Scandic has embraced the principles of universal design throughout its hotel chain for more than ten years. This makes for an interesting case study in inclusive tourism because it goes deep into hotel operations. So it is not all about wheelchair accessible rooms – it is much more. And as always with customer service, it is the little things, such as being able to reach the coffee cups at the breakfast bar. The article on the Norwegian Inclusive Design website, is short and to the point and shows how all hotels can benefit from small but effective changes to practices. The video below shows how they took a universal design approach. The architect said it was more about use of materials than wheelchair circulation space.
“The best evidence on that we are doing something right came from a guest. She told me that when she is staying at Scandic she is treated like a regular guest, not a disabled one”. Magnus Berglund, Scandic.
A new magazine, Travel Without Limits, is specifically aimed at individuals and families living with disability. The first issue is 48 pages of information, personal stories of travel experiences from around the world, and of course travel advertisements. It also contains travel tips for people with specific disabilities from small children to older adults. The publisher is Travel with Special Needs which also runs a website with holiday information.
Editor’s Note: This online magazine is on the Issuu platform which, in my opinion, is not the most accessible. Even expanding the page size 200% did not help the small size or clarity of the font. I couldn’t see an option to download a PDF version. It will be interesting to see if the magazine improves matters for people with disability when they travel. My feedback about a successful trip has more to do with the quality and availability of the information about accessibility, as well as staff competence in welcoming guests with disability. Good to see this as an addition to the inclusive tourism sector. Perhaps we should have a magazine for older Australians as well?
Yet another excellent resource for the tourism and travel industry – an industry now leading the way in best practice. Importantly, the principles and learning from case studies can be applied everywhere. The business world should take note of the good advice in Destinations for All: A guide to creating accessible destinations.
Included in the guide are several case studies, some statistics on the number of people left out if the destination if it is not inclusive, engaging with other businesses, and dispelling myths. It even challenges the notion that heritage issues make it impossible by showcasing the Roman Baths project. This guide is informed by research and can be applied as much to a day out in Sydney or Melbourne as a two week holiday in Scotland.