There is a strong business case for providing inclusive tourism experiences that are accessible to all. So says VisitEngland on their page about good accessibility, which benefits all visitors whether they are young, old, use a pushchairs, wheelchairs, assistance dogs, or have learning difficulties or temporary health conditions. Disabled people have the greatest need for accessible facilities and services but it should be remembered that only around 8% use a wheelchair: many more having other mobility, hearing or visual impairments.
VisitEngland is amongst world leaders in the development and fostering of accessible tourism because they understand that this is a profitable market. The total expenditure of people with health conditions and impairments – and their travelling companions – on tourism in England is a staggering £12.1billion a year. In addition,
- In 2014, one in five (20%) of tourism day trips in England were taken by people with an impairment and their travelling companions, spending £9.1billion.
- In 2014, 14% of all overnight trips by British residents in England were taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions, worth £2.7billion.
- Over half a million people with a health condition or impairment visit England from abroad each year, spending around £341million.
Research by VisitEngland also reveals the following beneficial characteristics of the accessible tourism market:
- More likely to take longer trips;
- Seaside destinations are particularly appealing;
- Anecdotally very loyal.
The VisitEngland website has all sorts of information, guides, advice, and help for people interested in improving or adding access in their tourism business, and it id free to all. Follow on Twitter: @VisitEngland