“In Canada, people with disabilities have about $47 billion in disposable income. In terms of population, the 6.2 million people with disabilities in Canada represent the size of the Greater Toronto Area—the opposite of a niche market.” Rich Donovan, CEO of The Return on Disability Group.

There are two common misconceptions when it comes to accessibility in the tourism market. The first misconception is building code compliance means accessibility. This is often not the case. The Alberta Barrier-Free Design Guide (2017) moves beyond the Alberta Building Code (2014). For example, you may have an “accessible washroom”- but you may not have the correct latch on the door, or the grab bar might be installed in the wrong place.

The second misconception is committing to accessibility means expensive and lengthy renovations/retrofits. While this may be true of some barriers, many can be quickly and inexpensively removed. Take the last example, installing a different latch on a door, or moving a grab bar to the correct spot would take a maintenance team only a few minutes. Most properties can be more accessible without a huge budget commitment.

At Voice of Albertans with Disabilities, we offer customized accessibility assessments that provide you with the knowledge to make your hotel truly accessible.

Why is Accessibility Important?

One study states:

“The accessible travel market presents a golden opportunity for destinations that are ready to receive these visitors, since they tend to travel more frequently during the low season, usually accompanied or in groups, make more return visits and, in some parts of the world, they spend more than average on their trips”- World Tourism Organization (2016)

There is plenty of research to support why making a commitment to accessibility is good for your hotel, for more information please email accessibilityrep@vadsociety.ca or visit our website vadsociety.ca