The potential of theaccessible market for Scotland Chris McCoyEquality and Diversity Manager
Drivers for VS Business• The ‘Tourism Framework for Change’ ambition is to ‘achieve 50% revenue growth through ‘social, economic and environmental sustainability’.• To keep ahead of the competition…..‘there needs to be a culture of enterprise and innovation across the industry to drive continual investment in new products and services that build on Scotland’s tourism assets and deliver fresh, engaging and distinctive visitor experiences…”(TFC)• Support our sustainability & CSR agenda by delivering on our Values in the Corporate Plan: i.e. Innovation – “seeking new and better ways of doing things, not afraid to take risks were justified.”• Meet our statutory duties under the New Equality Act
• “Accessible Tourism is a process of enabling people with disabilities and senior people to function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universal tourism products, services and environments. The definition is inclusive of the mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive dimensions of access. This also benefits people with small children, the SAGA market, people with temporary disabilities, and their travel companions.”• Accessibility is much more than accommodating for wheelchair users, it is about the attitudinal barriers.
This is not about political correctness• ..this is not about charity• It’s about a better return on your investment• It’s about higher occupancy rates• It’s about sales• It’s about just good business sense• “Just market to me like you market to the golfers.... I have money to spend I need good quality information, I need a smile... these cost very little.”
Who have we spoken to?• We have held 7 Consultation events since August 2011• We have spoken to the experts, over 100 people that understand!• Disabled People and their families and friends from all over Scotland• You would think?• “the doors are not wide enough” or “ you haven’t got a ramp?”
What have we really found?• TOP TWO BARRIERS:• Staff attitude: “it was how I was welcomed when I came thro the door”• “I was made to feel in the way.” “I don’t mind falling over boxes in the• corridor as long as people are nice to me”• Information :– “what was on the web-site bore no relation to reality• when I got there”• Quote from Karen Darke – Paralympic Cyclist• I have climbed up Mount Kilimanjaro so don’t tell me I can’t make it up your• stairs, just give me the info and I will decide”
• “An accessible room in one hotel doesnt compare to an accessible room in another hotel. It would be good to have a detailed list of facilities because then you could find out exactly what you needed rather than just being told we have an accessible room.”• “I think that it is important that we dont just focus to access to the room but also restaurant, pool, bar and all other areas that everybody else has access to.”
How many people are disabled?• “A market of over 900 million people in the world are disabled as a consequence of mental, physical or sensory impairment” United Nations Enable• In 2002 roughly 51.2 million or 18% of Americans stated that they had some form of disability” Employers Forum on Disability• Almost 4 million Australians or 20% of the population reported a disability in 2003• There are 4.4 million people with disabilities in Canada• “Disabled people represent 50 million persons in the European Union (10% of the European population), the equivalent to the population of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and the Netherlands together.”• 63% of people with disabilities are older than 45. Nearly 30% of people in the age group 55 – 64 report a disability and the incidence of disability will increase as the EU population gets older.
