22 August 2010 Access to Tourism - All Inclusive?

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful for a service provider to treat an individual unfairly on the grounds of disability. Hotels, airports and airlines have an obligation to provide reasonable adjustments which are legally enforceable via domestic and EU legislation respectively. Tour operators and travel agents should also have adequate knowledge on the accessibility of their resorts and hotels used by their company abroad and provide accurate useful information before someone spends their hard earned cash on a holiday.  

Trailblazers launched an investigation into the accessibility of the hotels and attractions of the tourist towns of the UK and overseas. The findings are revealed within our All Inclusive? report.

What we did

Over 200 Trailblazers from across the UK were surveyed, spending their summer investigating and collating evidence in an attempt to tackle the challenges of enjoying an accessible holiday.  

Trailblazers conducted undercover investigations on travel agents,hotels and tourist attractions across the UK. They filled out surveys, wrote blogs and used the internet and telephone, revealing that services are lacking and a lot can be improved both in the UK, and for holidays abroad.

For further information details of our findings can be found in our All Inclusive? report.


Key Findings

  • Eighty percent of young disabled people believe holidays are more expensive as a direct result of disability
  • Half of young disabled people said the accessibility of hotels and tourist attractions in the UK was poor or very poor
  • Almost 80 percent of young disabled people feel the standard of disability awareness among hotel staff members is poor or variable
  • 9 out of 10 of young disabled people feel that most high street and mainstream travel agents have poor disability awareness and knowledge of issues affecting disabled tourists
  • Several travellers reported landing in a foreign country to find their wheelchair has been broken by careless handling, leaving the traveller without any means to get around on holiday.

 Action Needed:

We are calling on hoteliers, travel agents, airlines and owners of tourist attractions to:

  • work with organisations like Trailblazers to come up with solutions to the problems faced by young disabled tourists;
  • ensure high-quality disability awareness training is provided to staff members;
  • put accessibility at the heart of the travel and tourism industry and ensure that all members of staff are aware of the accessibility of the facilities they work with;
  • install ramps, lifts and banisters to ensure accessibility throughout buildings;
  • increase the number of accessible rooms wherever possible;
  • ensure that accessible hotel rooms are spacious, well planned and, if en suite, have fully accessible bathrooms including walk in showers;
  • keep a stock of adaptations and equipment useful to disabled people; 

 * Correction - On page 11 of the All Inclusive? report the information on EasyJet's current policy on wheelchairs is incorrect. It should read, "Wheelchairs and mobility aids weighing more than 60kgs (excluding battery) can be accepted for travel provided they can be collapsed into separate parts weighing less than 60kg each."



1 Comment

  • LYNNE KIRBY replied on 14 Sep 2010 at 13:09
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    Congrats to the ambassadors at Trailblazers upon the publication of ‘All Inclusive?’ – Report 5 of the Inclusion Now series. Our founder was prompted to launch Enable Holidays after experiencing unbelievable difficulties travelling and staying abroad. This led to Enable Holidays becoming the only specialist travel company to personally visit overseas hotels and undertake a 150-point audit to establish their suitability for people with limited mobility. By introducing a unique grading system, our customers are able to select properties best suited for their specific needs.

    Unfortunately the travel industry has a long, long way to go until it can be looked upon as being ‘all inclusive’, but we our doing our bit with the airports, airlines, hoteliers and tourist boards to promote the need for improved facilities, services and accessibility. Keep up the good work Trailblazers – and we’ll do our best too!

    When contacting Enable Holidays, I am confident that wheelchair-users, people with limited mobility and slow walkers of all ages will receive nothing less than the best possible information and service to meet their precise requirements. For more about Enable Holidays, please visit www.enableholidays.com

    Kim Bradley
    Enable Holidays

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