Wed 8 Apr 15
As the tourism season swings into action, a call has gone out to remind Fife tourism businesses not just to be accessible to disabled visitors, but to tell people they are. The reminder comes from Euan MacDonald who is a powerchair user and creator of EuansGuide.com, an online guide to share information about places with great disabled access. The popular Guide, which has been endorsed by JK Rowling and Professor Stephen Hawking, gives disabled people the opportunity to share tips and information about venues and attractions that have good disabled access. Users can also find reviews written by people who face similar challenges or have similar tastes.
Euan's Guide already lists some great reviews of places in Fife. One reviewer commended The Harbourmaster's House in Kirkcaldy. They commented that they received a 'very friendly welcome' and that the staff 'sprang into action to open the extra double front door'. Another reviewer advises that the Adamson in St. Andrews is 'the place' to eat in the town!
Euan is calling for more businesses to promote the measures they have taken to be accessible. He advises businesses to advertise and promote their facilities by posting photos on their website, mention large print menus or disabled parking bays.
He said, "More than 90% of disabled people will check what facilities are available before visiting somewhere for the first time. Seeing a photo of an accessible toilet is often the deciding factor in favour of your business. A photo tells a disabled person how the toilet is laid out and if it is suitable for their needs."
There are around 11 million disabled people living in the UK and they are worth an estimated two billion pounds annually in the leisure and tourism economy. While visiting new venues and places can be exciting, it can also be daunting so reviews and information are vital for choosing where to visit.
Euan's Guide is also encouraging people to go online and share their positive experiences as they travel around Fife. The more people know about attractions in the area the more they will visit. And as Euan said, "Making your business accessible to disabled people is a great way to stand out from the competition and attract new customers."
Ann Camus, Fife Tourism Partnership manager, said, "A huge number of Fife tourism businesses have already put measures in place to make it easier for disabled guests to visit, but it is clearly important to promote these. We want to see Fife as a welcoming destination for all visitors and participating on Euan's Guide is a great way to help disabled people and their friends and family plan how best to see everything that Fife has to offer."
Cllr Lesley Laird, Depute Leader and Executive Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said, "Offering a warm welcome and great service to all our visitors is essential to ensure that Fife's tourism economy continues to grow. I'm delighted to see that Fife venues are already being recommended for their service and accessibility and hope that many more join the Guide soon."
Euan MacDonald is expected to be a guest speaker at Fife's tourism conference in November this year.
Businesses can promote their accessible facilities on the site by registering for free and disabled people can search for new places to go. People can also leave suggestions for businesses on how to improve their disabled access. If you would like to add your business to the site, please visit euansguide.com/venues or email [email protected]