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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK
Tourist trade 'failing' disabled
Wheelchair-bound tourist in Arbroath
The research was carried out by Capability Scotland
Scottish tourism is missing out on millions of pounds because of its failure to cater for the needs of the disabled, a charity has warned.

A survey by Capability Scotland has found that while tourist offices might be accessible, there is a lack of information about where disabled tourists can visit, stay or eat.

The survey suggests disabled tourists have just a 50/50 chance of getting the right information about a short break in Scotland.

The charity sent mystery shoppers - undercover research staff - to five areas in Scotland.

They found that while staff at tourist offices were helpful, only about half could offer useful advice.

Tourist information office
Information was not matched by facilities said the charity

Disabled people visiting the country are just left to hope for the best, the charity warned.

It added that not only is it bad for the tourists, it is bad for business.

A spokesman called on the industry to wake up to the fact that disabled Scots are lucrative customers.

He said recent research indicates that there are 11 million disabled people in Great Britain, and that there could be as many as one million people in Scotland with a disability.

The spokesman said that figure pointed to the potential size of the tourism market in Scotland.

He added that it has been estimated that the disabled population in the UK has a potential spending power of 20bn.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Elizabeth Quigley reports
"Disabled people are left to hope for the best."
See also:

12 Aug 02 | Scotland
31 Jul 02 | Scotland
24 Jul 02 | Scotland
11 Mar 02 | Scotland
17 Feb 02 | Scotland
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