Between the 17th and 25th March 2018 the country celebrated English Tourism Week; a time to reflect on tourism in England as well as looking at plans for the future of the tourism industry in this country, in particular, the ways in which they are making everything accessible for everyone.
In shining a spotlight on the country’s tourism industry, we can also reflect on the progress being made for creating access for all. With one in six people across England and Wales having an ‘activity limiting’ health problem or disability, is enough being done to allow access for everyone?
With British and international guests bringing in a whopping £3 billion on overnight trips each year, it is important to see if that money is being invested wisely.
Euan’s Guide and Disabled Access Day performed an Access Survey in 2017 which revealed that 83% of disabled people have been affected by poor accessibility. The study also discovered a lack of confidence across England as 92% of disabled people don’t feel confident in visiting new places due to the lack of accessibility. With new technologies such as Google adding accessibility details to maps, there is no place to hide for locations that remain lacking in disabled access.
New technologies are constantly being developed which allow access to tourist destinations, hotels and transport systems in major cities and smaller towns. Historic environments which were once deemed inaccessible can now benefit from modern lift designs that can be fitted through sensitive alterations.
Physical barriers such as steps can now be overcome with platform lifts, which can be installed without disrupting the integrity of the building, landscape or environment. These lifts can now be made from a huge range of different materials in order to compliment or blend in with the modern or traditional surroundings.