Access Tourism NZ » Accessible Tourism

By: Access Tourism Nz  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Tourism, Disabilities, Tourism Services

Access Tourism NZ » Accessible Tourism

1 Dec

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  • raising awareness, sensitizing stakeholders and economic operators in the tourism sector
  • gathering knowledge about demand from travellers with special access needs
  • identifying options to improve the offer of accessible tourism services

30 Nov

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Two new text books on accessible tourism are available through the European Network for Accessible Tourism () from Channel View Publications. The first is “” (eds: Dimitrios Buhalis and Simon Darcy), which sets out to  explore and document the current theoretical approaches, foundations and issues  in the study of accessible tourism.  Professor Nigel Morgan, The Welsh Centre for Tourism Research states that this volume harnesses “the best conceptual  developments on the topic” and that it will “take accessible tourism and universal design debates into the mainstream of academic enquiryand industry practice“

29 Nov

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WorldHost is a customer service training programme that has already been used to train nearly one million people worldwide. It was developed by British Columbia tourism authoritiesfor the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010.  , a UK disabilities NGO, with the support of  (English Tourism Board), has the programme for the , including additional learning modules on serving customers with disabilities, service across cultures and welcoming tourists to the country.  The 785-bedroom Strand Palace hotel in London has become the first organisation in the UK to be WorldHost Recognised Business status, with over 80% of its front-line staff having been trained to WorldHost customer service standards.

25 Nov

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The online tool provides detailed guidance on the information that may be required by people with access needs when visiting a pub.   VisitEngland requires any business that is part of the quality assessment schemes for accommodation and attractions to have an Access Statement.   The national tourist board is also working with partners like the British Hospitality Association to provide tailored guidance for the many varied experiences visitors can have when on holiday in England.

The new tool encourages businesses to write a general introduction describing the location (city centre, countryside, coast), and to summarise any specific services and facilities suitable for people with access needs. In addition, information may also cover the following areas:

Pre-Arrival – transport services, a description of the streets in the area surrounding the pub (e.g. paved/cobbled/level/uneven), information provided in alternative formats such as large print and audio.

Car Parking and Arrival – car parking, drop off points, alternative entry points, number of steps, handrails and ramps.

Bar & Bar Area and Dining Area/Restaurant – access to the area and layout, lighting, seating and tables, floor surfaces, alternative formats of menus available.

Beer Garden/Outdoor Area/Smoking Area – accessibility of outdoor furniture,
service offered to customers in outdoor area, layout (e.g. pavement, terrace, play area).

Additional areas that are covered include: public toilets, accommodation and future plans for improvement.

Ross Calladine, VisitEngland’s Skills, Welcome & Accessibility Manager notes that people with access needs require specific information about a venue in advance in order to be able to make an informed decision about whether an establishment can cater sufficiently for their needs.   “Pubs, like any other tourist venue, should provide as much information to visitors as possible – this will help to enhance the visitor experience and also highlight areas where the business could improve” said Calladine.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, British Beer & Pub Association said that the association was delighted to work with VisitEngland on this tool. “Access Statements are a great way for pubs to ensure customers with any specific access needs have the information they need.   Whilst it is not always easy for pubs to adapt what are often historic buildings, great service and accurate information are key in ensuring that as many people as possible enjoy Britain’s pubs. This tool will play a valuable role in enhancing pubs as the home of great hospitality in the UK.”

Once a business has created their Access Statement they can then make this information readily available to visitors. Pubs can promote their statement on their website if they have one, or post it where they have a listing on a company site or a generic ‘pub finder’ site. It should also be kept on hand for bar staff to use when describing over the phone what facilities they have.

23 Nov

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  • Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director, ENAT

22 Nov

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21 Nov

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Commenting on the launch of the guide, Dr Gregory Burke, Chief Executive of DisabledGo noted that it will make a real difference to both residents and visitors to the City who have access concerns, empowering them to find services and venues that suit their own specific requirements.  The online guide will provide benefits for business too, helping them reach more customers by publicising the access they offer.

Current figures estimate that there are 11 million disabled people in Britain who spend £80 billion each year, numbers that every business should take notice of. All businesses that take part also receive Disability Awareness Manuals, designed as a 20 minute introduction to disability and access.

