Accessibility and hospitality have been worlds apart. That one room for wheelchair users at the end of the hallway, a terrible view, and only one bed. Hotel managers still have ugly design in their minds thinking hospital-looking bathrooms, and fear that “other” guests would never book the room. The Hotel Accessibility website has some great articles aimed at hotel managers. For example, this one titled, Hotel Managers – who is the sexiest of all? Here is an excerpt:
“In this day and age, thanks to all the progress that has been made, the most sophisticated wheelchairs, stunning design accessible bathrooms and of course smartphones and tablets have helped people facing a disability tremendously. And now they like to travel the world. Just like anybody else.”
As Marlies van Sint Annaland says, “If hotels invest a tiny percentage of their marketing budget on promoting their accessible facilities – rooms, pool, fitness, wellness – it will bring more than tenfold the investment in no time.”
While the emphasis of many accessible travel websites is on wheelchair users, it should not be forgotten that not everyone with a disability is a wheelchair user, for example, older ambulant people, people who are deaf, and people with low vision. However, a room that can accommodate a wheelchair user, can accommodate anyone.
Editor note: The Hotel Accessibility website is most useful for its written articles aimed at the hotel industry. It has a way to go before being useful for the traveller. Other sites do this better, for example, Travability.