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WTM 2014: VisitEngland Plans Accessible Tourism Drive

WTM-2014--VisitEnglandA national drive to promote England as a leading destination for accessible tourism is being planned after VisitEngland won a bid for European cash.

The ‘Access for All’ project will be funded by a grant of €125,000 from the European Commission.

VisitEngland will partner with seven destinations to develop and promote their areas for visitors with disabilities.

A total of 56 businesses will be involved in a process to improve their accessibility.

Visitor guides will be created for each destination to put on show the wide breadth of tourism experiences available, and to promote local tourism businesses that are providing a warm welcome to all visitors, including those with access needs.

VisitEngland will run national marketing campaign which will go live in late summer/early autumn 2015 to showcase the experiences on offer for visitors with access needs, and encourage more people to take a short break in England.

The announcement, coinciding with the first day of World Travel Market, comes as new research by the domestic tourism board shows the overnight accessible tourism market is worth £3 billion to the England economy, with day visits bringing the figure up to £12.4 billion.

Overnight trips by disabled travellers and their companions have increased by 19% with spend up by 33% over the past four years.

The project, which will run until March 2016, expands on VisitEngland’s pilot Access for All project which supported four destinations to create accessible experiences, accompanied by a national marketing campaign launched in March this year with the support of top Paralympians.

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

“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.”

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