Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day everyone!
The second day of AITCAP 2022 was packed with advice to help improve the accessibility & inclusiveness of your business from innovative industry leaders and there’s still so much more to come!
We’ve gathered some highlights for you!
Today we learnt about another key imperative for tourism businesses to become more accessible and inclusive: the world is changing and inclusivity is becoming a core mainstream value. Yet another reason why accessible and inclusive tourism should no longer be seen as a niche market! It’s the future of the industry.
As Matt Oastler noted “When a product or service is designed with one group in mind, it benefits four times as many users”. Bindimaps is a great example of this – though developed for people with vision impairment, it also enables people with mobility impairments to find accessible routes and can incorporate all sorts of information to enhance visitor experience.
Incorporating accessibility features from the design stage of any project minimises the costs. Illustrating that point, Contento, Hotel Brooklyn, Dignity Kitchen and The Schoolhouse Hotels are environments where people with disabilities and their friends and family can come and enjoy a great hospitality experience just like anyone else. If you are starting something new or even retrofitting a building with more limited scope for accessibility improvement, as Ed Warner said, you will have a positive impact if your design is inclusive.
For example, hidden disabilities – like autism and multiple chemical sensitivities – represent 80-90% of all disabilities. An easy step to take can be one that Shalese Heard mentioned: “What will make travel easier for me personally, is having more remote contactless options, being able to do things and make more plans ahead of time.” Have a look at our panel on that topic to discover plenty more resources.
And Nina Smith reminded us that: “We know as Assistance Dog Handlers, we are a minority in the tourism sector. We know that our needs are different from the mainstream. However, a lot of places do not cater for handlers and their dogs. So if you do, you will stand out.” And there’s a lot you can do by simply training your staff and interacting with your customers, as you’ll learn by watching the TravelPaws session.
Share your information online, use digital technology to its full potential, connect with trailblazers for inspiration and so much more. You just need to adopt an accessible & inclusive mindset and always start with the basics which is talk to your customers and engage with your community. Make Seng Choon Koh’s mantra yours: “Every problem has a solution”.