On Wednesday (25 May), Bobby (Trailblazers Project Manager), Laura and Judith (Trailblazers National Ambassadors), and myself went to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to give a presentation to their Accessible Tourism Forum in order to the findings of Trailblazers’ All Inclusive? Campaign. We divided the presentation into four parts.
Bobby spoke about the additional expense of travel to Trailblazers who reported for the Campaign. I spoke about the issues with planning and how 85% of participating Trailblazers felt they were not able to take a spontaneous holiday in the UK because of the additional planning required and lack of support. Judith spoke about inaccessible travel agents and airlines, including how many disabled people could not take advantage last minute deals like their peers; she specifically cited our legal battle with Easyjet. Finally Laura spoke about the accessibility (or lack thereof) of various tourist attractions, including issues like disabled people having to pay a tax of sorts by having to purchase extra tickets for necessary carers and assistants.
After our presentation, the Forum gave quite positive feedback. For the most part, they weren’t too surprised by the findings, but it did serve as confirmation of what they already suspected. They asserted that they would like to stay in touch and work with us in the future. The DCMS are in charge of delivering the Olympics and its legacy, so it was encouraging to see that they are interested in including the viewpoint of those with disabilities. Hopefully this will the start of some positive changes.