VisitLanarkshire is on target to provide accessibility guides for all the region’s attractions and accommodation providers by 2020.
The area’s official tourism body, which now offers accessibility information for 62 per cent of all attractions, has set the 100 per cent goal as part of the Lanarkshire’s Area Tourism Strategy.
Accessibility guides or statements cater for a range of users, from older people with limited mobility to parents with young children and those with a permanent physical disability or a temporary injury, such as a broken leg.
Visitors and guests are provided with full information before travelling, so they can assess whether the venue is accessible to them, regardless of their mental or physical additional needs.
In Scotland, there is a significant need for accessibility information due to the increasing elderly population as well as the one million people in Scotland who define themselves as disabled.
Statistics from VisitScotland show 135.9 million trips are being made in Scotland where a member of the party has an impairment or disability.
Additionally, the research shows that accessible tourism in Scotland is estimated to have contributed £1.3b to the Scottish economy.
VisitLanarkshire has been working in partnership with the leading access information provider, DisabledGo to create detailed access guides for attractions and accommodation providers.
Each guide provides comprehensive information and photographs of the attractions, showing the journey through each venue. The information such as parking restrictions, baby changing facilities and ramp access gives visitors the information they need to judge whether they will be able to visit the destination comfortably and confidently.
Recent work on improving accessibility information in the area has resulted in 49 per cent of Lanarkshire’s hotels having access guides from DisabledGo, alongside 75 per cent of campsites and 62 per cent of total attractions.
Detailed access guides for train stations and a number of shops around the area are also available. The access guides will be reviewed on an annual basis, ensuring that the information is continually updated.
Alongside the guides, staff at Lanarkshire’s attractions are also being encouraged to undertake specialised training by VisitScotland to improve the customer service offered to visitors and guests with a disability or additional access requirements, which aims to give staff a better understanding about disability, equality and diversity through videos and podcasts.
To find out more, go to www.visitlanarkshire.com