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News - 4 June 2005

Brighton welcomes disabled visitors

Brighton & Hove has recently been inspected by national charity Tourism for All and has been commended for many good policies and initiatives. However there is more that can still be done to improve the city for disabled people.

The audit looked at places tourists might visit, such as visitor attractions, hotels, B&Bs, cultural venues, restaurants and shops and gauged how accessible they are for people with disabilities.

Tourism For All found that the city already had many successful policies and schemes including good information for disabled visitors, a first-rate public transport network and excellent access to the main shopping and entertainment areas with a ‘shopmobility’ scheme hiring out wheelchairs and electric scooters.

However more work is still needed and the audit highlighted how continued improvements to kerbs, paving, street furniture and disabled toilets in central areas would help the city to become even more successful in attracting disabled visitors.

Chair of the culture and tourism committee Cllr Sue John said, “Obviously making the city as accessible as possible for disabled visitors is the right thing to do, but there are also financial benefits.

“There are an estimated 8.5 million disabled people in the UK with a combined spending power of £40 billion. However only 2.5 million travel on a regular basis, meaning there is a large proportion that doesn’t go on holiday because they are concerned that destinations aren’t suitable for people with disabilities.

“If Brighton & Hove gets it right, we could attract a large share of that potential market, with excellent implications for the local economy and benefits for the disabled people who live here already.

“The council will look at how it can make improvements, but we will be sharing the results of the audit with local businesses so that they continue to improve too.”

The disabled access audit was carried out as a benchmark for other towns and cities throughout the whole of the South East. More regional events are planned in which the city will play host to representatives from other destinations in the region keen to learn about our successes and future plans.

The council’s culture and tourism committee will discuss the audit’s findings on 9 June.

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Tourism, entertainment and hospitality
Brighton & Hove City Council
Tourism for All
John, Sue

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