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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 07:50 GMT 08:50 UK
Better access 'can boost tourism'
Disabled access to restaurants and hotels could boost London's tourism industry, according to research.

The London Development Agency (LDA) says hotels, transport and attractions need to do more to make the UK capital inviting for those with disabilities.

A conference is being held at the Tower of London on Wednesday to look at ways of improving accessibility.

One issue being discussed is how to make London the best venue for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

The BBC's disability correspondent Bob Minnick will report on the lessons that can be learnt from this year's Athens Paralympic Games.

Access is low down on the priority list and they [hotels, restaurant and tourist attractions] are missing out on important commercial opportunities
Chair of the LDA Mary Reilly
There are about 10m disabled people in the UK with an estimated 6bn to spend on travel, the LDA says.

Chair of the LDA Mary Reilly said: "London's tourism operators tend to see disability issues as an extra expense for their business rather than an investment in an untapped market.

"Hotels, attractions and restaurants compete with each other on quality and price.

"But access is low down on their priority list and they are missing out on important commercial opportunities."

The event is being chaired by Bert Massey of the Disability Rights Commission.




SEE ALSO:
Disability law targets small firms
29 Sep 04  |  Business
1.5m pledged for disabled access
29 Sep 04  |  Southern Counties


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