Accessible tourism: Making it work for your business


No sensible person in business makes life more difficult for their customers. The most successful businesses make life easier.

The information in this leaflet will make both your life easier and your business more successful.

By making your own hotel, guesthouse or tourist site more accessible, you are instantly making your business more attractive to at least 11 million potential disabled visitors from here in England, and millions more from abroad.

Visitors who travel frequently, stay longer than average, and spend more per trip.You should make sure your business is as welcoming and accessible to everyone including those with disabilities. Some see that as a financial burden. Not so. As well as being fair to the one in five of us who have a disability of some sort or other, it is actually a sound financial investment to improve your bottom line and your business’s future.

You will find ideas on improving your business, links to tax breaks and advice on promoting yourself to a new market with huge potential.

Act now, and be ready in good time for the boom in tourism right across the UK that will come as we approach the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

There is a huge economic potential in providing better services and encouraging more tourism from disabled people.

New figures from the UK Tourism Survey highlight the importance of this sector:

12 per cent of all overnight domestic trips in England between January and June 2009 were made by visitors with access needs, or those accompanying someone who had access needs.

This amounts to 5.7 million trips, contributing almost £1bn to the economy in just six months.

Domestic overnight trips in England January – June 2009

  • Total number of England trips - 46.15 million
  • Travel with someone with a disability - 12% of trips
  • Total number of nights spent on trip - 133.54 million
  • Travel with someone with a disability - 15% of nights
  • Total England expenditure on trip - £7,741.33 million
  • Total spent on trips with someone with a disability - £923.23 million