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A recent ‘survey’ by Vitalise has led to a lot of pressure and publicity around accessibility in the tourism industry. Vitalise say:

“Only half of the UK’s top 100 most-visited attractions responded to Vitalise’s request for their basic accessibility information, despite repeated approaches from the charity. Of the 52 venues that did respond to the Vitalise survey:

– Almost two thirds (63%) said they were not fully wheelchair accessible;

– A quarter of venues (25%) had no disabled car parking spaces at all;

– Only 13% of places said all their staff had received disability awareness training; and

– Over a quarter (26%) did not have the essential accessibility information available on their websites.”

As yet Vitalise have not issued the full study but the initial findings are not surprising. What will be interesting is to find out their methodology, response periods and how they are defining “fully wheelchair accessible” and to what extent the survey takes account of the fact many of the attractions are listed buildings. For example what if an attraction has good wheelchair access to 95% of its offer, but the remaining 5% isn’t physically wheelchair accessible? Perhaps they have not been allowed to make it wheelchair accessible and have therefore adopted a virtual tour ? What is “fully wheelchair accessible”? Is this survey an oversimplification?