Business Information & Insights
Questions & Answers
Some questions you may have about the accessible tourism and travel market – and the answers (where we know them)
Top Tips and Checklists
Our downloadable resources will help you to improve and promote the accessibility of your tourism business
Research and Surveys
TFA wants to build a better picture of the accessible tourism market – we survey travellers with access needs to help identify opportunities for businesses
Building the '3 Rs' of your business
Increasing – or just understanding – the accessibility of your business makes sense from so many points of view.
Embracing accessibility – making it easier for customers with access needs to use your facilities and services and to enjoy their experience with you – will help you to build the crucial '3 Rs’ of your business: your revenue, resilience and reputation.
Being accessible can help build your revenue
Tourists and travellers with access needs – and groups with members who have access needs – spend over £15 billion a year on trips in England. According to VisitEngland:
- £11.6 billion a year is spent on domestic day trips - that’s trips taken by people who are resident in the UK
- £3.2 billion a year is spent on domestic overnight trips
- £0.5 billion is spent on trips taken by overseas visitors
- Altogether, that totals £15.3 billion a year
Overall, according to VisitEngland, trips taken by those who have access needs, or who are part of a group where a member has access needs, make up 20% of the total annual value of domestic trips taken in England.
And this market is only going to grow:
- The population of the UK is steadily ageing, which means more customers will need that extra bit of support – and that will be good news for those businesses who can understand and address their customers’ access needs!
- In its Tourism Sector Deal of 2019, the UK government stated its intention for the UK to become the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025 and to increase the number of international visitors with impairments by 33% - which will be good news for businesses who can provide customers who have access needs with a great experience!
Being accessible can help build your resilience
Generating repeat business and maximising your trading season are critical to helping any business to thrive and remain sustainable.
A customer with access needs tends to be a loyal customer – a customer who will return again and again to a business which has given a warm welcome and great service. According to the Euan’s Guide ‘Access Survey’ 2019, 86% of people with access needs, their families and friends will make a return visit to a UK venue that has good accessibility.
Not only that, but customers with access needs tend to stay longer – and to spend more - on each visit. Plus, customers with access needs tend to travel with others – so welcoming one customer with access needs can mean you get bookings from a whole party!
Another point to consider is that customers with access needs often prefer to travel outside the normal high season, because the businesses they visit will be better able to offer them a warm welcome and great service. That means that welcoming customers with access needs can extend your trading season too!
Being accessible can help build your reputation
There is a legal dimension to accessibility. The Equality Act 2010 requires all businesses to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ – adjustments which are practical and manageable relative to the size and context of the business – to accommodate people with access needs.
But this can lead businesses to regard accessibility negatively - as just a series of ‘tick boxes’ and something to be addressed because you have to – rather than viewing it positively, as just another aspect of customer service, but one which can deliver real benefits.
Going beyond the minimum legal requirements can make a real difference to the service you offer to ALL your customers – not just those with access needs – and it will pay dividends. Not only do customers with access needs tend to stay longer, spend more and come back, they also tell their friends, family and the wider community about good travel experiences they have enjoyed. According to the Euan’s Guide ‘Access Survey’ 2019, 80% of people with access needs who enjoy a good travel experience will tell others about it.