All of the information provided in the online version of DisabledGo-Leicester will also be available on the ‘Looking Local’ service on the red button on local TV, so that if people don’t have access to a computer at home, they can still get the information they need.

18 Nov

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The map of the Accessible Road encompasses Montreal, Quebec City and the countryside. It has dozens of hotels, inns, campsites, cycling trails, parks and wilderness experiences, museums and cultural venues, all with adapted facilities, and all recommended by Kéroul. “These are our ‘coups de coeur,’ these places are as good as it gets,” said Monique Bouchard, project director of Kéroul’s Accessible Route.  “They have features that make them accessible and their staff members are trained to welcome people with physical restrictions.”

Kéroul’s map also explores outdoor adventure. The rugged region of Mauricie, a land of forests, mountains and lakes, is a new-for-2011 addition to the Accessible Road. The Parc National de la Mauricie attracts nature lovers for wildlife observation, picnics and trails – endorsed for their manageable terrain, which is suitable for wheelchairs. Bicycle paths are prized by Kéroul because they are easy to navigate for someone cruising in a motorized wheelchair.

10 Nov

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9 Nov

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Special Needs Group has also formed a new advisory board, the SNG Inner Circle, consisting of key players in the travel industry such as cruise line CEOs, etc. The board will convene several times per year to discuss key travel accessibility issues and how to improve travel experiences for individuals with special needs.

8 Nov

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“More than 5.4 billion mobile phones are in service today while, according to the latest WHO-World Bank Report on Disability, 1 billion persons live with disabilities – 54 million in the United States alone – including a large proportion of seniors,” said conference co-organizer Axel Leblois, Executive Director of G3ict. “The M-Enabling Summit will be the first opportunity for all stakeholders involved to participate in a groundbreaking sharing of experience among mobile industry, private sector leaders, senior and disability organizations, IT professionals, operators, apps developers, government, and accessibility experts.”

The Summit will be held in Washington D.C. from December 5-6, 2011 at the Gaylord
National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor.

7 Nov

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Now Ontarian restaurateurs have a solution in  -  a website developed by Geoff Collis – where  participating restaurants can place their menus so that they can be accessed not only with assistive devices but portable devices such as mobile phones.   Menus can be read before a patron even gets to an establishment.   The first restaurant leading the way by participating is in Mississauga.  Owner Hans Sturzenbecher has clearly understood the need for accessibility in all aspects of his establishment and is the first restaurateur to have his coded for accessibility on the site so that Ontarians, visitors, or tourists with disabilities and mobile phone users can access it with their assistive devices either at home, en route or in the restaurant itself. Restaurant owners wishing to know more about this initiative can access a , , or visit their .

4 Nov

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The is a major international travel industry event held over 4
days.  Last year, nearly 50,000 industry participants, and over 5000 exhibiting companies took part in the market.  This year, the market is being held on 7-10 November in London, and will have two seminars and an Advice Clinic on accessible tourism.  One seminar will cover the and will be chaired by John de Vial of the British Travel Association ().  The second seminar will be presented by members of the European Network for Accessible Tourism () and will highlight .  The session will be introduced by , a one-time intern at the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute of Auckland University of Technology () and a contributor to Access Tourism New Zealand.  The advice clinic will be run by of Tourism for All UK, and 15 minute one-on-one sessions are available by someone to speak to from a list of fourteen industry experts.

1 Nov

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Any operator who wants to have an accessibility symbol in the Tourism Guide will have to go through QTS and get evaluated. For the 2012 guide, while the inspections are being done, all operations that now say they are accessible will get a partial accessibility symbol. In 2013, only ones that have gone through the Access Advisor program will be able to have those symbols in the guide. Tourism PEI said it’s important for people to get what they are expecting. QTS has already evaluated more than 100 Island properties.

27 Oct

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represents a collaborative training program between the and the . The program includes a series of free webinars and audio conferences on different topics of accessibility. Sessions are held on a monthly basis and cover a variety of topics concerning accessibility to the built environment, information and communication technologies, and transportation. The training is being coordinated and hosted by the  to provide accurate and quality training on the Architectural Barriers Act and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA/ABA) Accessibility Guidelines and on electronic and information technology accessibility standards (Section 508).  The next section is on and is being held on November 3rd.  You can submit .

