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March 19, 2013

A press release I’ve just received:

Every tourism business can reach out directly to the lucrative accessible tourism market from today with the help of the new website., which is being led by the charity Tourism for All UK, is set to become the leading website for disabled visitors into and within in the UK. It has been developed in direct response to feedback from last year’s Paralympic Games when a large number of Britain’s disabled visitors said that they found it difficult to piece together all the information they need.

The service, whose founding sponsors include Clos-o-Mat, Omni Serv and AVH, will also provide comprehensive listings of mobility equipment suppliers. This means it will be equally useful to operators seeking to make their facilities and services more accessible.

Speaking at the OpenBritain launch at the House of Lords today, the famous Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said “Planning any sort of trip when you have a physical disability can be a real challenge. Bringing together all the information that’s needed into one site will be a tremendous help and is long overdue. I hope that every hotel, attraction and restaurant in Britain will take advantage of the chance to easily promote their facilities to disabled travellers.”

Over one-quarter of the UK population have a long standing health problem or disability, making the demand for accurate information about accessible services and facilities a national imperative. Conservative estimates value the disabled travel market in excess of £2 billion and the biggest single barrier for travellers is piecing together all the information so they can manage (source VisitEngland, March 2012).

“In our inclusive society, it is vital we enable as many people as possible to enjoy the facilities Britain has to offer,” says Ian Tomlinson, Commercial Director of Clos-o-Mat, lead sponsor of today’s OpenBritain launch. “To our mind, that includes making sure there are appropriate toilet facilities for them. We go to the toilet several times a day; research shows people will decide NOT to visit somewhere unless they are sure there are suitable, clean and working toilet facilities, so there is commercial sense in helping people ‘spend a penny’!”

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