Purple Hound unleashed for the first time at Ascot

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Disability champion Purple Hound http://www.purplehound.org.uk/ was unleashed for the first time at Ascot Ladies’ day on 16 June. The visit to Ladies’ Day came on the day of the England v Wales football match at the Euros and hot on the heels of new YouGov research revealing Celts care most when it comes to concern over disability access at the UK’s top tourist destinations.

Dawn Grafetsberger of Purple Hound

What venues and service providers need to consider is the untapped commercial opportunities that will come from ensuring you cater fully for the purple pound.

Disability champion Purple Hound http://www.purplehound.org.uk/ was unleashed for the first time at Ascot Ladies’ day on 16 June. The visit to Ladies’ Day came on the day of the England v Wales football match at the Euros and hot on the heels of new YouGov research revealing Celts care most when it comes to concern over disability access at the UK’s top tourist destinations.

The survey reveals 72 per cent of Brits are concerned that many of our top tourist attractions do not come up to scratch on general disability access, after reading research from Revitalise which states that many of the UK’s busiest and/or most popular tourist attractions did not comply with basic guidelines on accessibility for wheelchair users.

“Ascot offers superb facilities and while progress has been made, much remains to be done to see an end to the large number of fatal attractions that still exist when it comes to disability access,” said CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, Ted Hill, MBE and Charity Launch Partner for Purple Hound. “Scotland and Wales are proud of their heritage and tourism industry, so it is not a surprise to see they care most but there is welcome level of concern throughout the UK. It has to be a priority now to ensure that all venues comply with basic accessibility guidelines. It’s astounding that so many attractions still fail in provision for those with varying levels of mobility, and this research shows that people of Great Britain are concerned,” he added.

Wales and Scotland came out as among the most concerned out of the regions, with 75 per cent of Celts concerned and around a third (28 per cent) of both Scots and Welsh saying they were ‘very concerned’. Purple Hound together with partner charities like The British Polio Fellowship is using these illuminating figures to campaign for greater disability awareness and access across the nation. Even in the ‘least concerned’ areas in Britain, a response of 64 per cent was recorded (East of England).

Scotland has one of the largest tourism economies in Great Britain, contributing around £4 billion to national GDP. Purple Hound is now calling on the Scottish tourism industry and indeed others throughout the UK to make the necessary changes that the public have shown such serious concerns about.

“What venues and service providers need to consider is the untapped commercial opportunities that will come from ensuring you cater fully for the purple pound,” added Ted. “With an estimated £212 billion potential in ‘purple pound’, it really is worth business making the necessary changes. We hope the presence of Purple Hound at Ascot today will help spread the accessibility message.”

Produced in partnership with national charity The British Polio Fellowship, Purple Hound promotes best practice in accessibility across a number of areas, including hotels, restaurants, retail travel, stadia and many more. The launch of the website on 1 March will be followed by a printed directory of the best of Purple Hound, set for publication in early 2017.

“The British Polio Fellowship is delighted to be supporting Purple Hound,” added Ted. “All our contributors have agreed to improve access for those with disabilities and Purple Hound is a way we can show our commitment to a process of improvement. Some venues cannot be transformed overnight but we are determined to take the lead in showing other businesses big and small that making these changes is the right thing to do.”

In 2012, the potential spending power of disabled people in the UK was conservatively estimated at £80 billion a year. This works out at 11 million people or 19 per cent of the population and in the view of Purple Hound, this group punches above its weight and has the twin aims of making more businesses and venues aware of this market and promoting those whose goods and services make the grade.

The Purple Hound website is on-line now. Developed in conjunction with the disabled, those listed on the site are those who have shown they can provide what the disabled themselves say they need from service providers. To find out more, visit http://www.purplehound.org.uk/ .

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Jon Gardner
BeyondPR
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