Almost a third (32%) of disabled people in the UK say that hotels in which they have stayed have not met their accessibility needs, according to new European-wide research by Handiscover.
The 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.
It’s thought that more than 14 million people in the UK live with a long term illness or disability requiring specific accessibility needs.
However, 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.
To help businesses become more accessible, Handiscover has now developed and released an ‘Accessibility Standard’ for hotels to help them “start working on their accessibility on their own”.
Businesses needing help to improve accessibility can sign up for Handiscover’s Accessibility Management Programme, which includes accessibility data management and assessment, marketing expertise to help communicate accessibility to customers, and Accessibility and Disability Education to “help the hotel industry recover in a post-Covid world”.
Magnus Berglund, Accessibility director at Handiscover 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 Handiscover Accessibility Management Programme 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.”
Sebastien Archambeaud, CEO of 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.”