Published on : Saturday, August 16, 2014
It seems that the thriving tourism industry of Britain doesn’t have adequate facilities for the disabled. As a result, domestic tourists with special needs are forced to travel out of the country for holidaying. Mark Harper, the minister for disabled people, says: ‘I’m calling on everyone in the British tourist industry to look at what more they can do to better cater for disabled travellers’
Popular tourist venues in Britain are being urged to provide better facilities for the disable visitors. A recent survey conducted by Vitalise on 52 of Britain’s 100 most visited attractions by charity found 63% were not fully wheelchair-accessible. The study also found that many staffs were not trained in how to take care of disabled visitors.
The survey said:
63% of attractions said they were not fully wheelchair accessible
Of the 27 venues that charged for entry, 44% offered no discount at all for disabled people
Hoists were available in 19% of places, a facility which Vitalise describe as “an indispensable item for some disabled guests”
25% did not have fully accessible approaches to their doors, including from parking areas
13% of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions said all their staff had disability awareness training
26% of attractions did not have accessibility information available on their websites
Paul Nadine, the managing director of the Disabled Holiday Directory, said: “The situation is quite bad at the moment.
“It’s often easier to arrange a holiday for someone abroad than it is here in Britain. Many will want to go abroad, but for those with more serious disabilities or who prefer to enjoy what Britain has to offer, it’s become more and more difficult.”
At a time when the global tourism industry is taking necessary steps to make tourist attractions accessible to all, it is time for Britain to improve the facilities for the disabled.
(with inputs from BBC)