WHAT IS ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL?
Who does it affect and why is it important?
The video below provides a great explanation of accessible tourism. It was created by App Tour You, a European project providing online training for accessible tourism. This video is an introductory video that forms part of the training course. The references to the value of accessible tourism are European, but the concept is replicated across the world.
WHO HAS ACCESSIBILITY NEEDS?
Many of your current guests will have some accessibility needs. They may not have told you, and you won't always know.
Your guests may have found information to let them know your property suited them, or they have been able to 'make do' this time.
Your visitors may have accessibility needs due to age, disability, accident or illness.
This may be temporary or permanent and related to mobility, sensory or communication limitations.
People with Disability
4.4 Million people with disability in Australia
1 Billion people worldwide
4.4% use a wheelchair (Australia)
People aged over 65
3.7 Million people aged over 65 in Australia
49.6% have a disability
Many others have some limitations
Many more people...
There are many more people, not classified as disabled, who have some access needs or travel in the same group
- People with temporary or permanent impairments through accident or illness
- Carers of people with disability
- Family members and travelling companions
- People with prams and strollers
What about your country?
Across the globe, the proportion of people with disability in many countries sits between 15% and 20%, and sometimes higher.
Total number of disabled people - 13.3 million, around 22% of the population.
Total number of people over 65 - around 12 million, around 17% of the population.
For people of pension age, 45% have a disability.
[Source 1] [Source 2] [Source 3] [Source 4]
Total number of disabled people - over 100 million, around 20% of the population.
Total number of people over 65 - 101 million, around 20% of the population.
[Source 1] [Source 2] [Source 3]
United States of America
Total number of disabled people - 64 million, around 26% of the population.
Total number of people over 65 - 49 million, around 15% of the population.
For people of pension age, 40% have a disability.
[Source 1] [Source 2]
Total number of disabled people - 1.1 million, around 24% of the population.
Total number of people over 65 - around 15% of the population.
For people of pension age, >56% have a disability.
[Source 1] [Source 2]
The numbers are large, providing you with the chance to make a difference for many of your visitors.
This is a significant marketing opportunity for your business.
HOW CAN MY TOURISM BUSINESS HELP?
For some business owners, the term 'accessibility' will equate in their heads to cost and hard work. That is a myth we need to dispel.
Accessible, or inclusive, travel is about equality. It is about everyone being welcomed as your guest.
This is about more than compliance, wheelchairs and dogs – all of which are very important.
Accessibility is about facilities, information and attitude.
It is not always about expensive changes to your property. In many cases it is about sharing more information about you so that people can make decisions for themselves about whether your tourism property is suitable for their individual needs.
Simply stating that your property is accessible is meaningless and has the risk of creating unrealistic expectations for your visitors and guests.
We asked people with accessibility needs a few questions:
- 67% of people are unable to easily find the information they need when they plan travel
- 80% of people said friendly and helpful staff was a key factor in determining the accessibility of a property
- 70% of people would travel more if they could be confident a tourism property was suitable for them
Research has also shown that people with disability travel at a similar frequency to other travellers, are very loyal and tend to travel in groups.
The services we are offering at Travel For All are about helping you provide detailed information for this market so they have enough information to decide that yes, they can visit your property and be confident their accessibility needs are met.