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Statutory compliance for providing reasonable adjustment to facilitate equal access to goods and services in tourist locations
Are all tourist-dependent businesses meeting their statutory obligations and taking full advantage of the economic value of the tourist budget? This paper identifies the economic impact of excluding disabled customers from goods and services offered at locations which are dependent upon tourist income. A small town that currently attracts tourists and looks to the development of its tourist income is proposed as a case study for assessing current accessibility for disabled people. From a baseline of a reasonable adjustment compliant retail unit, and using the standards for providing access contained within BS8300, this paper undertakes a series of simple access audits of businesses that would expect to attract tourist custom. This approach establishes if these businesses, and the town, are maximising all the potential tourist derived income, and complying with current statute, by providing equal access to disabled customers. The findings strongly indicate that this is not the case. With alternative venues offering a similar themed experience, a lack of accessible facilities is cited as a potential hinderance to the development of tourism income.
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Simon Mclean is a Programme Director for Building Surveying at University of Salford, UK.