Travel industry still failing to meet needs of disabled holidaymakers is unacceptable, says Revitalise

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26th January 2018

Charity responds to BBC One’s ‘Rip Off Britain’ as evidence travel industry needs to take disabled consumers more seriously.

National respite holiday charity Revitalise has responded to BBC One’s latest episode of ‘Rip Off Britain’, using it as evidence that the travel industry needs to take requirements of disabled holidaymakers more seriously.

According to the European Commission, by 2020 as much as 25% of tourism spending in Europe is expected to come from consumers with accessibility requirements. With the so called ‘Purple Pound’ estimated at a value of £249bn, there is not only a moral obligation for the travel industry to make itself more accessible to disabled people, but huge market potential.

In recent years, Revitalise has consistently campaigned on a variety of issues that affect disabled people and carers, including the need to make travel and tourism more accessible to disabled consumers. The charity’s own research found that 65% of disabled people had decided against visiting a tourist attraction due to accessibility concerns or a lack of information.

Revitalise has over 50 years experience of providing respite holidays for disabled people and carers, with 24-hour nurse-led care on call, at all three of its accessible holiday centres in the UK.

Commenting on the importance of change, Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds commented:

“For many years mainstream holiday providers have pledged to do more to cater to the needs of disabled consumers and we were delighted to see companies like Airbnb committed to accommodating disabled holidaymakers with their acquisition of Accomable late last year.”

“However, it is clear that some holiday providers are still falling short of being truly accessible and this is why it is essential that the travel industry take the requirements of disabled holidaymakers seriously.

“Imagine booking a holiday and turning up to the accommodation to find that you are unable to access the bathroom, or that the doors aren’t wide enough for you to fit through. While for many of us the concept is unimaginable, unfortunately it is very much a reality for disabled people. Not only does this lead to a complete lack of confidence in the eyes of disabled consumers, it also means that travel and tourism providers are seriously missing out.”

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