As part of the overall ambition to provide visitors to the National Park with an authentic and high quality experience, the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority, working in partnership with VisitScotland, aim to improve accessible provision to all National Park visitors.
We aim to make the National Park an accessible destination where the tourism industry and infrastructure meets the needs of all visitors with information readily available on everything that the National Park and businesses operating within the area have to offer people with additional needs.
The increase of information, services and facilities for visitors is an opportunity for businesses to grow visitor numbers from the accessible tourism market. Nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability or impairment and over half of all households have a connection to someone with a disability – a collective spending power worth an estimated £249 billion to the UK economy each year.
It is important for individual businesses and for the benefit of the local visitor economy to enable customers to access and enjoy services that the National Park as a destination has to offer.
Currently some 63% of businesses nationally do not promote the fact that they make provisions for guests with access needs. While we aim to provide the best possible service and provide customers with a great experience, the potential to build stronger relationships with disabled people and the over 55 age group in terms of their consumer spending will bring additional value to businesses now and in the future.
It is worth understanding that making some changes in business operations can also help other customer groups such as families with young children, older people, customers with temporary impairments (such as those on crutches, for example) and people with specific dietary requirements.
Simple measures can be made to improve the customer’s experience and increase the likelihood of repeat business, favourable reviews and recommendations to others. This toolkit provides some tips to maximise the opportunity to best engage with disabled visitors and contains links to suggested additional sources of expert help and support to implement changes and contribute towards a stronger accessible proposition for visitors and communities.