Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

Making holidays accessible to everyone

Scotland is a naturally welcoming destination – a fact we’re incredibly proud of. Inclusive tourism is a hugely important part of this. We run several programmes that advise and provide support for inclusive practices which benefit the widest range of customers possible, as well as the businesses that cater for them.

Benefits of inclusive tourism

  • Customer satisfaction

    Becoming more inclusive can make life easier for a wide range of customers, including people with hearing loss, mental or visual impairments, wheelchair users, senior travellers and families with young children

  • Increased revenue

    Disabled travellers and senior travellers spend significantly more when they go on holiday than other market groups 

  • Increased loyalty

    Inclusive businesses have higher occupancy rates and a more loyal customer base who is keen to recommend them to their family and friends

  • A growing market

    The market is set to increase as the UK’s population ages and the benefits for businesses and destinations catering for inclusive tourism are growing

Did you know?

54%

of people with access requirements will avoid you if they can't find accessibility info

86%

of seniors make return visits, making them loyal customers

83%

of disabled travellers tell others about their experience

49%

share their experience on social media

Source: Euan's guide Access Survey, GB Tourism Survey, Barclay's Bank report

Purple Tuesday

VisitScotland is pleased to announce that we, along with VisitEngland, are the official tourism sector partners for this year’s Purple Tuesday.

Purple Tuesday is a national initiative that helps businesses to improve the experience for their disabled customers, culminating in a celebration on 2 November where organisations across all sectors showcase their support for disabled people and this lucrative market.

Why should you take part?

  • Join over 2,000 other businesses in committing to improve your customer experience for disabled people
  • Registration is free and you only need to make a minimum of one commitment to improve the accessibility of your business. This could include creating an Accessibility Guide, or committing to improve your welcome for disabled people
  • You will get free guidance, tips and training resources to help you be more inclusive through simple, low or no cost changes
  • Improve the experience for all of your customers
  • Raise your profile as a participating business in a national celebration on 2 November
  • Show your customers that you are not only COVID-secure, but also inclusive for all

Find out more about how Purple Tuesday can support your recovery

To support you in welcoming more disabled visitors, we are pleased to announce we have secured a 50% discount for members of our Quality Assurance scheme who sign up to the Purple Tuesday 365 subscription service.

Purple Tuesday 365 is a learning and development programme that has been created in response to Purple Tuesday. The programme helps organisations support their staff, address disability issues, and broaden accessibility to improve the disabled customer experience. Each month, Purple Tuesday 365 holds disability and accessibility awareness webinars and produces bespoke handy hints guides and resources.

With our exclusive discount, your annual subscription can start from as little as £182.50 +VAT.  To redeem your discount, quote Promo Code: Visit05 on the Purple Tuesday 365 registration form.

Try before you buy

Purple Tuesday 365 is inviting you to attend their next webinar, ‘Creating Accessible Online Content’, for free. It will take place at 14:00 on 20 May in recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This practical session will provide hints and tips to help you create accessible online content and make the disabled visitor experience to your website more inclusive.

Together, we can help you make your destination/attraction even more accessible to disabled customers and their families.

 

Four steps to becoming more inclusive

  1. 1

    Create an accessibility guide

    Create an accessibility guide and add the guide link to the homepage of your website. 

    95% of customers with access requirements check for information about your venue online before visiting and this is even more critical now as we live in a world with Coronavirus.

    Information from surveys carried out recently by three charities, Euan’s Guide, Tourism for All and Vocal reveal that one of the top barriers for disabled people and others with specific access needs is the lack of published information on tourism venues current access facilities and hygiene processes and procedures.

    In partnership with VisitEngland, we have developed accessibilityguides.org - a site that allows you to work through a tailored questionnaire, helping you to provide relevant information about the accessibility of your venue or service.

    It’s free, quick and easy to use, and will enable you to provide all the information your customers need to prepare their visit. 

    The new accessibility guide replaces access statements. For more information, read our Access Guide FAQs or download our example accessibility guides.

  2. 2

    Train your staff

    72% of disabled customers are more likely to visit new places if they feel welcomed by staff or venues appears to care about accessibility. 

    Making sure staff and managers in your venue are trained and confident in inclusive tourism will make a huge difference to your customer service. 

    We are currently revising our online training programme and moving it to another website and due to the current situation with Coronavirus, the site will not be relaunched until later in the year.

    In the meantime, we would encourage you to use the customer services e-tutorial resources produced by Purple the organisation behind PurpleTuesday:

    There are seven tutorials, each one last just over 16 minutes in total:

    Part 1 -   A brief introduction and a short quiz
    Part 2 -  Why disability should matter to your business
    Part 3 – Top tips for disabilities language and etiquette
    Part 4 – Top tips for front line staff
    Part 5 – Top tips to support your teams working in office services
    Part 6 – Top tips to make your website more accessible
    Part 7 – Key takeaways

    If you have any questions about our training programme, please email us at inclusivetourism@visitscotland.com.

  3. 3

    Read our good practice guides

    • Easy does it – covers all the basics of accessibility, and is full of simple low cost ideas to make your business more accessible 
    • Accessible events guide – from key considerations, to parking, to communications, this guide will cover everything you need to think of to make your event accessible 
    • Take the lead – covering everything you need to know about assistance dogs and what your legal obligations are..

    You can download our guides (see below) or ask your Quality Tourism Advisor for physical copies. 

  4. 4

    Stay informed

    Our Inclusive Tourism Manager is working hard on producing more tools, factsheets and information about how to make your business inclusive. From quick and easy changes that don’t break the bank, to big infrastructures changes and everything in between, there are so many things you can do to make your venue more welcoming! 

    Talk to your Quality Tourism Advisor and Industry Relations Manager to discuss what options are viable for you, and keep your eyes peeled for updates coming from us! 

    Other useful resources

    Euan’s Guide – information on how to add your venue to the review site and to access a full copy of their Coronavirus Survey Results go to https://www.euansguide.com/venues/

    Purple-business resources including link to a series of seven e-tutorials on customer service as well as a guide on economic and social recovery planning  go to wearepurple.org.uk/business/resources

Download your good practice guides

Dementia-friendly tourism

Published October 2019

A practical guide for businesses to understand and support customers living with dementia.

Easy does it

Published June 2016

Guide packed with simple low-cost ideas that will benefit you and your visitors.

Accessible events guide

Published July 2018

Our Inclusive and Accessible Events Guide can help anyone involved in organising events, regardless of the size, nature or location to create a fully accessible event.

Learn how accessibility guides have benefited these businesses

Other helpful information

What is haemophilia and how can I help?

Published January 2019

Advice and tips for transport providers, hospitality businesses and airport.

Customers with Down’s syndrome

Published January 2019

How can you provide the best customer service to customers with Down’s syndrome?

Motor Neurone Disease (MND): what you need to know

Published January 2019

What is MND and what can you do to make your customers with MND feel welcome?

No Chew Stew recipe book

Published January 2019

Recipes for those who have difficulties chewing, like the elderly or cancer survivors.

Marina DiDuca

Communications Manager - Inclusive Tourism