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Providing Access for All

With more than one in six people in England and Wales having an ‘activity limiting’ health problem or disability, a significant proportion of your customer base is likely to have specific accessibility requirements. This is set to increase further as a result of the ageing population.

How do I provide access for all?

Our research shows that British and international visitors from this market segment currently spend over £3 billion on overnight tourism trips in England each year. This is more than the annual spend of all visitors from the USA.

Many tourism businesses are realising that catering for disabled and older customers is now a necessity and a win-win situation that brings a host of business benefits. In contrast, for businesses that are yet to recognise the needs of these customers, there is an increasing risk of losing market share and reputation, whilst also risking the legal challenge from discrimination.

There are three aspects all businesses need to address to provide access for all – it’s not all about making expensive physical alterations to buildings: Customer service and training – being disability aware with the right attitude and confidence to serve all customers; information and marketing – providing detailed information on the accessibility of your facilities and services and making this information easy to find; and physical facilities – making reasonable adjustments to buildings and facilities so they are easy for everyone to enter and move around.

We provide a range of guidance, tools and resources to help you provide access for all. Make some quick and low cost improvements using ‘Easy does it’; write an Access Statement using our online tool; and promote your accessibility using ‘Speak up!’, our annual Access for All Award and the National Accessible Scheme.

A man with crutches sitting down in a museum © VisitEngland/VisitBritain Pawel Libera

Understanding the Accessible Tourism Market

Get tips and advice on how to make your tourism business more accessible.

A woman in a wheelchair reading in a garden © VisitEngland/VisitBritain Pawel Libera

Writing an Access Statement

Information on writing an access statement for your customers.

A group, including a man in a power wheelchair, being taken on a tour of the Houses of Parliament ©  VisitEngland Luke Rogers

Becoming Disability Aware

Information on ensuring your tourism business is disability aware including courses and resources available for you and your staff.

An elderly man with a walking stick and his wife talking to a concierge © VisitEngland/VisitBritain Pawel Libera

Making Your Facilities Accessible

Information on how to make your tourism business more accessible, plus downloads of our “Easy does it” booklet and other resources.

A woman wearing a hearing aid looks out over a green landscape © VisitEngland/VisitBritain Pawel Libera

Welcoming Customers with Hearing Loss

Access case studies, articles and our Listen Up! Guide to help your tourism business become more ‘deaf-aware’.

A man with his assistance dog on a bench © VisitEngland/VisitBritain Pawel Libera

Welcoming Customers with Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are an essential part of many people’s lives. Find out how you can make them more welcome at your guesthouse, hotel or attraction.

National Accessible Scheme logo

Certifying Your Accessibility

The National Accessible Scheme (NAS) rates tourism businesses for their accessibility to help customers find suitable places to stay. Find out more.

A staff member at a museum interacting with a girl

Promoting Your Accessibility

Helpful advice on how you can promote your accessible facilities and services to potential guests and download our Speak Up! guide.

A staff member helps a man in a wheelchair into a taxi © VisitEngland/VisitBritain Pawel Libera

Developing Accessible Destinations

Information for businesses and destination managers to help make destinations more accessible, including case studies and guides.

A reception desk with a hearing loop facility (c) VisitEngland/VisitBritain/Pawel Libera

Ten Top Tips for Accessibility

Ten top tips to help you ensure your tourism business is accessible.

A woman pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair at Chichester cathedral (c) Alex Hare

Your Legal Obligations

How to abide by the Equality Act 2010.

A man in a wheelchair having a cup of coffee with a friend (c) VisitEngland/VisitBritain/Pawel Libera

Accessibility Case Studies

Read case studies on how some simple steps to improve accessibility have made all the difference to both businesses and visitors.

A group of people standing outside Sandcastle Waterpark

Unlocking the Purple Pound Conference, March 2015

Read our event-round up and download presentations from our first accessible tourism conference.

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