Access for disabled visitors

By | Category: Travel news

Vitalise_Infographic_cover_onlyUK’s top tourist attractions need to work harder on accessibility or risk losing out on vital income says disability charity Vitalise. Considering that it is estimated that about 15% of the population, potentially a lot of money is being lost to those attractions.

The “Purple Pound” is what experts call the amount of spending linked to those with disabilities and it is estimated at £212 billion a year. How much those disabled would spend on tourism as a percentage of that total sum isn’t known because so many places aren’t disabled friendly. Or if they claim to be, some prove in truth not to be as friendly as is suggested.

The Vitalise study found that:

  • 3 out of 10 (27%) did not have essential accessibility information on their websites;
  • Only 17% had all their staff trained in disability awareness;
  • Only 15% were equipped with hoists – an indispensable item for many disabled visitors
  •  that 65% of people with disabilities have decided against visiting a tourist attraction because they found their accessibility information to be insufficient, confusing or difficult to obtain.

Among the examples of best practice commended by Vitalise is Tate Modern in London – the world’s most visited art gallery – which came out on top of the charity’s table with a score of 94.3%, while tied in second place are the Imperial War Museum London, the Museum of Liverpool and the National Railway Museum in York, all on 92%, with Tate Britain close behind on 91.8%.

Vitalise is asking people with disabilities to share their experiences of visiting tourist attractions and other public venues via an online form on the charity’s website www.vitalise.org.uk, by emailing them to media@vitalise.org.uk or using social media by posting photos, videos and updates on Facebook and Twitter, with the hashtag #AccessNow

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