Directions for South Australia – Tourism to Attract and Embrace Difference

“Let’s address physical and attitudinal barriers in the tourism industry so all who want to travel, can.” – Kelly Vincent MLC

Introduction:

People with disability spend a whopping $8 billion a year on Australian tourism.  This accounts for 11 per cent of total tourism expenditure (Tourism Victoria, 2013:6). It is exciting to note that there is potential for an extra 3.5-4 billion dollars in revenue if more people are enabled to travel (Darcy, 2015).

Many accommodation providers lack a clear understanding of legislative requirements for access. It is common for there to be some level of understanding yet appropriate measures are not always in place. For example, a bathroom may be fitted with a grab rail yet the hand basin may be too high to reach.

Many in the tourism and hospitality sector don’t know what being “accessible” or “disability friendly” means when it comes to meeting the needs visitors and customers with disabilities. In particular, people with vision and cognitive disabilities experience the lowest level of tourism participation.

South Australia is falling behind the rest of the world in creating an accessible tourism industry. Dignity Party are calling on tourism operators to increase their accessibility, because this will result in more people who are aging or with a disability being enabled to travel and increase revenue for the tourism industry and other industries.

People with a disability tend to travel in larger groups and stay for longer periods of time than other tourists. Considering South Australia’s rapidly ageing population, we can confidently predict an increased market demand for accessible tourism.

South Australia should be investing in our tourism industry now to ensure that people with disabilities have the choice to travel where and when they want to in our state.

Action:

Dignity Party believe that South Australia should be investing in our tourism industry now to meet the needs of all potential visitors to our state. In South Australia, we must:

  • Encourage the tourism industry to incorporate Universal Design. Universal Design ensures products and spaces are designed to be used by the widest range of people possible;
  • Increase disability awareness in the tourism industry. Training about access standards should be ongoing and accommodation providers need to ensure they are up to date with changes to standards;
  • Promote a basic guideline or checklist for businesses including accommodation providers and airlines, to assist them to understand what facilities are needed;
  • Encourage tourism operators to promote information about access on their website, including photographs;
  • Encourage the creation of an accessibility guide for tourists to locate accessible toilets, ATMS, parking and facilities;
  • Provide initiatives to assist businesses to improve access
  • Ensure Changing Places facilities promised across South Australia (whose funding was negotiated by Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent) are delivered, and adhere to necessary standards.

Dignity Party OPPOSE limiting the travel opportunities for people with disabilities due to physical and attitudinal barriers.

Dignity Party PROPOSE a vibrant and responsive tourism industry that allows choice and control for people with disabilities to travel where and when they want to.