A new campaign has been launched in a bid to make holidays and day trips easier and more accessible for the millions of disabled people who live in Britain. The Tourism Is for Everybody campaign aims to promote a better understanding of the needs of disabled people amongst those working in the travel and tourism industry. It should lead to a greater emphasis being placed on catering for these requirements. The campaign is being led by the Tourism for All charity and aims to encourage policy-makers, businesses and individuals to work together in a bid to create an environment that welcomes all visitors - including the 12-million-plus individuals in the UK who have some form of disability. Tourism for All chairman Tim Gardiner says that the campaign wants to encourage not just positive legislation and the right infrastructure to enable travel, but also greater awareness and respect for disabled travellers.
In a world where disabled people have access to more facilities and technologies than ever before to aid independence, from the personal panic button to the mobility scooter, it is perhaps surprising that so many still report feeling awkward and unwelcome whilst travelling. This is a major problem given that there are around one billion people across the world who live with some form of impairment, including around 19 per cent of Britain’s population. Research shows that people with disabilities do travel reasonably widely, making almost 13 million overnight trips in England and around 263 million day trips, and yet Tourism for All data suggests that these experiences often turn out to be less than positive. Speaking about the launch of the campaign, Justin Tomlinson, the minister for disabled people, said that disabled households’ spending power currently stood at £212 billion, and this could be increased as a result of just a few changes being made. He said that businesses have already made improvements by making physical changes, including the introduction of facilities such as hearing loops, handrails and ramps, but the importance of offering a positive experience and warm welcome should not be underestimated. The campaign wants travel and tourism professionals and businesses to make a pledge to follow nine commitments. These include embracing equality, having an ‘Access Champion’ and training staff. The Tourism for Everybody website at www.tourismisforeverybody.org also offers advice for individuals with disabilities who want tips on travelling with the minimum amount of stress.
With care-free travel hopefully taken care of, Aster can also help boost safety and security at home if you are living with a disability thanks to its personal panic button equipment. Could you benefit from a pendant alarm for elderly or disabled people and the reassurance of having dedicated carelines in Hampshire and other southern counties? If so - or if you simply want to find out more - take look at our Telecare page.