Press release -
Hope for the best in Accessible Tourism
A rising star of Scottish para-swimming is backing a scheme to help make Glasgow one of the country’s most accessible tourism destinations.
Hope Gordon, who also represents Scotland in para-rowing, today (Wednesday 8 July) helped VisitScotland launch its new Glasgow holiday itineraries, which highlight some of the visitor attractions that have made a commitment to accessible tourism, including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Glasgow Film Theatre and the Centre for Contemporary Arts.
The accessible itineraries, which contain things to see and do in Glasgow and Strathclyde Country Park during next week’s IPC Swimming World Championships and beyond, is available to download from today at www.visitscotland.com/holidays/accessible/. VisitScotland commissioned disabled access review website Euan’s Guide to ‘road test’ each itinerary.
There are plans to produce accessible itineraries for other parts of Scotland at a later date.
Twenty-year-old Hope today gave a talk to tourism representatives at Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie, one of 25 local businesses that have taken part in VisitScotland’s Glasgow and Strathclyde Country Park Accessible Tourism Destination Pilot Project.
As part of the project, the businesses have committed to creating online Access Statements, which clearly define their accessible facilities, and completing a VisitScotland Accessible Tourism online training course. VisitScotland worked closely with VisitLanarkshire, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and a number of other Glasgow partners to deliver the pilot project.
People with access requirements include not only those with a disability, but also the elderly and those with young children.
The event at Hutchesons took place as Glasgow gears up to welcome the International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships from 13-19 July. Around 5,000 spectators are expected at the Championships, which will see 600 athletes from 70 countries taking part.
Hope, a fitness student at Forth Valley College in Falkirk, suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) – a neurological condition which affects the mobility in her legs and leaves her in constant pain.
Originally from Rogart in Sutherland, wheelchair user Hope trains in both Stirling and Strathclyde. She said: “As we saw during last summer’s Commonwealth Games, Glasgow already offers a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world, but producing these Access Statements and itineraries allows those with access requirements to find out more about what is on offer at hotels and attractions in and around the city. This will allow disabled visitors and others with access needs to better plan their holiday and make the most of their time in this amazing city.”
Chris McCoy, who heads up VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Project, said: “Access Statements allow people to make informed decisions about visiting a particular hotel or attraction, and I would like to congratulate all the businesses who are taking part in our pilot project. Glasgow is now on its way to becoming one of Scotland’s most accessible destinations, which is apt as the city is about to welcome disabled athletes from around the world for the IPC Swimming World Championships.
“The Accessible Tourism market is worth around £1.5 billion to the Scottish economy so, apart from anything else, ensuring this market feels as welcome as possible makes excellent business sense.”
Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Travel publication Rough Guides described Glasgow as the World’s Friendliest City. This project makes experience in Glasgow that much more accessible to all our visitors and enables everyone to enjoy what the city has to offer.”
Mark Calpin, Chair of the Lanarkshire Area Tourism Partnership, said: “Lanarkshire offers a variety of accessible attractions and accommodation including M&D’s and the Boathouse Gym and the Alona and Holiday Inn Express within Strathclyde Country Park. The partnership is committed to welcoming all visitors by improving customer service and information for anyone with additional access needs.”
James Rusk, Chairman of Glasgow Welcomes and restaurateur owner of Butchershop Bar & Grill and Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie, said: “Glasgow is an incredible city, renowned for delivering an amazing service to every guest who visits. These itineraries are an extension of the service we already offer to our guests in a condensed accessible context, with our ‘same way, every day’ company ethos. Not only do they help each and every customer understand our facilities and what we offer at our venues, but they also enable guests to plan their experience based on their own access needs, which is an invaluable customer service tool.”
Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, was also at the event to talk about the website’s support of the project.
A selection of high-resolution images will be issued early this afternoon. For more information, please contact Louise.email@example.com or call 0131 472 2052
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Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
Year of Food and Drink 2015
- 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
- Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
- A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
- For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland