The first international certification programme for accessible tourism destinations has been developed and carried out in Lousã, Portugal by the Belgian Accessibility Office, Toegangelijkheidsbureau (TGB). The Certification Programme is a completely new destination management tool which provides an accurate measure of the excellence of an accessible tourism destination, based on strictly defined criteria.
The Norwegian Design Council is behind a new Norwegian prize to reward innovative, accessible and user-friendly solutions. Scandic Oslo Airport won the category "Furniture and Interiors" and was thus automatically nominated for the Innovation Award for Universal Design. In November 2011 Scandic Oslo Airport won by the main prize - the Innovation Award.
This new, European on-line training course addresses ways of improving tourism businesses and serving customers who have specific access requirements. The course is an "appetizer" for business owners and employees, giving a general introduction to the subject of accessible tourism.
Co-hosted by the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute, Interdependence 2012 is an international four-day conference and exposition with a focus on creating accessible communities and furthering spinal cord injury (SCI) research for a cure. Abstracts are now invited for presentations in the theme session on "Making Communities Accessible for All". The two sub-themes are "Accessible and Inclusive Tourism" and "UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities".
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has launched a new version of the Access Statement Online Tool, aimed at helping businesses cater for visitors with access needs. This new version is specifically tailored for pubs and has been created in partnership with the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).
Scandic, the Sweden-based hotel group, is intensifying its successful focus on improved accessibility. This year, over 100 new disabled rooms will be added to the portfolio and 2012 there will be even more to meet the large and growing demand. More and more companies and organisations seek rooms and conference facilities that are accessible to all.
Projects to improve the accessibility of the Algarve for visitors and residents with restricted mobility continue to be put in place – but the changes being made to make the region accessible for all are not being put in place fast enough according to industry experts.
Accessibility is not just about improving your welcome for customers with a range of access needs, or ticking the right boxes – it simply makes good business sense. Here are 5 tips for improving your business.
Boomers, many of whom came of age holding a protest sign, are joining forces with disability and senior groups to add muscle to the cause of increased accessibility in travel. “They don’t intend to let hip replacements and insulin shots stop them from traveling,” says Rains. “Nor will they be pandered to, stigmatized, or written off.”
In a unique partnership – the first of its kind anywhere in the UK – Capability Scotland and VisitScotland have teamed up this summer to explore disabled people’s experiences of being a tourist in Scotland.