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Apr 08

Hospitality Industry Called Upon To Improve Accessibility Standards

Matthew

The UK’s hospitality industry has been called upon to make improvements where accessibility standards are concerned, with new research revealing that 32 per cent of disabled people are currently not having their needs met by hotels.

The research was carried out by accessibility and disability data organisation Handiscover, reported on by THIIS, highlighting that there are more than 14 million people now living in the UK with a long-term illness or disability that requires specific accessibility needs.

Handiscover is keen to see the hotel and hospitality industry prepare for a reopening and a return to relative normality after covid restrictions are lifted, suggesting that if accessibility information and standards, as well as better training, were in place, the economy could benefit by up to 25 per cent.

Accessibility director Magnus Berglund said: “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 study also found that 58 per cent of disabled people who do need assistance found that staff members at hotels weren’t as knowledgeable about accessibility as they could potentially have been, demonstrating just how important training and education actually is.

Further research, this time carried out by the Papworth Trust, found that 14 per cent of people with disabilities reported having difficulties when going out to pubs or restaurants, while 22 per cent said they have less choice about how they spend their free time because of accessibility concerns in comparison to non-disabled people.

Specific barriers include parking problems, issues with a lack of ramps and handrails, difficulty moving around inside because of stairs, doors and narrow corridors, and inadequate lifts and escalators.

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