Prior to the pandemic approximately one in five people in the UK were said to have a health condition or impairment according to research from the Family Resource Survey 2018/2019. It’s reasonable to suppose that this percentage is likely to increase as a result of the long term damage that is now being associated with COVID-19.

"Tourism businesses with improved accessibility appeal to a wider range of customers. It’s not just disabled customers who benefit; it’s families, older people and practically all of your customers in one way or another."

- Visit Britain

Simple low cost changes can deliver. There is a compelling business case for making tourism venues and experiences inclusive. People with health conditions & impairments and their travelling companions spend around £15.3bn on trips in England each year. This market is more likely to take longer trips and are anecdotally very loyal to places that meet their requirements.

Our understanding of disability tends to look at the extremes – only around 9% of disabled people use a wheelchair so it’s not always about lifts and door widths. Remember the majority of health conditions are hidden such as asthma, diabetes and allergies. Diabetic people need to plan meal times carefully to control their blood sugar levels, asthmatic people may require hypo-allergenic bedding rather than feathers.

Treated positively, it’s an opportunity for business development, ensuring that you are accessible to a wider audience.

Preparing an Accessibility Guide for your business to have on your website doesn’t have to be hard work – it’s just a clear and honest description of the facilities and services you offer.

Think about the whole visitor experience: attracting customers in the first place; making booking processes easier; taking the stress out of travel; making the arrival process easier; a great holiday experience; and of course always keep under review.

And if you’d like specialist support with this give our Business Support Helpline team a call on 01522 782067, Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 6:00pm

Visit England Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses

VisitEngland has launched its new ‘Accessible and Inclusive Toolkit for Tourism Businesses’ in England.

The toolkit includes practical guidance on providing an inclusive welcome, designing accessible buildings, employing disabled people and creating quality accessibility information.

The free toolkit includes case studies, top 20 tips and downloadable business specific actionable checklists to plan and prioritise improvements, as well as more aspirational technical design guidance

Additional Visit England Resources

Visit England 'Top 20 Tips'

Top 20 Tips for Self Catering Venues


Top 20 Tips for Hotels


Top 20 Tips for Visitor Attractions


Top 20 Tips for Food & Beverage Businesses


Accessibility Personas

The Accessibility Personas can help you learn about the different impairment groups, based on individuals who have accessibility requirements and their real-life tourism experiences.


Statistic Data Sources

References for statistics and data used throughout VisitEngland's Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses.


Employer Resources

Visit England Inclusive Tourism Training


Accessibility Champion Brief