Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

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.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.


alick miskin grass rootsThe London 2012 Olympics is a huge opportunity for the leisure and hospitality industry, but it will also bring its challenges as we prepare for the influx of a diverse mix of tourists, sporting competitors and support staff visiting the Games.

With ten venues scattered from Glasgow and Newcastle to Cardiff and Coventry, visitors will be eating, travelling and sleeping around much of the country. Though many venues are in large cities, some like Weymouth and Brands Hatch are clearly not, and others like Hadleigh Farm and Lee Valley are well out in the sticks. This has some unexpected implications.

Making everyone welcome
London and most of our big cities are fairly diverse places. People from a huge range of nationalities, ethnicities and faiths live and work together; restaurants, pubs, hotels and places of worship cater for most needs; lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people feel generally at ease and public transport and hotels are largely accessible to disabled travellers. But this doesn't mean that those who live there will automatically be comfortable travelling to other, for them, unknown destinations. Some will be less comfortable doing this than well-travelled overseas visitors and occasionally their concerns will be justified.

Last year a Bristol couple in a civil partnership won a case against a Cornish B&B which wouldn't let them share a room. You cannot exclude same sex partners from your hotel or pub or ask gay or trans staff not to work their usual shifts in case their presence offends specific guests. Sexual orientation can still be an awkward area for people of some religions and cultures and it is important to know that UK law offers the same protection to LGBT people as it does to anyone who shares a 'protected characteristic', be it their ethnicity, gender, religion or disability.

Only age is unprotected when it comes to providing a service, as the Government is still considering how and when to introduce this, but it is unlikely to happen before the Olympics. So it's still notionally legal to refuse someone a room because they're too old (or too young) so long as it's shown to be an established policy and not a cover for some other form of discrimination. Pregnancy and maternity are also covered, although like disability, there may be health and safety factors that would make it reasonable to refuse admission say to an amusement park ride or scuba diving course.

The right ingredients
Catering for a diverse audience requires careful thought. Pork products including bacon, ham and possibly gelatine are proscribed by both Jewish and Muslim faiths; last week I saw pork gelatine listed on the ingredients of a supermarket fruit fool. Even if not pork derived, some Jewish and Muslim guests would require the source of the gelatine to have been appropriately slaughtered (Kosher or Halal) as they would any other meat product. Many Hindus and most Sikhs are vegetarian and with cows being sacred to Hindus, fish, eggs and beef products could be on a 'best avoided' list. Alcohol too is contentious; some Muslims as well as not drinking themselves would not wish to be anywhere where alcohol is served. And Christians may still need a fish option for Fridays.

Providing a comfortable environment
When determining where to stay, religion can have an unexpected impact. Muslims in particular will wish to have access to an appropriate mosque even if this is only to attend Friday prayers. Strict adherents of many faiths, particularly when this is apparent from their clothing, can feel uncomfortable when alone or in areas where few locals share their ethnic background. This sentiment is amplified for women, say in healthcare settings, or - if alone - perhaps when a room is being cleaned or while travelling by taxi.

Delivering a great experience
But it is around disability that accommodation and travel is most critical. Given the ever increasing popularity of the Paralympics and the huge demand for any Olympic ticket, there will be a lot of disabled spectators as well as support staff. Having enough accessible accommodation doesn't just attract individual disabled people but whole parties, as large groups, perhaps with only one wheelchair user, will all want to stay together. And as disability is as much about sensory as physical impairment; the key to ensuring a good guest experience is well-trained staff. Having staff understand the kind of adjustments to offer and how best to communicate with deaf or blind guests is far more critical than having the right 'kit'. Increasingly well travelled sensory impaired people have their own accessible applications for their smart phones and laptops.

While we all want to 'put on a good show' in 2012, most of the issues outlined here apply to the here and now. We should all be treating our guests as far as possible in ways they will find appropriate, but we must bear in mind that occasionally this will bring up issues that run counter to UK law, and these need to be carefully handled to minimise offence to both guests and the very staff we rely on.

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