HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holiday...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Earlier this month ABTA announced new guidance and a checklist to help members better understand disabled customers’ needs. As the MD of the UK’s leading accessible holidays tour operator I have been championing the cause of accessible tourism since I set up Enable Holidays ten years ago and I welcome this move by ABTA. However, there’s still a long way to go.

Enable Holidays is the only disabled travel specialist to inspect each and every property it features in its programme and I know from personal experience that although many hotels claim they are accessible and offer fully adapted facilities, on inspection they fail to meet expectations.
Regardless of whether misleading information has been supplied intentionally or unintentionally owing to a lack of awareness of the needs disabled travellers, it gives the industry a bad name. The problem is that many businesses, and not just those in the travel industry, see improving the quality of their services and providing better access to their premises as a burdensome task.
It should however be recognised as a golden opportunity. According the ‘2012 Legacy for Disabled People: Inclusive and Accessible Business’ produced by Atkins Limited for the Office for Disability Issues, the UK alone has an estimated 10.6million disabled people who have a combined annual spend on goods and services of up to £80billion!
The report also states: “Businesses with a better focus on the disabled customer have seen a rapidly expanding customer base, increases in sales and profitability, have gained a substantial ‘foothold’ in their market and a distinct advantage to their competitors.”
But the onus is not only on business owners and destinations improving accessibility. People working across the industry, from airport information assistants to tour guides, need to properly understand disabled customers’ needs.
Understanding the needs of travellers is essential to ensure everything goes smoothly from the flight to the transfers, the accommodation and booking excursions in resort. At the moment the majority of mainstream operators don’t have the knowledge required and don’t know the right questions to ask, and if they do they often feel too embarrassed to ask them.
This is where a truly specialist tour operator like Enable Holidays comes in as we have visited every property and we know the smallest details down to the door widths, bed heights and ramp gradients, information about floor surfaces, the number of steps and the availability of special equipment.
But sourcing and checking the accessibility of hotel accommodation is only half the story. Our service also covers contacting airports and airlines to arrange any assistance that may be required, organising adapted transfers and providing a tailor-made holiday service to meet precise requirements.
Unfortunately, through our work we’ve discovered that vital information about services provided for disabled passengers or those with limited mobility is often not made readily available. For this reason we were delighted to hear that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently set out its approach to meeting its new publication duties, following an extensive consultation with stakeholders representing industry, communities and consumers.
Iain Osborne, Director of Regulatory Policy at the CAA, recently admitted that reliable, accurate and easily understandable information can help build better relationships between businesses and those affected by their actions. However, left to their own devices, aviation markets may not always provide the information that consumers and the public want.
Despite all this, however, it’s not all bad news and there are businesses in the travel and tourism sector who are providing an excellent service to disabled travellers and some terrific adapted properties. In fact we have recently launched our brochure for 2014 featuring an additional 50 properties and ten new destinations.
So while there is still along way to go in achieving excellence across the industry, progress is being made towards what the German National Tourist Board termed in its recent campaign ‘barrier-free’ travel. And, following the release of the new guidance from ABTA, we hope that accessible tourism will climb more swiftly up the industry agenda.

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