We are nearly half way through the Year of Accessible Tourism and I am delighted to see more operators thinking about how they can be more inclusive. Congratulations to Quicksilver Dive in Port Douglas on becoming the first PADI Adaptive Service Facility in Queensland opening up scuba to people with varying levels of mobility.
Quicksilver Dive has invested in infrastructure including a lift, ramps, disabled facilities and wheelchair access to classrooms and the training pool, and have adapted diving techniques to suit various abilities. This means the Great Barrier Reef will be even more accessible for people wanting to experience the thrill of diving on the world’s largest and most diverse reef.
Today at the My Queensland TNQ Tourism Conference we will take a deep dive into accessibility and discuss the untapped value and potential of the sector. Insights into what defines accessible visitors and how our industry can leverage opportunities will be among the presentations.
Information and funding opportunities are at an all-time high. There are a number of grants currently available to help businesses adapt to be more inclusive. The Accessible Tourism Infrastructure Grant closes today, but the Boosting Accessible Tourism Experiences Grant is available until the end of the financial year. It has grants between $5,000 and $20,000 for the development and/or enhancement of existing tourism products or infrastructure to develop more accessible visitor experiences and enhance accessibility for tourism workers. Grant funding may cover up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.
There is a new version of the ATEC Accessible Host program and a module available via the Quality Tourism Framework, while the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport website has a free webinar each month covering topics from accessible web and online content design to inclusive recruitment.
Here are some more resources to assist:
- Sparrowly Accessible Tourism Discussion Paper – Business consultant | Accessible Tourism | Sparrowly Group — Sparrowly Group
- Accessible Content Guidelines – The Access Agency – Work | Accessible Content Guidelines – Get Skilled Access and Queensland Government | The Access Agency
- Visit England – The value of the purple pound – | VisitBritain and general world leading accessible work | VisitBritain
- How to host accessible and inclusive in-person meetings and events – Hosting accessible and inclusive in-person meetings and events | IncludeAbility
- Push Adventures, Accessible Tourism Mentoring Project – Accessible tourism mentoring – Push Adventures
- Centre for Universal Design Australia – Travel and Tourism Archives
- Vacayit audio guides for regions and tourism products – Partnership — Vacayit
Of course the key to being accessible is providing the correct information to people while they are researching a holiday so they can understand what activities cater to their needs. The Accessibility Hub on our Cairns & Great Barrier Reef destination website is designed to make this research phase much easier. Make sure you update your details in ATDW.
Chief Executive Officer
Photo by Cocky Guides Facebook