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Accessibility - is hospitality doing enough?

Accessibility - is hospitality doing enough?

Accessibility 1

Your say on accessibility

We recently asked you for your thoughts on accessibility within hospitality, and whether the industry is doing enough. We've shared the results below with our clients to help bring them closer to their guests, both abled and disabled.

1 of 5 UK working adults have either a visible or invisible disability, according to purple.org. Our own findings suggest that figure may be even higher, as 24.6% of you reported having a visible or invisible disability.

The spending power of disabled people and their households in 2020 was estimated to be worth £274 billion per year to UK businesses, and Purple states that various hospitality sectors lose out on 163 – 274 million pounds per month, by ignoring the needs of disabled people.

Based on our findings, a large majority (71%) of you say that there isn’t currently enough attention brought to accessibility in the hospitality industry. This was thought by 62% of Gen-Z and this percentage gradually increases with age, rising to 73% of you who are 66+.

There is a distinct split in opinion from a gender perspective, too. In contrast to women, only 62% of male respondents suggested not enough attention is brought to accessibility, however that number reaches 73% with those of you who are female.

Sector analysis

When it comes to different hospitality sectors, we wanted to know which take hospitality most seriously

The results are as follows:

  • Hotels – 58%
  • Leisure – 16%
  • Restaurants – 14%
  • Pubs – 7%
  • Quick Service – 5%

Hotels have a good reputation for keeping the needs of disabled in mind, however there is a stark difference between hotels and every other sector.

Are businesses loosing custom?

We asked you (including both abled and disabled people) whether you would leave a venue if access for disabled was inadequate or not as described, and a almost a third of consumers (30%) said yes, which is notably higher than the percentage of disabled people within the survey (25%). Roughly a third (33%) abstained from the question, and another third (37%) said they would not leave.

When asked whether customers would return to a venue where access was difficult, more than half of you (53%) said no, whilst 27% abstained and 20% said yes.

We also investigated whether customers would return if staff were unaware of the needs of a disabled person, and 2 out of 5 (43%) would not, another 41% abstained and 15% said they would return.

From a gender perspective, men appear to be more resolute than women, as a markedly higher percentage of men said they would a) leave a venue b) not return if accessibility was problematic, and c) they would not return if staff were unaware of the needs of the disabled.

In terms of age, standing out from other age groups are the millennials (26-35), who responded far less critically than any other age group to all three questions (i.e. least affected by lack of accessibility), whilst no clear pattern emerges regarding the most critical age group.

The impact on guest experience

How would a customer react to a disabled person being employed at a venue? 59% said it would impact their experience positively, 39% abstained, and 2% said it would impact their experience negatively.

Women seem to be affected positively by a disabled person serving them far more (66%) than men (38%), a majority of whom abstained (58%). Shockingly, 4% of men said their experience would be affected negatively by a disabled staff member, whereas there were no women who said they'd be affected negatively.

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