Businessman walking into a hotel
Accessibility and disability data organisation Handiscover is calling on the hospitality industry to improve their accessibility and accessibility information after its survey revealed that 32 per cent of disabled people in the UK are not having their accessibility needs met in hotels.

The organisation is now calling on the hotel and hospitality industry to prepare for a travel restart post-COVID adapted to all travellers after its research highlighted how over 14 million people in the UK are living with a long term illness or disability requiring specific accessibility needs.

Founded in 2015, Handiscover started as an online community and accommodation booking website for people with limited mobility, but is now adding accessibility management in the hospitality industry and others.

Handiscover believes that if accessibility, accessibility information and greater training was in place across the travel industry, the EU economy could benefit by up to 25 per cent against current level – that’s almost 196 billion Euros.

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To help businesses, Handiscover has developed and released an industry leading ‘accessibility standard’ for hotels which it provides free of charge to help hotels start working on their accessibility on their own.

Businesses needing help to improve accessibility can sign up for Handiscover’s Accessibility Management Program. The program includes accessibility data management and assessment, marketing expertise to help communicate accessibility to customers, and accessibility and disability education to help the hotel industry recover in a post COVID world.

Magnus Berglund, Accessibility Director at Handiscover said: “Improving accessibility in the hotel industry is not just a ‘nice’ thing to do, it is the ‘right’ thing to do and can generate huge increases in revenue for properties!

“The Handiscover Accessibility Management Program exists to help hotels, and other businesses, work with and improve accessibility in an easy way to the benefit of the day-to-day lives of millions of people who live with a disability.”

Sebastien Archambeaud, CEO at Handiscover added: “Ever since we launched Handiscover, our aim has simply been to use accessibility data to make booking accommodation easier for those with disabilities.

“We now want to take the knowledge and experience we have working with those with accessibility needs and help hotels and accommodation providers improve accessibility and knowledge. We want to let businesses know that improving accessibility is not a cost burden, but a means to actually improve business by catering to more customers.”

The research from Handiscover.com also revealed that 58 per cent of the disabled population who required assistance found that staff at hotels were not as knowledgeable about accessibility needs as they could have been. The figures demonstrate the importance of accessibility training and education among staff, according to the organisation.

News of the survey comes after disability charity Leonard Cheshire got together with online travel agency Expedia Group to produce a roadmap for the travel industry to be more inclusive and accessible for disabled people.

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