The rules on holidaying in the UK have now been relaxed and the UK tourism industry is set to have another bumper year in 2021 but, what does a holiday in the UK look like for people with accessibility needs?
There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK and, for many, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable accommodation that allows them to explore different holiday destinations across the UK.
Omnipods & Cabins conducted an accessible tourism survey which reveals that 95% of disabled and mobility impaired people believe there are limited accessible accommodation options in the UK.
With 93% feeling that they are missing out on exploring parts of the UK due to limited provision for access needs. However, the spending power of disabled people and their families in the UK equates to £249 billion2, it’s a wonder more accessible holiday options are not available. After all, why shouldn’t people with disabilities and mobility needs enjoy what beautiful Britain has to offer?
Over 9 in 10 disabled and mobility impaired people would be more likely to go on holiday if more accessible options were available.
The challenges that are faced with accessible accommodation options is despite significant demand, 9 in 10 surveyed would be more likely to go on holiday if more accessible options were available.
With 91% of respondents saying that they’ve had bad experiences with accommodation that claims to be accessible but was in fact not. One person who took part in the survey said “some say wheelchair accessible, but you get there and there’s steps to get into the actual hotel, they say wet-room but it’s just a regular bathroom. The rooms are that small, I can’t get my chair around them, the beds are too close to the wall, the furniture is set up so I can’t get in the bathroom”. Whilst another survey respondent explained “when organisations say accessible it often only means 1 small ramp or handles by the toilet. It’s not enough”.
Commenting on the findings Paralympian and accessibility campaigner Hannah Cockroft shares
“I’ve been away with my partner and family on numerous occasions and feel anxious about what the accessible option actually entails. One of my worst experiencers to date was when I was staying in a London hotel and the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night, and we realized there was no accessible option for the fire escape and my dad had to carry me. I have stayed in accommodation that was advertised as accessible only to get there and find there is nothing. There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK, and we deserve to have accessible options when it comes to staying away, it’s time to fight for change.”
Fighting for change
Omnipods & Cabins are fighting for change, as they passionately believe accommodation should be accessible to all. Currently the only provider of truly, accessible garden pods and glamping units in the UK, Omnipods have teamed up with Paralympian and accessibility campaigner Hannah Cockroft to join the mission to make the world a more accessible place.
Founder and director of Omnipods Paddy Costeloe had a life-changing boating accident which left him paralysed. As Paddy began to adjust to his new life in a wheelchair, Paddy discovered a serious lack of holiday accommodation in the UK for people with disability and mobility needs. So, the idea of fully accessible, yet stylish, pods and cabins were born.
Commenting on the study Paddy Costeloe explains
“accessible accommodation options seem to be a no-brainer but by looking at these shocking figures highlighted from the survey it seems we need to fight for more procedures to be in place in the UK tourism industry and to make accommodation accessible. That’s why Omnipods and Cabins are fighting for more holiday parks and campsites in the UK to provide for people with mobility needs. Its time owners wake up and cater for all.”