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NEW TOURISM BOOKLET PUBLISHED ON ACCESSIBLE MARKET WORTH OVER £2 BILLION 20th January 2011 The most comprehensive business case for accessible tourism in England launches today. The booklet, entitled ‘At Your Service’, has been created through a joint partnership between the Government’s Accessible Tourism Stakeholder Forum and VisitEngland with the aim of inspiring tourism businesses to improve accessibility for customers in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games & Paralympic Games. Around 11 million people in England have an impairment of some kind whether they are wheel chair users, have poor vision, hearing loss or learning difficulties. Overseas, there are potentially 78 million American and 75 million European disabled visitors, friends and family. For the first time, the real value of overnight trips in England by both UK residents and international visitors who have a health condition or impairment has been recorded. These combined figures reveal a lucrative market worth over £2 billion. Tourism Minister John Penrose endorses the booklet and says: “Improving accessibility is a real opportunity for many businesses. This booklet provides hard facts and figures outlining the potential benefits of catering to this market, together with clear steps for operators to improve their offer. I hope it will help to achieve a lasting legacy for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” Small changes that are easy to implement could include the following: Create an Access Statement describing facilities & services to inform people with access needs. www.visitengland.com/accessstatements Ensure staff are confident with disability and sign up for disability awareness training. Check out the key skills and knowledge templates devised for front line staff and managers on www.visitengland.org/access Check policies are flexible. Can those visitors unable to stand in queues be fast-tracked? Show assistance dogs are welcome by requesting a free window sticker Tel: 01844 348100 Commission a professional access audit. www.tourismforall.org.uk/Access-audit.html The booklet contains an easy to follow ‘Map through access’ showing how to get started, and how to make small adjustments to facilities, provide useful information on accessibility and understand the needs of disabled people. The map is perforated and designed to provide a means of recording progress. James Berresford, VisitEngland Chief Executive said: “It’s time for the tourist industry in England to up its game and further improve on the importance of accessibility. Access is an important element of England’s national strategy for tourism, and for us to meet our goals to grow the sector we must ensure all visitors are welcomed and well catered for whatever their needs.” Jenifer Littman, Tourism for All UK’s Chief Executive commented: “As an independent voice for accessible tourism, we have long sought for this business case to be provided so that businesses see disabled people as customers, who have disposable income to spend on holidaying in England. Whatever the size of the business, this booklet provides a simple step-by-step approach to improve accessibility.” VisitEngland provides a number of tools and resources to help tourism operators accommodate people with access needs including the ‘At your service’ booklet, available to view and download now at www.visitengland.org/access. – ENDS – For media enquiries please contact Sarah Long on 020 7578 1452, email@example.com About ‘At your service’ The ‘At your service’ booklet has been produced on behalf of the DCMS Accessible Tourism Stakeholder Forum for the 2012 Games. It builds on and updates information and statistics set out in Accessible tourism: making it work for your business. The Forum was set up in 2008 to bring stakeholders in the tourism industry together to help drive forward work to improve tourism for disabled visitors. Lead partners VisitEngland, Tourism for All and the Department for Culture Media and Sport were supported by British Hospitality Association, London Development Agency, Employers’ Forum on Disability and Smaller World. About VisitEngland & VisitEngland’s Accessibility Agenda VisitEngland is the strategic leadership body representing the public and private sector stakeholders of English Tourism. It works in partnership creating national tourism strategy, optimising marketing investment, and developing the visitor experience across England VisitEngland continues to use its Enjoy England consumer brand in the domestic market and markets England under the VisitEngland brand in international markets More information can be found on www.enjoyengland.com and www.visitengland.org VisitEngland provides tourism information for people with physical and sensory needs at www.enjoyengland.com/access VisitEngland provides a number of tools and resources to help tourism operators accommodate people with access needs at www.visitengland.org/access.
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