A new survey conducted by accessible garden pods and glamping unit provider Omnipods & Cabins has found that 95% of disabled and mobility impaired people believe there are limited accessible accommodation options in the UK.
Furthermore, 93% feel that they are missing out on exploring parts of the UK due to limited provision for access needs. However, the spending power of the country’s 14.1m disabled people and their families in the UK equates to £249bn, so there’s a significant revenue stream that tourist venues can tap into.
The challenges that are faced with accessible accommodation options is despite significant demand, with 9 in 10 surveyed saying they would be more likely to go on holiday if more accessible options were available.
91% of respondents said that they’ve had bad experiences with accommodation that claims to be accessible but was in fact not. One person who took part in the survey said: “Some say wheelchair accessible, but you get there and there’s steps to get into the actual hotel, they say wet-room but it’s just a regular bathroom. The rooms are that small, I can’t get my chair around them, the beds are too close to the wall, the furniture is set up so I can’t get in the bathroom.” Whilst another survey respondent explained “when organisations say accessible it often only means one small ramp or handles by the toilet. It’s not enough”.
Commenting on the findings, Paralympian and accessibility campaigner Hannah Cockroft (pictured) said: “I’ve been away with my partner and family on numerous occasions and feel anxious about what the accessible option actually entails. One of my worst experiences to date was when I was staying in a London hotel and the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night. We realised there was no accessible option for the fire escape and my dad had to carry me.
“I have stayed in accommodation that was advertised as accessible only to get there and find there is nothing. There are 14.1m disabled people in the UK, and we deserve to have accessible options when it comes to staying away; it’s time to fight for change.”
Omnipods & Cabins is fighting for change, as the company believes accommodation should be accessible to all. The firm has teamed up with Cockroft to make the world a more accessible place.
Founder and director of Omnipods, Paddy Costeloe, had a life-changing boating accident which left him paralysed. As he began to adjust to his new life in a wheelchair, Costeloe discovered a lack of holiday accommodation in the UK for people with disability and mobility needs. So, the idea of fully accessible pods and cabins were born.
Commenting on the study, he explained: “Accessible accommodation options seem to be a no-brainer but by looking at these shocking figures highlighted from the survey it seems we need to fight for more procedures to be in place in the UK tourism industry and to make accommodation accessible. That’s why Omnipods and Cabins are fighting for more holiday parks and campsites in the UK to provide for people with mobility needs. Its time owners wake up and cater for all.”