2023 declared the ‘year of accessible tourism’ by QLD Government

wheelchair lift sign

A recent partnership between the Queensland government and non-for profit ‘Spinal Life Australia’ (SLA) was launched this month as ‘The Australian Accessible Tourism Alliance’ with $12 million invested so far in related initiatives.

Mark Townend, SLA chief executive officer told the ABC he would make sure the process was well informed from those in the disability sector.

“Inclusion — that’s the key difference,” Townend said.

“We’ll have a joint team of minds to put ideas together and get the message out there … so that people can enjoy venues, entertainment places, eating houses, the same as everybody else.”

As part of the new partnership, SLA has created resources to support tourism business make changes that will have a positive impact, such as an accessibility checklist with tips for venue access and placement of goods and service counters as well as training to help staff recognise customers who need extra assistance.

Steve Richter, a Bundaberg father who was diagnosed with paraplegia in 2008 said he hasn’t let that some him holidaying with his daughter.

“I didn’t want her experience on holidays to be restricted because her dad had a disability,” he said, but noted to the ABC it’s often hard to find a suitable holiday experience.

“Most hotels may only have one or two accessible rooms … and they might already be booked.

“Or they might say, ‘We’ve got disability parking’, but then you get there and it’s not as wide as it should be, or it’s not in the location it should be. They’re all things that you constantly come up against and you’ve got to be prepared for.”

Handicapped man in wheelchair on a bush track. (iStock – 4K-Production)

Kate Dufty, a community advocate and member of the Queensland disability network, audits venues accessibility in regional areas and said the partnership was, “a really important change” when speaking to the ABC.

“There are some really good databases that specialises in disability accommodation and activities, but it would be really nice if people could actually trust [information from] the booking companies,” she said.

“More often than not, you turn up and find out it’s not actually accessible.”

Dufty was also excited about the potential overhaul.

“The most rewarding thing for me would be to see people with a disability able to travel without the constant anxiety and stress that they have from the moment they start making bookings.”

Latest News

  • Hotels

Minor Hotels announces a new luxury Anantara on Bali’s Seseh Beach

Minor Hotels has signed an agreement to manage a new-build Anantara resort and branded residences on Seseh Beach in Bali, opening in 2027. The news Anantara Dragon Seseh Bali Resort will be the first luxury beachfront resort on Seseh Beach and the third Anantara Hotels & Resorts property in Bali. The Anantara Dragon Seseh Bali […]

  • Aviation

Solomon Airlines fills Air Vanuatu gap with flights from Port Vila to Auckland

Solomon Islands’ national carrier will commence direct flights between Port Vila and Auckland from 27 May, using Solomon Airlines aircraft to continue air services linking Vanuatu and New Zealand. Solomon Islands officials together with the Vanuatu Government has worked closely with relevant New Zealand authorities to continue interim flights servicing Auckland from Port Vila. This included […]

  • Aviation

Board Air Canada in Sydney’s CBD via a sleek Light Rail

Visitors flocking to Vivid Sydney will glide through the CBD in the newest addition to the Air Canada fleet – a sleek Light Rail tram wrapped in the airline’s unique livery. The Air Canada-themed tram is part of a new marketing campaign designed to put Air Canada in lights during the Vivid Sydney festival (25 […]

  • Cruise
  • News

Carnival Splendor to the rescue of Aussies and Kiwis left stranded in Vanuatu

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor has come to the aid of a group left stranded in Vanuatu, following the collapse of Air Vanuatu. The group, eight Australians and one New Zealander, were visiting the island of Santo when Air Vanuatu cancelled all flights, leaving them without a way home. Carnival Cruise Line responded by offering […]

  • Hotels

QT Singapore set to open in heritage Eastern Extension Telegraph building

Bookings open today for QT Singapore, in the historic former Eastern Extension Telegraph building along Robinson Road, the first property from QT Hotels & Resorts to open outside Australian and New Zealand. Previously Accor’s So Singapore, then the Hotel Telegraph, QT Singapore will officially launch on September 16 and will feature 134 rooms, ranging in […]

  • Hotels
  • News

Minor Hotels’ Anantara group reimagines the brand as its portfolio surpasses 50 properties

Anantara Hotels & Resorts is marking a significant milestone with a reimagined brand identity as recent openings across Europe, Middle East and Asia have propelled the brand portfolio beyond 50 properties. Part of the Minor Hotels group, the Anantara visual refresh takes an elegant, pared-back approach that enables each hotel’s unique character to shine – […]