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03 May 2018

VisitEngland teams with National Autistic Society for new online guide

VisitEngland has teamed with the National Autistic Society to launch a digital platform helping tourism businesses better understand autistic customers.

Called Welcoming Autistic People, the online guide has been created to help tourism operators to increase business by better understanding autism and making appropriate improvements.

The website provides businesses with tips and practical advice including the provision of visual stories, quiet spaces, ear defenders and sensory backpacks to help autistic people and their families prepare for and enjoy a visit.

"More than 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK and many would love to visit heritage sites and other tourist attractions but are prevented from doing so because unfamiliar and unpredictable places make them extremely anxious," said Daniel Cadey, autism access development manager at the National Autistic Society.

"Our recent research revealed that 79 per cent of autistic people and 70 per cent of family members feel socially isolated because they are unable to access places others take for granted."

The Inclusive Tourism Action Group is also involved in the launch. Comprising a range of leading accessible tourism stakeholders, the group provides world-class inclusive tourism experiences that every person with accessibility requirements can enjoy.

“By following the tips in this new guide, businesses can offer autistic people and their families and friends the very best experiences when visiting our attractions, accommodation and tourism businesses," said VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes.

"This increases the value this important sector brings to tourism and the economy across England."


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