Will Ireland be Accessible?

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Ireland has done much recently to enhance the tourist experience. Yet trends are toward rising overhead for the industry and shorter stays for tourists. There is a danger that short-term cost cutting could result in long-term undesireable results.

So it is encouraging to read that Tourism Minister John O’Donoghue considers it a priority for Irish hotels to develop a classification scheme. Will Ireland step into the leadership position and implement a world-class system that serves disabled travelers?

  • Category distinctions that are meaningful to people with disabilities.

  • Levels of detail, such as measurements and actual floorplans, that allow for informed consumer choice.

  • Information that is readily accessible in various formats
  • In short, will Ireland adopt the worldwide trend toward Universal Design, Visitability, and Guestability?

    The Tourism Minister ... told the delegates that a mandatory and up-to-date hotel classification system must be installed.

    “I do not think that it is acceptable any longer for a significant part of our hotel properties to remain ‘unclassified’,” Mr O’Donoghue said. “If we are to take the consumer perspective – which we must if we are to survive – such a system is unsustainable.”
    Mr O’Donoghue said this would represent a milestone for the industry and said discussions on the introduction of a new classification system were at an advanced stage.

    From the Irish Examiner

    Related Reading:

    Universal Design

    Ron Mace on Universal Design


    Definition of Visitability

    Resources on Visitability

    Guestability - Signposts to Inclusive Accommodation

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