New European wide research* by Handiscover indicates that almost two thirds (62%) of disabled people in Scotland say that Hotels in which they have stayed have not met their accessibility needs. Handiscover, a leading accessibility and disability data organisation, is now calling on the Hotel industry to prepare for a travel restart post-Covid adapted to all travellers, by improving their accessibility or accessibility information, something which is much needed, according to the survey.
It’s thought that more than 14 Million people in the UK live with a long term illness or disability requiring specific accessibility needs, highlighting the importance of this research for the hotel and hospitality industry. Handiscover believes that if accessibility, accessibility information and greater training was in place across the travel industry, the EU economy could benefit by up to 25% against current level – that’s almost 196 Billion Euros.**
To help businesses, Handiscover has now developed and released an industry leading ‘Accessibility Standard’ for Hotels which it provides free of charge to help hotels start working on their accessibility on their own. Businesses needing help to improve accessibility can sign up for Handiscover’s Accessibility Management Program. The program includes accessibility data management and assessment, marketing expertise to help communicate accessibility to customers, and Accessibility & Disability Education to help the hotel industry recover in a post COVID world.
“Improving accessibility in the hotel industry is not just a ‘nice’ thing to do, it is the ‘right’ thing to do and can generate huge increases in revenue for properties! The Handiscover Accessibility Management Program exists to help hotels, and other businesses, work with and improve accessibility in an easy way to the benefit of the day-to-day lives of millions of people who live with a disability.” says Magnus Berglund, Accessibility Director at Handiscover.
Sebastien Archambeaud CEO Handiscover said “Ever since we launched Handiscover, our aim has simply been to use accessibility data to make booking accommodation easier for those with disabilities. We now want to take the knowledge and experience we have working with those with accessibility needs and help hotels and accommodation providers improve accessibility and knowledge. We want to let businesses know that improving accessibility is not a cost burden, but a means to actually improve business by catering to more customers”.
The research from Handiscover.com also revealed that 58% of the disabled population who required assistance, say that staff at Hotels were not as knowledgeable about accessibility needs as they could have been. Thus demonstrating the importance of Accessibility training and education among staff, not just at Hotels, but across industries.