Let’s make the world a more accessible place
At Omnipods and Cabins we recently hosted our own survey across the whole of the UK to gather our very own data on the accessible accommodation on offer to travellers with additional mobility needs. The findings are a real eye-opener and demonstrate the ‘need for change’. It really does prove that the UK tourism industry needs to improve its accessibility options.
So what did the Accessible Tourism survey reveal?
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. The UK tourism industry has had a bumper year in 2021 but, what does a holiday in the UK look like for people with accessibility needs?
The survey revealed that 9 in 10 disabled people believe there are limited accessible accommodation options in the UK and the same amount of respondents said they would be more likely to take holidays in the UK if more accessible accommodation options were available.
Do you feel like you’re missing out on certain parts of the country?
Yes – 93%
No – 7%
A huge 93% of respondents felt that they are missing out on exploring parts of the UK due to a limited provision for their access needs. However, the spending power of disabled people and their families in the UK equates to £249 billion, 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.
“When organisations say accessible it often only means one small ramp or handles by the toilet. It’s not enough.”
Have you encountered accommodation that claims to be accessible, but is not?
Yes – 91%
No – 9%
Perhaps most shockingly, 91% of respondents said that they’d 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 are 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 one small ramp or handles by the toilet. It’s not enough”.
We have teamed up with Paralympian athlete Hannah Cockroft to Fight For Change, and commenting on the findings Hannah said:
"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 experiences 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
The results from the Accessible Tourism survey prove that we need to fight for change. We passionately believe accommodation should be accessible to all, and are currently the only provider of truly accessible garden pods and glamping units in the UK.
You might not know that the founder and director of Omnipods, Paddy Costeloe, had a life-changing boating accident that left him paralysed. As Paddy began to adjust to his new life in a wheelchair, he 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 was born.
“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. It’s time owners wake up and cater for all.”
Full survey results:
- 95% do not think there are enough accessible accommodation options in the UK
- 91% booked accommodation that has claimed to be accessible but upon arrival have found it not to be
- 71% of people try to find new places to stay to keep their holidays varied but often struggle to find somewhere that suits their needs so end up going to familiar locations
- 93% confirmed they feel they miss out on exploring certain parts of the UK due to limited provision for their access needs
- 95% would be likely to take more holidays in the UK if more accessible accommodation options were available.
We would like to thank everyone who took part in the accessible tourism survey. Together, we will continue to fight for change!
If you’d like more information on where in the UK you can stay in fully accessible accommodation, including in an Omnipod, please get in touch; www.omnipodsandcabins.co.uk
Thank you for reading,
Sarah, Ollie, Paddy and the Omnipod Team