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Accessible Tourism


Worldwide there are over one billion disabled people, including over 78 million in the USA and 75 million in Europe. There are over 12 million disabled people in the United Kingdom alone. At the same time, the UK market is ageing: it is estimated that by 2025 more than a third of the UK’s population will be over 55. While people are living longer and staying active until much later in life, more have, or will have, access requirements.

The inclusive tourism market is made up of families, friends and carers of disabled or older people, plus families with young children. This market will continue to increase as the UK’s population ages and the benefits for businesses and destinations catering to accessible tourism are growing.

By making your hotel, guesthouse or tourist business more accessible, you are instantly making your business more attractive to at least 12 million potential disabled visitors from here in the UK, and millions more from abroad. Visitors who travel frequently, stay longer than average, and spend more per trip.

It is clear that inclusive tourism is a growing market and, as such, Edinburgh’s tourism industry will benefit from a greater focus on this market. Increasing industry awareness and understanding of the accessibility requirements of visitors is the first step to making Edinburgh accessible for everyone.

Want to know more – check out the ETAG – Making Your Business More Inclusive – Business Opportunities Guide also available in a word format here: ETAG Accessible Tourism- Everyones Edinburgh

For specific information on making your social media more accessible – use this how-to guide from Inclusion Scotland.

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To check you are offering the correct facilities, and that you are accurately informing your visitors exactly how accessible you are, have a look at the VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism advice.  Training is also available at the VisitScotland’s Online Training Resource – this can provide you with guidance on how to meet the needs of the accessible tourist and how to build an effective access statement for your business.

Accessible Tourism Articles & Resources

VisitScotland’s New Inclusive Tourism Guides

Posted on 28 November 2023

VisitScotland has announced the completion of an inclusive tourism project in partnership with AccessAble, to deliver 100 Detailed Access Guides for selected accommodation providers and attractions across Scotland. These Detailed Access Guides let users know what access will be like when they visit a venue, from the route getting in, to what is available inside. Inclusive tourism is […]

Disabled Access Day 2016

Posted on 17 December 2015

Disabled Access Day is all about encouraging disabled people to visit a venue they’ve never been to before, whether that’s a museum, a coffee shop or restaurant, a theatre, or anywhere else. For tourism businesses, it is the perfect day to increase awareness about your accessibility, raise the profile of your business and attract new […]

Article: Making it easier for visitors to find their way

Posted on 22 May 2014

Google has “added data for “every bus, train, tram and ferry across the U.K.” – allowing Maps users to evaluate different public transport options from right within the maps interface,” making it easier than ever for visitors to plan their travel. Read more