Moves to ensure tourists with access needs get the most from the Commonwealth Games were outlined today.
These include piloting access statements at Glasgow hotels, which give visitors a full and accurate picture of accessibility, and training volunteers in disability equality and awareness.
VisitScotland is leading efforts to harness the growing, high value market for tourists with access needs, who contribute around £325 million to Scotland’s tourism economy.
Speaking at VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism conference in Edinburgh today, Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said:
“Tourism is a major industry for Scotland and over the last year VisitScotland, along with partners like Capability Scotland and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, has been working hard to highlight the potential of accessible tourism. Next year we will expect to see a huge increase in visitors, thanks to world class events like the Commonwealth Games, and we must make sure that experience of coming to Glasgow is easy and enjoyable for everyone.
“Glasgow 2014 is working to ensure that communications, website and ticketing meet users’ needs and are integrating access requirements into venue planning. And so that everyone gets the same friendly welcome, the Frontrunners pre-Games volunteers are being trained on disability equality and awareness.
“Over the next year, VisitScotland will pilot the use of access statements with a group of key Glasgow hotels. Access statements provide visitors with a full and accurate picture of accessibility and if the pilot is successful, access statements could be rolled out across Scotland.
“VisitScotland is also working with Skills Development Scotland to further educate staff in VisitScotland Information Centres about accessible tourism. While a text descriptor, which can be downloaded to a phone to provide a running commentary of full access information for the EICC, is being funded by Scottish Enterprise to support today’s conference”