How big do you have to write an £80 billion pound market in difficult trading conditions is available to YOU?
I am staggered that this industry still mananges to avoid the business case for serving people with a disability. There is a whole host of recent evidence to show the size of the market but still the lack of good customer care continues in hotels, pubs and restaurant.
How big shall I write it? This market is worth £80 billion pounds. It accounted for 12% of stays away from home in the first six months of 2009 and it is likely this percentage is increasing.
This is the summary of a document I received recently:
· Disabled consumers are a significant but poorly addressed market worth £80 billion p.a.
· For an average business disabled customers may account for up to 20% of the customer base.
· The risk of losing business to a more accessible competitor is high as consumer experiences of disabled people affect the choices of family and friends.
· Business benefits associated with better accessibility include a rapidly expanding customer base, increases in revenues and profits and a distinct competitive advantage.
How many more time must this message be said?
A struggle to be ready for London 2012? You bet!
I got very excited last week when I saw this sign on my arrival at the Holiday Inn in Kingston. At last I thought I would find a hotel that had cracked looking after people with disabilities. But how disappointed I soon became when I saw this temporary ramp down into the bar area.
Please notice the chair to the right of the stairs that had to be moved to get the ramnp in. Fortunately it was very quiet! This is a brand new hotel so why was a ramp or stair lift not designed in to the building from the start. I then had to treck to my bedroom. Instead of being near the lift I had to make the trail via several corridors to my room with my luggage. I think the architect should be called back to redesign the rooms and pick up the bill as this is happening all overe the place. Another example is the Premier Inn at Epsom Racecourse, that is even further from reception. I am sure they won't but will they correct this in their next build, I very much doubt it.
And of course we had the usual abuse of disabled car parking as can be seen here.
If this hotel is proud to be a host hotel to the Paralympics I am very concerned. The only good news was that two members of staff listened to my comments but they were not aware of the online training resources by Tourism for All. This would cost £35 to get one member of staff fully trained on disability issues. This person could then train others. Even in these econbomic times a hotel can and must affgord £35. So why is this not happening.
Is it because it is franchise operation? If so, this is not an acceptable excuse. Surely a franchisee should abilde by company best practice, especially if you are going to put up that sign in the entrance.