On the 3rd May, we launched our first inclusive destination project, a first of its kind in the UK,. The project will see businesses in the Scottish town of Cupar, enhance their reputation by improving the provision of access information across their shared resources. The project will showcase the town as a welcoming accessible destination and is the latest development using our virtual experiences covering a whole destination with the specific aim to provide visitors with the key information they need to plan their visit.
There are close to 14 million people in the UK with a disability of some kind. That fact is fueling a significant drive towards making places more inclusive. According to the latest access survey by Edinburgh based Euan’s Guide – seen as ‘the TripAdvisor for the disability sector’ – 94% of people try to find access information before they visit a given destination.
How it will work …
Each Cupar business will be engaged to benchmark the access information and support they currently provide, helping to raise critical awareness of how important these details are to enable customers to access products and services.
From the information gathered and accompanying research, the OOVIRT platform for Cupar will be developed giving visitors the ability to navigate their way around the shared accessible resources across the town. This will include Cupar’s two ‘changing place’ toilets, public accessible toilets, electric vehicle charging points and various parking facilities.
The accessible overview will allow every business to improve how they share information across their customer journey, allowing Cupar’s visitors to plan their trip with confidence from the comfort of their homes.
The accessible pound – crucial to our economy
The demand for improved accessibility grows rapidly. Richard Meiklejohn, co-founder of OOVIRT, explains: “It has never been more crucial for businesses to ensure they are properly connecting with their audience. OOVIRT’s innovative and transparent approach will enable businesses to showcase their venue and tap into the UK’s £250 billion accessibility market.”
The project is a collaboration between Scotland’s Towns Partnerships (STP), who are helping to drive innovation across Scottish destinations. Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of STP says: “More destinations need to adopt a place based approach. All those responsible for providing services and looking after assets in a place need to work and plan together, and with local communities, to improve the lives of people and support inclusive growth and create more successful places.”
By engaging with OOVIRT, Cupar will be able to build on CuparNow’s Digital Improvement District pilot. The project sees all businesses promote and share communication through a Blog as well as through managed social media channels – providing a centralised, strategic channel for marketing the destination. Businesses and customers also benefit from free Wi-Fi and the increased connectivity and insights that this brings.
Richard Meiklejohn adds: “Research has shown that disabled people, their families and friends, believe many venues could do more to help disabled people access the information they need. This project benefits wheelchair users, pregnant mothers and young families, older people and those living with autism among others to know exactly how accessible a venue or destination will be for them. We use first hand experiences to provide the quality accessibility information that will make their visit more enjoyable, whether it’s to a retail space or tourism venue”.
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