Access for All scheme gets European funding

The European Commission has awarded €125,000 (£97,700) to tourist board VisitEngland's Access for All scheme.

The board is partnering with a range of English destinations such as Kent, Lincoln and Brighton, to develop these places for people visiting who have access needs and spread the word about the destinations to this sort of traveller. 

More than 50 businesses are going to boost accessibility, while new visitors guides are set to be produced.

Plans were announced on November 3rd at the World Travel Market event.

During the last four years, VisitEngland research shows, there has been a 19 per cent increase in English over-night trips involving disabled visitors. In the same time frame, spend from such trips has risen 33 per cent. Both figures come from last year's Great Britain Tourism Survey.

England's market in overnight accessible tourism has been valued at £3 billion, in terms of its input to the country's economy, based on International Passenger Survey and Great Britain Tourism Survey data.

The figure when accessible tourism day visits are included – based on the Great Britain Day Visit Survey – stands at £12.4 billion.

As part of Access for All, VisitEngland is also planning a nationwide marketing campaign next year which will be aimed at travellers who have access needs.

“As the national tourist board, we are committed to ensuring England is a destination that offers a warm welcome for all visitors," commented VisitEngland chief executive, James Berresford.

"The Access for All project is a fantastic opportunity to continue to build England’s reputation as a leader in accessible tourism, and help grow this important and valuable market, now worth £3billion to England’s economy."

Access for All will be running until the spring of 2016 and follows on from an initial pilot involving four English destinations.

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