Open up your bed and breakfast to disabled or limited mobility travellers! This first part in our guide looks at writing an Access Statement to inform guests with access needs about your B&B’s facilities.
What is a B&B Access Statement?
An Access Statement is, simply, a description of your B&B’s facilities and services to inform people with access needs. From VisitEngland, it
allows for a written, descriptive approach to providing a wide range of information on accessibility. All areas of a business are described from car parking and arrival to toilets.
Why should your B&B have an Access Statement?
- This is a minimum requirement if you want to be a member of the VisitEngland accommodation and quality tourism schemes – and this membership can have a positive effect on your marketing.
- It will help you meet your obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and improve your customer service for guests with disabilities.
- It’s a great marketing opportunity, informing your visitors about your facilities and visitors in one concise document.
- England’s population is ageing and almost 1 in 5 people have a disability or access needs – this is a huge customer base you want to be able to reach with your bed and breakfast!
- It’s important to give a potential customer all the information to make a decision about where to stay based on their needs. Happy customers make for good reviews!
How do you write an Access Statement?
Here’s a best practice example for B&Bs from Visit England that’s informative, easy to follow and specifically aimed at small accommodation providers.
When you’re ready to write your statement, go to this Access Statement Tool - you can build it step by step to create a model example.
Keep it simple and clear! Although detail is good, particularly in terms of number of stairs and width of doorways, too much information or bad presentation makes it too difficult to digest. For example, instead of mention the door width by inches, it’s acceptable to stay ‘the doorways are all wide enough for standard wheelchairs and walking frames, but not mobility scooters.’
Read it through when you’re finished – and run a spell check!
Steph Fairfoul is the Business Development consultant at Enjoybedandbreakfast.com, where she works with bed and breakfast affiliates to help improve their business and marketing opportunities.
Image @zader on Flickr
Category: B&B Customer Service