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Phillip Island
A2 F0743

Destination Phillip Island supports businesses as they embrace accessibility for our visitors.

Making changes to the way we conduct business can provide more visitors with the same opportunity to learn about, visit, use, or participate in Victorian tourism.

Accessible tourism is the ongoing effort to ensure tourist destinations, products, and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities, or age.

Accessibility Snap Shot

  • Accessible Tourism is one of the fastest-growing markets in tourism.
  • One in five people has a disability, and $8 billion per year is spent on Australian tourism by travellers with disabilities. Nearly 90% take a holiday each year.
  • It's not always visible - only 4.4% of people with disabilities use a wheelchair.
  • Australia's population is ageing, and there is a growing market for travellers with accessibility needs.
  • People with disabilities account for some 8.2 million overnight trips and spend $8 billion, or 11 percent of Australia’s overall tourism expenditure (Victorian Employer’s Chamber of Commerce).
  • The market for accessible tourism is much broader than people with disabilities. Older individuals, parents with prams, and overseas travellers can all benefit from improved information, more accessible infrastructure, and a flexible approach to customer service.

When you consider parents travelling with children in prams, and larger groups that include people with disabilities, the potential benefits of accessible tourism to your business are even greater.

Now, more than ever, governments and businesses are realising the social and economic benefits of increasing access. Policies and legislation, including the Victorian State Disability Plan 2013–2016 and the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010, demonstrate the need for all parts of the community to proactively reduce barriers to participation.

Accessible tourism benefits everyone. More people enjoy the opportunity to travel, and the tourism industry gets more visitors, enjoys longer seasons, and earns new income. Society as a whole profits from new job opportunities, increased tax revenue, and an accessible environment for local communities and visitors alike.

Where & How to Start?

There are many resources available to assist you in ensuring your business is accessible and inclusive. At Destination Phillip Island, we continue to learn and develop support to assist businesses.

You can attain great things, with minimal investment. Whether you are beginning your journey and need guidance, or you're looking to elevate your access and inclusion efforts to the next level, we have compiled resources to assist:

  • Inclusive Tourism Database: Download this comprehensive list of businesses and organisations that specialise in providing a variety of services related to access and inclusion within the tourism sector.
  • Inclusive Tourism Resources: Download this compilation of various tools and materials, including checklists, practical accessibility toolkits, customisable templates, free training modules, and a wealth of other resources to build on your access and inclusion.

There is no single direction to take; it will depend on your individual business. However, if you are unsure and need a starting point, Business Victoria have created a Accessibility Resource Kit to help guide you or you can start here:

Information is Key

Travelers with access needs and their families conduct extensive research before deciding to travel, to ensure that your business can accommodate them.

Providing clear information on your website is a simple way you can help and also attract their business. If you are an accommodation provider with accessible rooms, providing high-quality photos of your facilities, especially bathrooms, kitchens, and entry points, is beneficial.

There are many excellent resources to guide you on what information you should be providing. For instance, The Mornington Peninsula Council has provided a comprehensive checklist to get you started: Mornington Peninsula Council Accessibility Checklist

The Access Agency also offers valuable insights and guidance on why “Informative marketing wins with visitors.”

You can also create an Access Guide to let your guests know what access will be like when they visit your business. You can create your own or connect with a business such as Cérge or Access Ability Australia to help you describe your experience.

Come Up with a Plan

Implementing a Disability & Inclusion Action Plan is crucial for businesses aiming to be more inclusive and accessible. This plan serves as a guiding tool, enabling businesses to systematically identify gaps in their services and infrastructure that may hinder accessibility for people with disabilities. It provides a clear and strategic framework for businesses to set realistic and measurable goals, outlining specific steps to improve their practices. This becomes a roadmap for continuous improvement and fosters an environment where inclusivity is integral to your business strategy.

There are numerous templates and guides available online to help you build your plan (some of which are listed in our resources). GetAboutAble, for example, has created a suite of free resources to support small and medium businesses in developing an effective Disability Action & Inclusion Plan (DAIP), with step-by-step guidance through the process.

Staff Training

Understanding our customers' needs is crucial to delivering excellent service. It ensures we meet their expectations and provide a memorable experience.

Your staff play a vital role in addressing potential access barriers or mitigating unforeseen challenges for your guests. Providing training in disability awareness and customer care equips everyone for success and minimises the barriers encountered by individuals with disabilities.

Training can dismantle stereotypes, overcome preconceptions, and equip your staff with the skills, knowledge, and tools to confidently deliver quality customer service. You can engage an onsite trainer, roll out e-learning, or create your own training program; the important thing is to have a system in place.

Training Examples:

  • Free Online Training: VTIC and Typsy have partnered to offer Victorian tourism, hospitality and events operators free online training programs, some of these include Disability Awareness training.
  • Onsite Training: Many accessibility consultants offer onsite training. Search our list of providers here.
  • Paid Online Training: William Angliss and Inclusive Tourism Australia offer online learning modules for disability awareness.
  • Create Your Own Training Program: Visit Britain has created a training template for businesses to utilise.

Ask for Help

If you feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start, there are many stakeholders who can assist, including the team at Destination Phillip Island. We have also listed several Accessibility Consultants in our Inclusive Tourism Database who are experts in this area and can provide detailed support.

Bass Coast Council

Victoria Tourism Industry Council