What is accessible tourism?

Accessible tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age.

People with access requirements include:

  • those with young children in prams
  • seniors with mobility requirements
  • people with permanent or temporary disabilities.

Their access requirements may include:

  • Physical/mobility
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Cognitive


Why is it important for your tourism business?

As well as a social responsibility, there is a compelling business case for making Victoria’s tourism industry more accessible.

Accessible tourism benefits everyone. More people enjoy the opportunity to travel and the tourism industry gets more visitors, longer seasons and new incomes. Society as a whole benefits from new job opportunities, more tax revenue and an accessible environment for local communities and visitors.

You may not be aware that:

  • Australia's population is ageing and there is a growing market for travellers with accessibility needs.
  • Almost one in five people has a disability of which nearly 90 per cent take a holiday each year.
  • People with a disability account for some 8.2 million overnight trips and spend $8 billion or 11 per cent of Australia’s overall tourism expenditure (Victorian Employer’s Chamber of Commerce). 

When you consider parents travelling with children in prams and larger groups that include people with a disability the potential benefits of accessible tourism to your business are even greater.


Accessibility toolkit:

Tourism Victoria, with the support of the Office for Disability, Department of Human Services, has released Accessible tourism: it's your business, a new accessibility resource kit to raise awareness and support the Victorian tourism industry to become more accessible and inclusive.

Accessible Tourism: It’s Your Business was created with particular attention to the needs of tourism businesses, regional tourism boards and associations and visitor information centres.

The first of its kind for the Victorian tourism industry, the kit incorporates best practices drawn from similar resources internationally, most notably At Your Service, a resource created by Visit England to improve accessibility for customers in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Broken into seven chapters, topics include:

  • The common barriers preventing a tourism businesses from being accessible
  • Marketing an accessible business
  • Tips for assessing a building and facilities
  • Developing an access statement
  • Integrating accessibility into a business plan
  • Integrating accessible features into digital listings such as visitvistoria.com 


Download a PDF version of Accessible tourism: it's your business 
Download a Word version of Accessible tourism: it's your business


Resources and additional information

For now you can access the following websites for information related to accessible tourism, as well as some general resources about disability access and inclusion.

Accessible tourism: it's your business - a new accessibility resource kit to raise awareness and support the Victorian tourism industry to become more accessible and inclusive.  

Visit Victoria, Accessible Victoria   - The official tourist site for Melbourne and Victoria including information on accessible accommodation, activities and attractions and the best ways to get around in Melbourne and Victoria.

Victorian Office for Disability  - The Office for Disability was established in September 2006 to lead cross government approaches to mainstream disability policy. Its website includes links to resources designed to promote disability access and inclusion.

City of Melbourne Self-assessment accessibility checklist  - accessibility checklists designed for different types of businesses including retail, recreation and culture, dining and tourism

Travability  - website dedicated to providing accessibility information for the world's best travel destinations

Travellers Aid Australia  - an organisation that provides simple, practical travel-related support and aid to help visitors of all backgrounds travel independently and confidently.

Arts Access Victoria  - organisation that aims to build the capacity of the arts, disability, community and education sectors to deliver increased and improved opportunities for arts and cultural participation for people with a disability.

DiVine  – A community for and by people with a disability. DiVine includes articles written by people with a disability including in relation to travel, going to the theatre and dining.