Accessibility and inclusion is important for everyone. We have a duty to prevent social isolation and encourage people to be more mobile around the county as well as enhancing the visitor experience.
At Pembrokeshire Tourism we work with a range of accommodation, food & drink, activity and attraction providers who are serious about developing their access facilities. We want to do our bit to encourage others to follow suit and ensure that any visitors with a disability can feel as though our industry is looking after their needs.
At Pembrokeshire Tourism we are proud to support Purple Tuesday 2019. It’s an international call to action, focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people. It will involve organisations of all sizes and from all sectors taking decisive, practical actions to meet the needs of disabled customers.
Across the UK, the Purple Pound – the consumer spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth £249 billion and is rising by an average of 14% per annum. Worldwide, the Purple Pound equates to a staggering £2.25 trillion, yet less than 10% of businesses have a targeted plan to access this disability market.
Purple Tuesday is about creating a step change improvement in the awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers. It is about making the customer experience accessible. Participating organisations will make public commitments (a minimum of one new activity or initiative) to ensure sustainable changes are made. For organisations, this will result in the opening up of products and services to the disability market.
This summer my family of six, including 13-week twins, enjoyed a wonderful and accessible holiday in Pembrokeshire. We stayed in Bluestone, but spent our days visiting towns, parks, attractions and coastal bays delighting in everything that was on offer.
I am a wheelchair user, with limited walking mobility, but that did not stop us from doing anything. In place, were the adjustments I would expect: ramps, blue badge spaces and accessible toilets. But what made the biggest difference was a good customer service. A sense of feeling wanted. And that costs nothing and was freely available throughout Pembrokeshire.
In my day job I am CEO of Purple, an organisation promoting the commercial benefits of disability to businesses. Purple is just about to run Purple Tuesday (12 November), a call to action for businesses across all sectors and of all sizes, to improve their customer experience for disabled people and their families. A minimum of one commitment is needed but will need to be sustained 365 days a year.
I am personally delighted that Pembrokeshire Tourism has signed up and is working with businesses in the area to increase awareness of accessibility and how even small changes can make a huge positive difference to holiday makers (customers). A simple “hello, can I help you” is sometimes all it takes.
I am very much looking forward to seeing this part of Wales going a tint of purple and can’t wait to return with my family.
Mike Adams OBE