British Toilet Association: Archived News from the British Toilet Association
Hudson’s Heritage and Tourism For All present OpenBritain
With the Olympics and Paralympics only months away, the UK is gearing up
to welcome the world’s finest athletes along with thousands of visitors from
across the globe. Hudson’s Heritage has been working alongside Tourism
for All to create the OpenBritain phone app and new website – to be
launched in March, and to encourage the hospitality industry to take the
business of being welcoming to all seriously by providing a genuine marketing outlet. A preview was given to the delegates at The Market To Win conference which took place on Tuesday 24th January at the BT centre and included commentary and seminars from some of the leading experts in hospitality, tourism and sports.
Facilities for disabled visitors are often lacking, and where they do exist, are
not notified to potential customers. This means the industry is missing out
on a substantial potential market. As the UK sees an influx in foreign
visitors for the games, there will be many who need these facilities, and
businesses of all kinds need to be prepared, ensuring any equipment they
have is serviced, making improvements in areas that currently aren’t accessible and ensuring that they share their accessibility messages with potential visitors. In addition businesses need to ensure their staff are fully equipped and confident to welcome any guest, whatever their ability, which includes understanding facilities available and how to operate these.
Philippe Rossiter of the Institute of Hospitality kick started the conference with a wealth of knowledge of the sector, and how accessibility can open up sizeable markets. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson also spoke about the importance of accessibility alongside popular TV personality Loyd Grossman who talked about his passion for heritage and the need for these facilities on a much wider scale. Magnus Berglund of Scandic hotels, who as Disability Ambassador has made a great success by improving accessibility with mostly very simple improvements throughout the hotel chain, told the conference how all investments made in accessibility by his company had repaid themselves within a short period, and were now putting Scandic at the forefront of European and international business, especially for conferences.
Tanni Grey-Thomson commented;
“The message of the conference was that now we have entered 2012, there’s only a short time left for businesses to make sure they are ready to welcome Paralympians and their families. The conference encouraged those businesses to get in touch with experts like Tourism for All to ensure that they are doing all they can and are getting the right information to potential customers.”
Tourism for All and Hudson’s Heritage are working together with DisabledGo
and the tourist boards to bring accessibility in the UK tourism market to the
forefront, in the form of an Open Britain app which will give ‘on the go’
disabled visitors the ability to search for sites close to their current location
with the facilities they need, as well as being able to browse by selected
profile. This will be available in March and supported through the website, which will also offer an unrivalled nationwide search of accessible tourism sites. Companies wanting to ensure that their business is represented should contact email@example.com
Jenny Littman, CEO of Tourism for All UK, presenting the new OpenBritain app, also called on businesses to take the simple step of joining Tourism for All as a way to tap into unrivalled knowledge of accessibility in the hospitality sector, to gain free access for staff to TFA’s Access for All online training programme, get free advice, and network with peers to work with government and disability groups to show commitment to this market. This will enhance business reputation, and ensure a presence within the OpenBritain initiative.
The Market to Win conference was sponsored by Remploy, experts in employing disabled people and Thales Alenia Space, as part of their involvement in the Inclusion Project, a European initiative to produce accurate satellite mapping, including producing a new satnav for accessibility. It was hosted by BT, who have been instrumental in creating an opensource geo-location platform to underpin the development of OpenBritain
30 January 2012
Further information from:
Mike Bone, British Toilet Association
T: +44 (0) 1403 258779