Caravan industry gets more inclusive through accessibility partnership

Birdsville, Australia - June 21, 2018: A 4wd towing a caravan is seen travelling along a dirt road on the South Australia/Queensland border in the late afternoon.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Caravan Industry Association of Australia has announced a new industry partnership with Accessible Accommodation (The Accessible Group), focused on delivering new accessible tourism experiences in Australia’s caravan and camping sector.

    While the caravanning sector has a wide-ranging appeal, the industry wants to ensure no one is left out and that it is open and accessible to all Australians, this means all ages and abilities.

    Caravan holiday park operators have the opportunity to tap into this increasing demand through the provision of accessible accommodation, facilities, and activity areas.

    Recent data from Tourism Research Australia states that 20 per cent of visitors in a caravan park or commercial camping ground reported a disability or long-term health condition of some kind. This equates to approximately 3.8 million trips annually.

    Of those that indicated their specific disability or long-term health conditions, 23 per cent indicated mental health, 22 per cent indicated vision and hearing impairment, and 19 per cent indicated mobility limitations.

    Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO, Stuart Lamont, said, “the announcement of our collaboration with The Accessible Group means a tremendous amount for the industry. We recently saw a number of parks across the country receive grants from Minister Farrell and the Federal Government for accessible park infrastructure. This collaboration is the next progression in embracing accessible tourism within the industry.

    “Accessibility is often confused with how mobile someone may be. Accessibility means so much more, it is the practice of making information activities and surroundings make sense and meaningful for as many people as possible. We are excited to work with industry to make it easier for all Australians to enjoy the benefits of a caravanning and camping experience.”

    Founder of The Accessible Group, Kerry Williams added; “I am excited to partner with Caravan Industry Association of Australia to benefit both people with disabilities (19 per cent of our population) and retirees (25%). Accessible Tourism is a booming sector, and caravan holiday parks are well-suited to meet the rising demand for accessible accommodation.

    Lamont and Williams – Supplied

    “Our Accessible Qualified program sets the standard for accessible tourism, offering peace of mind to both guests and providers. Through our consulting service and inclusion training programs, we are aiming through this partnership to equip caravan holiday parks with the tools to offer a welcoming accessible guest experience. It’s a win-win partnership for both members and guests with disabilities.”

    The Accessible Group will provide accredited caravan holiday parks with access to specialised online tourism inclusion training programs and onsite consulting services as well as the opportunity to becoming certified as an Accessible Accommodation provider.

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