- Posted by Push Adventures
- On May 30, 2017
- 0 Comments
- #accessibletourism, #southaustralia, access, accessible, ageing, disability, family, inclusive, inclusive tourism, push adventures, pwd, South australia, tourism, tourism industry, travel, troubles, wheelchair
If only finding inclusive tourism experiences was as easy as playing Hide & Seek with a two year old! They let out squeals of delight at the mere thought of being found, and they jump out uncovering their hiding place before you really even start looking! Now if only inclusive tourism operators would start jumping out at us, that would be a dream come true… but a drain on the hip pocket!
So why is it so hard to find a tourism experience when you have specific access needs?
Because everyone is unique in their own ability… literally everyone! As for tourism operators, they aren’t always sure of how they can or do cater for the diverse needs of our population.
Unfortunately in the first instance businesses often only comply to the laws of the built environment through providing accessible car parks, bathrooms and ramps. Yes this is great, but is it enough? Everybody wants to participate in a meaningful experience, not just use the amenities!
Our mission is to work with tourism operators to help them identify and address any barriers to inclusion for people of varying ages and physical abilities. We know that by considering a person with high access needs, a wheelchair user, any changes you make to welcome people with this level of ability through the door will have a filter down effect, improving access for just about everyone… our growing ageing population included.
By working with the tourism industry, we want to give travellers access to;
- Detailed and accurate information;
- good customer service;
- a clear understanding of the physical environment
Together this sets an expectation for the traveller to determine how and if they can participate. People need to know in advance so they can set a realistic expectation of their likely participation. We need to educate businesses that the ‘wheelchair’ symbol is a national symbol of ‘access’ and needs more information to really provide a clear indication of exactly what facilities and services are available.
With the knowledge that a tourism operator is aware of their facilities, services and how people can participate, we believe this gives the traveller and travel companions confidence to go and enjoy the service. This allows more energy to be put into enjoying the holiday or experience, rather than the normal anxiety that embarking on a new experience usually creates for a person that has a specific access needs.
When a tourism operator gets it right, the most loyal travellers are created, a repeat visitor and a champion for word of mouth advertising.
Organising travel often gets put in the too hard basket for people with access needs, or people keep returning to the places they know work for them, forgoing gaining new experiences and getting out of their comfort zone or learning new skills, the very reasons most people travel.
When a business is confident in their ability to welcome everyone through their doors, travellers will in turn feel confident to go through them.
We have barely broken the surface to the change we want to see in the industry. We know there are some fantastic inclusive experiences out there, we just want businesses to make it easier for families like our’s to enjoy the enjoyment that travel brings. We are on a mission to search high and low and share what we find with our fabulous growing community… ready or not, here we come!