In June this year, the Government pledged to make the UK the most accessible destination in Europe by 2025 as part of the new Tourism Sector Deal. Today, UKinbound signalled its commitment to supporting this undertaking by announcing a new partnership with Revitalise – the national charity that creates respite holidays for disabled people and carers.
The collaboration will see both organisations work together on a number of projects that will help to inform and educate UK tourism businesses about how they can best support and accommodate disabled visitors, and the business case for doing so. The estimated annual spending power of disabled people and their households is estimated to be worth approximately £249 billion per year to UK business; alternatively known as the ‘Purple Pound’*.
Key activity will see UKinbound members supporting Revitalise’s excursion programme, joint research on accessibility, a holiday competition to raise funds for the charity and development of a new Revitalise Tourism Accreditation scheme.
The accessibility accreditation scheme will be available to all UKinbound members using criteria from the already established Revitalise Accessible Tourism Report. Revitalise will acknowledge those working to cater for diversity and improve their overall accessibility.
UKinbound CEO Joss Croft commented, “From our first conversation with Revitalise we were really impressed by their energy, drive and commitment to engage and collaborate with the UK tourism industry. We admire and fully support the work that they do to help disabled people and their carers benefit from much-needed holidays – something a lot of us take for granted.
“The UK is already a destination that provides good accessible facilities for its international and domestic visitors but of course there is still a lot of room for improvement. Our tour operator members tell us that the demand for accessible holidays is increasing and with the global population living longer, the UK needs to make sure that its attractions, transport provision and destinations are not just wheelchair friendly but where possible accessible to all disabilities.
“Through this new partnership we want to support the aims of Revitalise and aid the Government’s objective of increasing the numbers of disabled inbound visitors by 33% by 2025.”
Chris Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer of Revitalise commented, “We are thrilled to be working with the UK’s leading travel trade association and can’t wait to continue our efforts in making the best of British culture accessible to all. Our aim is to help as many UKinbound members as we can to realise the importance of accessibility, and work with them to improve their facilities to ensure they are doing all they can for disabled visitors. We have always said that the best advice we can give comes straight from our guests, they know what real accessibility means and tell us the truth about what is being done right.
“We also want to do all we can to ensure that the Government’s new Tourism Sector Deal achieves its aims in making the UK the most accessible destination for disabled visitors. With the positive response we have received from our Accessible Tourism Report released in May this year, we are confident that our brand-new scheme will see an even better response and we thank UKinbound for their support and passion to help us achieve this.”