By Dianne Smith, Chief Executive
‘Accessible tourism’ is not limited to experiences that comply with the mandatory Australian Disability Act building standards. It is a broad concept, especially in the context of an ageing population and with almost one in five Australians having a disability. Because of this, we need to think about inclusive and accessible tourism as something we do as part of normal business practice.
We congratulate and applaud Tourism Victoria and Gippsland Tourism for launching complementary Accessible Tourism Plans last week to address this very important aspect of our industry. To download a copy of Tourism Victoria’s new accessibility resource kit Accessible Tourism: It’s Your Business, click here.
England, Canada and Scandinavia are some of the leading destinations worldwide that specialise in inclusive tourism. Sandcastles Waterpark in the UK is a good example of an operator ensuring that the visitor experience is accessible.
Victoria could be the next great example of a destination with an embedded mindset of accessibility in the planning of tourism and events. We should strongly promote this. We already have some wonderful operators in Victoria who are setting a high standard in accessibility. Four of these were featured in the winter edition of VTIC’s magazine Tourism Excellence.
Let’s intensify our focus on how we promote accessibility moving ahead – it deserves more than being treated as a compliance matter alone. To quote Terry Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Destination Gippsland, “Good access is good business”.