Europe Aug 2, 2013
Making tourist services more accessible to persons with disabilities, young children and older people could generate £325million a year for the economy, according to Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.
An “accessible tourism” program has been launched before the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the Year of Homecoming 2014 at a cost of £45,000, offering online training and guidance on how to advertise the access facilities of services like tourist attractions and hotels.
People with physical disabilities, mental health conditions and temporary injuries, as well as parents with small children and older people, are expected to benefit from the improved services and subsequently spend more money.
Mr Ewing said: “Improving accessibility has real potential to help achieve tourism industry growth ambitions and boost the wider economy, as well as enhancing social equalities.
“There’s never been a better time to promote accessible tourism as we progress towards 2014 when Scotland celebrates the second Year of Homecoming and also takes centre-stage in world terms as host of the world’s biggest sporting events: the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.”
David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, said: “We have embedded accessibility and inclusion into critical aspects of delivering the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“For everyone involved with the Games, whether athlete or visitor, tourism is at the heart of their journey.
“We welcome the fact that everyone can have the chance to enjoy the Games experience. It is right that accessibility within tourism and the hospitality industry, as well as at our events and venues, is being placed at the heart of Scotland’s preparations to welcome the world in 2014.”
Chris McCoy, accessible tourism project manager at VisitScotland, said: “As we prepare to welcome the world in 2014, it’s even more vital that we ensure that the industry is ready for all accessible needs.”
Source: Daily Record