VisitEngland and the National Autistic Society have launched a guide to help the tourism industry accommodate people with autism.
The ‘Welcoming Autistic People’ guide aims to help the tourism industry to increase business by better understanding autism and making appropriate improvements.
VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes said: “By following the tips in this new guide, businesses can offer autistic people and their families and friends the very best experiences when visiting our attractions, accommodation and tourism businesses, increasing the value this important sector brings to tourism and the economy across England.”
Daniel Cadey, autism access development manager at the National Autistic Society, added: “We were delighted to have been able to work on this important guide for businesses that will benefit autistic people and their families.
“Over 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK and many would love to visit heritage sites and other tourist attractions but are prevented from doing so because unfamiliar and unpredictable places make them extremely anxious.
“Our recent research revealed that 79% of autistic people and 70% of family members feel socially isolated because they are unable to access places others take for granted.”
The ‘Welcoming Autistic People’ guide provides tourism businesses with tips and practical advice including the provision of visual stories, quiet spaces, ear defenders and sensory backpacks to help autistic people and their families prepare for and enjoy a visit to hotels, restaurants and travel services.
VisitEngland research back in 2015 showed that £12bn was spent on trips where a member of the party had an impairment.