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VisitEngland and VisitScotland Launch Dementia Friendly Tourism Guides

VisitEngland and VisitScotland have partnered with the Alzheimer’s Society and have both launched Dementia Friendly Tourism Guides. These are practical guides targeted at businesses in the tourism industry and are aiming to increase awareness of dementia and showcase how companies can benefit from making their services dementia friendly by following a few top tips.

The top tips in these guides focus on three main areas;

  1. Information: pre-visit information and promoting the accessible services a company provides across various media platforms and print publications.
  2. People: understanding and raising awareness of dementia is key to both assist customers and support staff members.
  3. Place: the physical environment should be considered in terms of; signage, lightening, sanitary facilities, furniture and noise.

VisitEngland and VisitScotland believe there is a strong economic case for businesses to follow the guides and become more dementia friendly.

Around £12 billion and £1.3 billion are spent annually in England and Scotland respectively by tourists with health conditions and disabilities. This means businesses that choose to become more inclusive stand to increase their customer base by catering for this market. Research has shown that 3 out of 4 customers with disabilities along with family and friends, have taken their business elsewhere when faced with a company that lacks disability awareness. Not only is access to this market good for short term revenue, it is also beneficial for the future proofing of a business.

The number of domestic holidays taken by the over 55 age group is steadily increasing in both England and Scotland. As we age, it becomes more likely that we will acquire a disability, whether it be physical or cognitive, meaning the number of potential customers with a disability is likely to increase. Currently, 850,000 people in The United Kingdom (UK) are currently living with dementia and with an ageing population, this figure is projected to rise to over 1,000,000 by 2025. This means that by making changes now, business will be able to react to the growing needs from customers in the future.

In addition to the economic case, there is a legal reason for business to become more inclusive. Under the Equality Act 2010, business have a legal obligation to provide a service which is as in inclusive as possible and ensure consumers are adequately protected.

By following the dementia-friendly guides produced by VisitEngland and VisitScotland, businesses can provide a more inclusive service; benefiting from a wide customer base, potentially increased revenue and an improved reputation.

For further information on VisitEngland’s Dementia-friendly Tourism Guide click here.

For further information on VisitScotland’s Dementia-friendly Tourism Guide click here.

Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make 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 [email protected].