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UK’s No.1 Attraction leads the way in accessible tourism in Scotland

With the official launch of its new Access Statement by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, The Royal Yacht Britannia is leading the way in accessible tourism in Scotland.

As the UK’s No.1 Attraction 2014 (TripAdvisor) and Scotland’s Best Visitor attraction, this latest development is driven by Britannia's ambition to provide the highest possible standards of customer experience to everyone, regardless of age or ability. Its Access Statement has been developed, with the support of VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Scotland initiative, in a drive to help hotels, visitor attractions, pubs and restaurants better cater for the requirements of people with access needs, including those with physical, sensory or learning disabilities, elderly visitors and parents with small children.

It is designed to guide visitors every step of the way. An illustrated description of the attraction’s facilities and services informs people with access needs, takes the fear and anxiety out of the experience, and helps people plan ahead for a holiday or day out. All areas are described with photographs and illustrations - from car parking, transport and access, to food and drink, giving customers a real understanding of what to expect.

Chief Executive of The Royal Yacht Britannia, Bob Downie said, “This best practice approach to accessibility is just another small example of the customer centric philosophy that has helped Britannia become TripAdvisor’s No1 UK Attraction 2014.”

Accessible tourism is valued at more than £370m to the Scottish economy, an increase of £37m in five years, which demonstrates the huge potential economic benefits to hundreds of businesses and services across the country of catering for this market. Currently, of the 11 million disabled people in Britain, only 2 million take a holiday, because they find it just too difficult.

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism commented, “Scotland’s world class visitor attractions sit at the heart of the memorable experience we offer tourists.

Today’s launch of The Royal Yacht Britannia’s Access Statement is an example of how Britannia is leading the way in accessible tourism to ensure that all their visitors receive a warm welcome.

“Visitor attractions have a key part to play in achieving our aims for Homecoming Scotland 2014 especially during this significant year for Scottish tourism which also features the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and MTV Europe Music Awards.”

Chris McCoy, Project Manager of VisitScotland Accessible Tourism Scotland , said: “We know that poor customer service and a lack of accurate information are among the biggest barriers facing visitors with access needs. By working in partnership with tourism industry leaders such as The Royal Yacht Britannia, our aim is to position Scotland as a country with world-class accessible tourism facilities, offering more choice, as well as excellent customer service. Ironically, what could easily be seen as one of the least accessible attractions in Scotland, is leading the way in accessible tourism.”

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