For a long time accessibility and hospitality were worlds apart. Sometimes, that one room for wheelchair users at the end of the hall way, with a terrible view, had only 1 bed. Over the years, after a booming industry in careproducts and accessible design furniture thriving and many inventions in that industry later, hotels have invested in accessibility.
But even today, we talk to managers who whisper in our ears that of course accessible hospitality is their foremost goal, for all their guests, but that
funny alarm in the bathroom, or the bright yellow stripes on stairs, the design of toilet units, it is not appealing. Other guests would never rent this room… so what to do?
Well, we have news for you, hotel managers. In this day and age, thanks to all the progress that has been made, the most sophisticated wheelchairs, stunning design accessible bathrooms and of course smartphones and tablets have helped people facing a disability tremendously. And now they like to travel the world. Just like anybody else.
And as you know, since the beginnings of hospitality people travel alone or as a family or as a couple or even in groups. Just like anybody else. And if one of these people has a disability they will look for hotels where their whole family or group can stay.
The magic word is inclusion – basically meaning everybody can be together, where and whenever they want. If a hotelmanager has made the effort to invest in accessibility and all staffmembers show customers with disabilities in a professional way that in their hotel accessibility is like the extra coffee offered at breakfast- it is there, and it is natural – these customers will feel great and tell all their friends. It is not about costs or profits, it is about showing you are aware and you know it is the right thing to do to make sure all guests can have a great time with their friends or family where they want whenever they want.
Now that, is sexy.