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
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
Disabled travellers and senior travellers spend significantly more when they go on holiday than other market groups
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?
of people with access requirements will avoid you if they can't find accessibility info
of seniors make return visits, making them loyal customers
of disabled travellers tell others about their experience
share their experience on social media
Source: Euan's guide Access Survey, GB Tourism Survey, Barclay's Bank report
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
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.
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 Purple Tuesday.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (on this page) or ask your Quality Tourism Advisor for physical copies.
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 euansguide.com.
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
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.