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Accessible Irish Hotels

With the winter holidays coming up, people are looking for a nice place to enjoy Christmas and New Years with their family and friends. From an accessible perspective, are Irish hotels ready to accommodate and receive everyone properly?

Firstly, it is important to mention that according to the 2016 Census, one in seven people living in Ireland have a disability. This represents the total of 643,000 people in the country that may require accessible facilities in the built environment.

People with disabilities have a variety of different needs, and the built environment should provide the same range of facilities for all. It is noted that users comment there are some facilities that are more common to be provided in hotels, such as accessible bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. However, there are other provisions that are also noted from the user’s perspective that should be considered such as adequate lighting, automatic doors, accessible reception desks, accessible wardrobe rails, reachable towel rails, and even the view and location of the room. These provisions must be arranged according to legislation and guidelines.

According to the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), these improvements may provide growth for the tourism industry in Ireland and will guarantee a more memorable experience for all visitors. To achieve this goal, the IHF and their members are looking for ways to improve accessibility in hotels with training workshops and offering adequate services and facilities in the built environment.

Some suggestions for hotels are to update their websites to include an accessibility page with general information about transport, how to approach the hotel, services and facilities provided, photos of the accessible rooms and bathrooms, and to strive to make the website more accessible for people using screen readers. This will help people to plan their journey and check travel details in advance.

It is noted that the Building Control Regulations – Part M is the main regulation to implement accessibility in Ireland. To achieve a better result in terms of inclusion, Universal Design comprehends a higher level of accessibility and provides an environment that can be accessed, understood and used by all people, regardless their age, size and disability.

As an additional resource, the World Tourism Organisation announced the first global standard for accessible tourism – ISO 21902:2021, providing guidelines for “accessible tourism for all” which certainly will help improve accessibility in the tourism industry.

For the link to the full article with examples of users experiences in Irish hotels, click here

Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make websites, facilities or services more accessible and inclusive,please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail