Accessible tourism making strides

From left: Rockhampton Regional Council mayor Tony Williams, Empire Apartment Hotel general manager Alyssa Tate and Advance Rockhampton Tourism and Events manager Zac Garven. Picture: SOPHIE MOSSMAN

Advance Rockhampton has realised its accessible tourism campaign and is already paving the way for tourism that everyone can enjoy.

Following this year’s silver award in the Tourism Marketing Campaigns category at last week’s Australian Tourism Awards, Rockhampton is continuing to showcase and improve accessibility to tourist attractions within the region.

Statistically, one in six Australians live with a disability and it can be a barrier in more ways than one.

Advance Rockhampton Tourism and Events manager Zac Garven said 86 per cent of people living with a disability cannot find enough information about accessibility to make an informed decision when it comes to accommodation.

“It’s about progress over perfection and what we are doing is we’re updating our Explore Rockhampton page and our other platforms so that people with disabilities can find that information,” Mr Garven said.

“In this campaign, we are focusing on mobility, and then we look forward to moving into that deaf or hard of hearing, also the blind and neurodiversity.”

The Empire Apartment Hotel has already begun making small additions to their facilities to accommodate more people such as adding a pool hoist so paraplegics can enjoy a dip in the pool area.

Mayor Tony Williams said over $10 billion is spent nationwide to make tourist attractions more universal for everyone.

“We’re looking at how we can encourage greater spend in our local area with a campaign there that’s designed to cater for people with disabilities,” Cr Williams said.

“This campaign is designed for people to get on board, have a look at what our tourism and our local providers have to offer for people with disabilities and what they recommend for when they’re planning their trips.”