Wed 3 Feb 16
A bold new plan to make Accessible Tourism a key part of Fife tourism was launched on Tuesday 26th January by Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Tourism.
The #AccessibleFife project is led by Fife Tourism Partnership, Homelands Trust & The Rings and aims to boost training and investment in make the area inclusive to all visitors. The accessible tourism market was valued at £1.5bn in 2013 and includes overnight stays as well as day visits, so delivers compelling economic as well as social benefits.
While a number of Fife tourism businesses have already made changes to improve their accessibility, they do not often promote these. The project seeks both widespread development and promotion of the facilities with the ultimate aim of producing an "Accessible Itinerary for Fife."
Chris McCoy MBE, Head of Accessible Tourism for VisitScotland said: "Accessible tourism is a project to "unlock the potential" for the tourism industry to market their business to customers with access requirements. It will provide the tools for Fife businesses giving them the ability to provide a quality tourism experience to those who normally cannot access holidays, and provide a real Scottish welcome to all our visitors, whilst also having a positive effect on the visitor economy.
"We are continuingly working to position Scotland as a country with world-class accessible tourism facilities, offering more choice as well as excellent customer service.
"The #AccessibleFife Project will help equip businesses in the region with the skills and knowledge and mainstream accessible tourism into their business product. "
Minister for Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP said:
"I would encourage Fife businesses to take part in the pilot project and help make the Kingdom a truly accessible destination. We are committed to accessible tourism, helping to raise awareness of these issues within the industry and stressing the importance of giving every visitor to Scotland the same warm welcome. This is not only the right thing to do but, as the figures show, also makes good business sense."
Alistair Bruce, Fife Tourism Partnership chair, said, "Offering a warm welcome and great service to all our visitors is essential to ensure that Fife's tourism economy continues to grow. I'm delighted that Fife venues are already being recommended for their service and accessibility and hope that many more will participate soon."
The launch event was held at Rufflets Hotel in St Andrews and guests also heard from Jan Kerr and Moira Henderson of Homelands &The Rings about their experiences in developing accessible tourism.
Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the project and learn how to make develop and promote changes to help all guests as they visit Fife.