Hotels missing the mark when it comes to accessible tourism


Hoteliers are missing out on vital business but having only a limited number of accessible rooms, or offering accessible facilities that are ‘more akin to a hospital or care home’.

This is according to German bathroom and sanitaryware supplier HEWI, who have recently commissioned a YouGov study exploring the issue of accessible hotel rooms and the feelings of both disabled and non-disabled people.

The study showed that 26% of all adults are either fairly or very unhappy at the idea of being given an accessible room by a hotel.

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17% would ask to be moved either that night or a subsequent one if they were staying longer than one night, thus incurring extra costs for hotels.

As Stephen Maley of HEWI UK explained, he believes there is a lot more hotels can do to create much better environments for less-able guests; HEWI’s system can put good quality brushed steel blanking plates on the wall, and add non-permanent fixtures such as grab rails and shower seats where needed, to allow for great flexibility.

The research also showed that 76% of people preferred to take a shower over a bath, including wet rooms, shower units and a shower over a bath.

Arnold Fewell, a former hotel general manager and now a permanent wheelchair user commented: “In my opinion if wet rooms were built as standard then they would have much more appeal to all hotel guests. If hotels want to attract more business from disabled people then they need to have a process in place when a disabled person makes a booking where more information about their specific needs is collected.”