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Hospitality industry urged to invest in disabled travellers

Disabled charity Scope says the hospitality sector is missing out on “millions of pounds” and to has urged it to invest more in “betters access and emergency evacuation solutions” for disabled travellers.

According to the charity, those with disabilities avoided travelling for fear of receiving poor service. It suggested that the UK was missing out on £1.8bn spend per month.

A panel of disability experts spoke at the Abta Accessible Travel seminar last month, where the dangers of not investing in proper emergency evacuation equipment was also highlighted, as firms were told that those without appropriate facilities put the lives of disabled people at risk.

According to a survey carried out by hotel-access consultancy, AccessChamp, 80% of respondents were not given a personal emergency form or plan when they checked into a hotel.

Speaking at the seminar, Arnold Fewell, managing director of AVF Marketing, said: “Travel companies, hotels and attractions are missing out on a huge opportunity and there will come a time in the future where accessibility is the norm.”
Fewell spoke of his own experience at a hotel where a fire alarm had gone off and he was left stranded with no means of escape. It was only once the fire brigade showed up and the alarm had stopped that Fewell was checked on.

He added: “I would urge businesses to take advantage of the market opportunity as any time and investment you put in now will pay off because you will be at the forefront of the market.”

About Shekina Tuahene

Shekina Tuahene
Shekina is a multimedia journalist who has lived in London all her life. She is an alumnus of University of Greenwich and Brunel. Shekina loves to read, travel, socialise and listen to music. If you have any story or feature ideas, feel free to drop her a line.

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One comment

  1. I absolutely agree that disabled travellers should be considered more in hotels. There is no reason why an ‘able bodied’ traveller could not use a bathroom with crab rails or walk in showers, however the attitude of guests with no disabilities needs some adjusting. Our hotel has only one room on the ground floor and no lift so this one ground floor room is the only one we have been able to make as an accessible room with accessible features such as crab rails in the toilet/shower room, the bedroom area does not have any special features. We continuously get appalling remarks from guests, calling it ‘a room for cripples’ and other extremely prejudice comments which I find very disturbing.

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