Presentation of a benchmarking study carried out by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). Between between August and October 2012 researchers examined 41 websites of European National Tourism Organisations (NTOs).
NTO websites were tested for compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines - to see if they are accessible to people with disabilities.
Secondly, the content of the websites was examined to see if NTO websites contained information specific to the needs of visitors with disabilities and other people who need good access, for example when visiting destinations, in accommodation, in transport or at visitor attractions.
The results showed that no NTO website was completely free from accessibility errors.
Furthermore, only 19 out of the 41 websites studied contained any information specific to disabled travellers. In many cases this information was not easy to find, due to the use of variable terminology and the low priority given to this type of information.
Commenting on the benchmarking study, Ivor Ambrose, ENAT remarks:
"These findings point to a lack of awareness among many NTOs about the importance of using web accessibility standards for reaching all potential customers. NTO managers and web designers should also know that sites that are built according to the WCAG guidelines will work quickly and smoothly on all platforms, which is clearly an added market advantage".