Disabled people in the UK• According to the DCMS website, there are 11 million disabled people in the UK – that’s 16% of the population.• Only 4% of people (1.2m) in the UK use a wheelchair. (NHS)• 2 million people in the UK have sight impairments (RNIB)• 9 million people are registered deaf and hard of hearing (RNID)
The Purchasing Power of the market“Almost half of disabled holidaymakersspend between £500 and £1000 on their “Australians with a disability are estimated toholiday, while 10% spend more than have a disposable income of 26 billion dollars£1,500.” Travel Weekly, 19. Feb 09 per year and remain a relatively untapped market”…”each year people with a physical disability spend up to $613 million on tourism alone.” New South Wales Government, Australia “$13.6 billion spent on 31.7 million trips each year by people with disabilities [in the US]” and “$27 billion per year could be spent by people with disabilities if certain needs were “The estimated annual purchasing power of people with disabilities [in the UK] is met.” Witeck-Combs Communications £80 billion per year.” Family Resource Survey 2002/2003 “In Europe as a whole there are 45 million disabled people with a purchasing power of €166 billion.” “In 2001 economically active Canadians Improving information on accessible tourism for disabled with disabilities had $25 billion Canadian people, European Commission, 2004 dollars available.” e-Bility.com“The large and growing market of people with disabilities has about$175 billion in discretionary spending, according to the U.SDepartment of Labour”Accessibility for persons with Special needs: European activities and opportunities
UK Market (UKTS)• In the UK, 11% (13 million) of overnight trips were made by or accompanied by someone with a disability, contributing almost £2.5 bn to England’s visitor economy in the 12 months 2009 (United Kingdom Tourism Survey)
Breakdown of Statistics: Jan – Dec 2009 Scotland• Respondent has a disability Disability Trips (thou) Spend (m) Wheelchair user 43 5m Blind 20 4m Deaf 65 4m Learning difficulties 24 5m• A member of the party has a disability Disability Trips (thou) Spend (m) Wheelchair user 19 4m Blind 48 14m Deaf 128 40m Learning difficulties 77 22m
Spending - ScotlandWith a Disability 2009 £18mWithin a party 2009 £80mTotal Spend £98mThis is only the UK domestic market, so in bound figureswould make a substantial increase in the spending figureThen we made some interesting comparisons with othertargeted markets: e.g.The China Market
Chinese market – IPS Survey• 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009P• Total Visits (000s) 7 13 14 9 12• Total Nights (000s) 61 58 104 253 71• Total Spend (£m) £7 £5 £7 £10 £5• Average yearly spend Chinese Market 2005-8 £7m
Compare the market!• UK Disabled Market for Scotland: £98m in one year,• Chinese Market for Scotland: average £7m over 5 years
Industry aspect• To provide you with the evidence of the business case for accessible tourism• Best practice case studies ( examples of successful promotion of the accessible tourism product)• What are the barriers for the industry• What are the current policies towards the accessible market• Attitude, to get behind the issues, destroy some myths• Communication barriers within the Industry, how do you engage with the accessible market, if at all?• Perceived practices that might facilitate the inclusion of disabled people.• What products and services would you provide for the accessible market.
Industry aspect contd• What are your perceptions of the accessible market ?• Is there a slight unspoken “unease” about perceptions of profit and disability in the same sentence?• Training requirements - what would the you need, in relation to staff training on accessibility
To do this we have• Set up Project Steering Group– to discuss all current research evidence, look at further research options, create a project plan, costs, timeline, resources, how to engage with the industry. Joint team with the Government, but chaired by VS.• We are making a film to showcase accommodation providers to share what we are calling “the best kept secret in Scotland”• Included AT within these industry events going all over Scotland• Plans for a major Accessible Tourism Conference Oct 2012 to engage the industry and the accessible market• Begun work looking at a customer service disability module training for the industry – using the consultation as a base line• Begun work on how you can prepare and load your own accessible statement on your web-site, both now, and on our new consumer site launched next year
What can you do?• Keep in touch with the AT project via email on our web-site• www.visitscotland.org email to: firstname.lastname@example.org• Take a copy of the guidance & sample accessible statement today, consider doing this for information on your own web-site• We will be producing further guidance on producing good copy for your web-site• Take a copy of the post-card and pass on to someone who couldn’t make today• Talk to us about this market, open the dialogue with local people ask local groups what can I do, get it on the agenda of your local tourism forum• Talk to your Quality Assurance Advisor, join the Accessible Scheme, part of the QA scheme in VS• Sign up for VS E Updates, for AT latest news•
Unlocking the potential...• Showing you that working with the accessible market is far more than just compliance with the law, it will give you a return on your investment• Establishing the economic argument for accessible tourism that is understood, assuring you that this need not be a costly exercise, some solutions are cost neutral e.g. not asking you to design more accessible rooms, but showing you a strategy for increased occupancy for the ones you already have.• Develop a strategy which will enable us to educate and sell the idea to you, the Scottish tourism industry, and to the traveller with accessible needs• Provide a tangible demonstration of social sustainable tourism which we believe will unlock the market