwall.
The awards have been devised to reward the efforts made by attractions across the country to ensure that visitors with disabilities are not excluded.
The two South Devon businesses and the Eden Project have been named in the family venue category.
Totnes Rare Breeds Farm owner Barrie Tolley, who is also a director of the South Devon Railway, said: "We have worked hard to be as accessible as possible and are really excited that these efforts have been recognised.
"Welcoming visitors with disabilities to both the Rare Breeds Farm and the railway is part of our day-to-day operations and we enjoy the feedback we receive to continue to make the experience as inclusive and enjoyable as possible."
The awards are supported by Motability Operations, which runs a successful car scheme for disabled people, and have been launched to coincide with the third edition of the award-winning Rough Guide to Accessible Britain.
Attractions were whittled down by the guide's reviewers and judging panel into four categories. In the family venue category, the railway and farm go up against Legoland in Windsor, Berkshire, the London Science Museum, the Alnwick Garden in County Durham and the Eden Project.
Other categories recognise the best active, heritage and free venues.
Martin Dunford, founder of Rough Guides, and one of the judges, said: "The Accessible Britain Awards mark the achievements of attractions, however large or small, across the UK that have demonstrated considerable effort and creativity in providing inclusive experiences for visitors with disabilities."
Delia Ray, head of marketing of Motability Operations, said: "Now in its third edition, the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain has inspired more people to get about and discover more of the UK's best sites.
"We've been consistently impressed with the response of attractions, which have looked for new ways to make their venue as inclusive as possible.
"The new awards recognise these steps and highlight the attractions around the UK that have set new standards in accessibility."
Winners will be announced at a reception at the Tate Modern in London on March 22, hosted by outdoors adventurer and TV personality Ben Fogle.
Related article: ENAT News