Chesterfield News


‘Accessibility Champions’ recognised through new scheme for tourism businesses


17 local tourism businesses have received recognition as ‘Accessibility Champions’ after completing a unique new scheme through the area’s official destination management organisation.

The Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire Accessibility Champions scheme – the first of its kind in the area – has been designed to help tourism and hospitality businesses deliver ‘a warm and inclusive welcome for visitors with additional access needs’.

Through a series of webinars, the scheme covers topics including hearing loss, sight loss, mobility impairment, autism and dementia, highlighting the barriers faced by visitors with access needs and providing businesses with practical tips on how they can overcome them.

Businesses who successfully complete the scheme, which is delivered by Derbyshire-based industry experts Access For All UK, receive official ‘Accessibility Champion’ status, identifying them as one of the most accessible and inclusive tourism businesses in the country.

The first cohort of Accessibility Champions received their certificates at a ceremony held at Chesterfield’s Casa Hotel in June. Recipients included accommodation providers Lane Head Barns, Peak Venues and Beechenhill Farm, plus visitor attractions Treak Cliff Cavern, Discover Buxton Tours and The Children’s Country House at Sudbury.

In addition, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire became the first destination management organisation in the UK to receive Accessibility Champion status from Access For All UK,  signalling its ambition for the Peak District and Derbyshire to become one of the country’s most accessible and inclusive tourism destinations.

Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire is now encouraging local tourism and hospitality businesses to sign up for the next cohorts of the scheme, which will run on Tuesdays from 13th September 2022 to 11th October 2022, and on Thursdays from 29th September 2022 to 3rd November 2022 (excluding 6th October 2022).

Businesses can sign up for the Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire Accessibility Champions scheme at: www.visitpeakdistrict.com/industry/accessibility-champions

The Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire Accessibility Champions scheme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and there is no cost for eligible businesses to attend.

Known as the ‘purple pound’, the accessible tourism market is estimated to be worth £15.3 billion to the visitor economy according to national tourism body VisitEngland, with huge potential for future growth.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, says: “We’d like to extend a huge congratulations to our new Accessibility Champions who are excellent ambassadors for accessible tourism and beacons of inspiration for many other local businesses to follow.

“One in five of the UK population is disabled and the Accessibility Champions scheme offers a unique opportunity for businesses to gain a share of the £15.3 billion accessible tourism market, obtain loyal customers and, above all else, provide memorable experiences for visitors with additional access needs.

“We encourage businesses to sign up to the scheme for expert advice on how they can provide a warm and inclusive welcome for all visitors – and to help us showcase why the Peak District and Derbyshire is truly one of the UK’s most accessible holiday destinations.”

Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Derbyshire businesses collect their ‘Accessibility Champions’ certificates after completing a unique new scheme through Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire

Dom Stevens

Destination Chesterfield Manager

Email Dom

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