Conference helps firms to capitalise on ‘purple pound’

Tourism businesses can hear from accessible travel experts about how to make the most of the ‘purple pound’ at a conference in Chesterfield (November 30).

Called ‘Access Exchange – creating an accessible destination’, the event is co-ordinated by Access for All UK, the consultancy arm of Accessible Derbyshire.

It is supported by tourist board Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

With accessible tourism now worth an annual £12 billion to the UK economy, the conference aims to make Derbyshire and the Peak District a more accessible destination.

Key speakers include Ross Calladine, head of business support at VisitEngland; John Child, managing director of Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool; Ed Warner, managing director of Motionspot, which manufactures accessible bathrooms; and Derbyshire accommodation provider Steve Dawes.

There will be workshop sessions, during which delegates can experience the range of accessible facilities and services that are on the market.

Jo Dilley, managing director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “One in six people in England and Wales have an ‘activity limiting’ health problem or disability, and British and international visitors spend more than £3 billion on overnight tourism trips in England each year.

“Not only is improving accessibility important for people, it’s clearly very good for business, so we’re delighted to support this event, which we hope will build on the Peak District and Derbyshire’s excellent reputation in this rapidly expanding field.”

Gillian Scotford (pictured), a consultant at Access for All UK and Accessible Derbyshire, added: “This is a great opportunity for local businesses and services to learn more about how they can better understand and meet the needs of the 13 million people with disabilities in the UK – ranging from hearing, vision and mobility impairment to autism, learning difficulties and dementia.

“They quite rightly expect accurate and timely information to help them select the right venues for them, quality facilities that are inclusive and stylish and exemplary customer service.”

Click here for conference details from Eventbrite.