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Transformative Steps: VisitEngland’s Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses

By: Oliver Bennett-Coles | Tags: Accessibility & Inclusive Design

The tourism sector is responsible for one out of 11 jobs worldwide.

With approximately 1.4 billion people travelling the world and 15% of those identifying as disabled or having an accessibility requirement, the importance of removing barriers to make tourism more accessible to all is continuing to gain traction legally, commercially and ethically.

In the dynamic world of tourism, where experiences are diverse and ever-evolving, VisitEngland, collaborating with Mima, has taken a pioneering leap with its Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses. This groundbreaking initiative not only promises to redefine the standards of accessibility but also champions inclusivity in the tourism sector.

A wheelchair user guest uses a path outside an elizabethan house and garden
A wheechair user guest in front of an elizabethan era house and garden

Central to the success of this toolkit is the significant involvement of Mima. By collaborating with Mima, VisitEngland ensured that the toolkit is not just a theoretical framework but a practical guide enriched with real-world perspectives. Mima's involvement underscores the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors, cultural institutions, and the community in fostering inclusive tourism.

What makes this toolkit truly groundbreaking is its comprehensive approach to accessibility. It goes beyond the conventional understanding of physical access and addresses the broader spectrum of needs that different individuals may have. From sensory considerations to cognitive accessibility, the toolkit provides businesses with a holistic framework to create environments that cater to the needs of all tourists, regardless of their abilities.

The toolkit includes a bit of everything: holistic top tips for more inclusive operations, ‘quick wins’ for businesses who may be limited on time or budget, and technical guidance for those undergoing a renovation or refurbishment and wanting to ensure this provides best practice in terms of accessibility. I hope this toolkit helps to create a lasting impact for many - whether customers and colleagues with accessibility requirements or business owners wanting to fulfill their inclusive aspirations.

Emily Yates, Head os Accessibility and Inclusive Design Mima

The success of this toolkit hinges not only on the richness of its content but also on the industry's embrace of its guidance. We are now calling for champions to join us in making it the go-to resource for tourism businesses, regardless of their size or shape, across England.

Ross Calladine, Accessibility and Inclusion Lead VisitEngland

One of the key strengths of VisitEngland's toolkit is its adaptability. Recognising the diversity of businesses within the tourism sector, the toolkit offers scalable solutions that can be tailored to fit the unique characteristics of each establishment. Whether it's a quaint bed and breakfast or a sprawling resort, the toolkit provides practical guidelines for businesses to enhance their accessibility without compromising their individuality.

In a rapidly changing world, the toolkit becomes a beacon for the future of tourism. As global awareness of accessibility and inclusivity grows, businesses that embrace these principles are likely to stay ahead of the curve. The toolkit acts as a guide for businesses to future-proof themselves by aligning with evolving societal expectations and values.

Moreover, the toolkit contributes to the creation of a more equitable tourism landscape. By ensuring that everyone can fully participate in and enjoy travel experiences, the toolkit fosters a sense of belonging for all. In doing so, it not only benefits businesses but also enriches the overall travel experience, creating a more vibrant and diverse tourism industry.

In conclusion, VisitEngland's Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses, with Mima's invaluable involvement, is a game-changer for the tourism sector. It sets new standards for accessibility, champions inclusivity, and charts a course for a more sustainable and equitable future in tourism. As businesses embrace this transformative toolkit, they not only enhance their own offerings but also contribute to a tourism landscape that truly welcomes all.

Access the VisitEngland Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Toolkit for Businesses here

Written by:

Photo of Oliver Bennett-Coles

Oliver Bennett-Coles
Head of New Partnerships & Marketing

Oliver has over 15 years worth of global marketing experience, managing marketing and new business teams in advertising, media, brand strategy and fast-growth software companies.