25 Oct

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This proposal is the latest in a series of DOT rulemakings to implement the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).  In the ACAA rule issued in May 2008, DOT required carriers, among other things, to make discounts available to passengers with disabilities who cannot use inaccessible web sites and therefore must make telephone or in-person reservations. Also, if passengers with disabilities are unable to use the kiosk because it is not accessible, carriers are required to provide equivalent service, such as having an airline employee assist in operating the kiosk.  However, these provisions do not give passengers with disabilities, especially those with visual and mobility impairments, independent access to the websites and kiosks, and in this final rule the Department committed to exploring how to make websites and kiosks accessible. 

10 Oct

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Following the signing in Vicenza, in May 2011, the new Italian National Tourism Code (Decree 79 of 5/23/2011) was passed into law, to be in force from 21 June.  This marks a major step forward in the Italian legislation on Accessible Tourism.  The Minister of Tourism, Michela Vittoria Brambilla is Chair of the Executive Council Board of the UN World Tourism Organisation and in that role in Nairobi in July 2011 has proposed to 154 countries and 400 other WTO member organizations to sign up to the Manifesto. The first interested countries can sign the document already from the next UNWTO meeting which should take place in Cambodia in October.

28 Sep

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The World Tourism Organization (), the Foundation for Cooperation
and Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities and the European Network for Accessible Tourism () have signed a aimed at developing ever more accessible tourism for persons with disabilities (Madrid, Spain, 16 September).

“The facilitation of tourist travel for persons with disabilities is a central part of responsible and sustainable tourism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. The Executive Vice President of the ONCE Foundation, Alberto Duran López, stressed the importance of counting on the support of UNWTO. “We are happy to work with UNWTO and ENAT and trust this partnership will significantly advance equal opportunities and rights for persons with disabilities,” he said.

The President of ENAT, Lilian Müller, expressed the hope to “bring a greater awareness of ‘Accessible Tourism for All’ among UNWTO members and to provide  them with new tools and resources so that they can make effective progress in  this growing field of tourism”.

Aimed at enabling universal access to tourism facilities and services, the Agreement entails a series of initiatives, including awareness-raising, technical support, indicators and training in the field of accessibility to national tourism administrations and tourism enterprises. The trilateral accord also involves the promotion of traineeships for young persons with disabilities, with a view towards their integration in the labour market. It further encompasses the funding of pilot projects in destinations, involving the application of new technologies, to facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities in tourism and leisure-related activities.

23 Sep

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The Accessible Tourism Destination Certification Programme or ATDCP is based on an extensive audit of the Destination Management Organisation’s accessible  tourism policies, infrastructure, transport, services and visitor information, and includes accessibility assessments of the outdoor environment, overnight accommodation, attractions, and activities and offers for visitors including persons with disabilities, older persons and families with small children.

Designed and developed by accessibility and tourism experts, TGB Belgium, the ATDCP is a completely new destination management tool which provides an accurate measure of the excellence of an accessible tourism destination, based on strictly defined criteria.

The Accessible Destination Certification Programme involves assessment meetings with destination managers coupled with on-site audits and document analysis, thus building a picture of the capacity and level of achievement of the accessible destination.  Each element of the assessment is scored against a set of indicators, thus enabling managers to track the destination’s performance over time and allowing for benchmarking across any number of destinations.

The Programme also provides a tailor-made Action Plan for destination managers, with priorities for improvements to be made in the different facets of the accessible destination.  The Action Plan aims to ensure that the destination will continue to develop and improve its offers to all visitors, giving them fulfilling, accessible experiences, whatever their interests and regardless of their age or abilities.  The TGB Accessible Tourism Destination Certificate is valid for two years, after which time it must be renewed through a re-assessment process.

9 Sep

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  • highlight the existence of Accessible Tourism through hosting events that will draw attention to this niche in the tourism sector
  • provide information on Accessible Tourism to the public locally and internationally
  • make known to the public the obstacles and challenges in Accessible Tourism and ways to overcome them
  •  encourage a tourism system in Malaysia that welcomes people with disabilities having good liaison between disabled organizations and tourism organizations so that attractions can be facilitated more systematically.
  • encourage the Ministry of Tourism in Malaysia to do more research in promoting Accessible Tourism.
  • advocate for the removal of architectural and transportation barriers that prevent people with disabilities from sharing fully in all aspects of our society including going for tours.
The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: Disabilities, Text Books, Tourism, Tourism Services

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