British Toilet Association: News from the BTA
Matters lavatorial could well eclipse the weather as Britain's number one obsession - and quite rightly too! We may learn to live with bad weather but we're growing increasingly impatient with the poor quality of many of our public toilets, as articles and letters in local papers all over Britain testify.
We'll be placing all press releases about the British Toilet Association campaign for better toilets for all on this website so that you can follow our progress.
Our latest press release can be read below, and you can access earlier releases from our archive.
New Website Opens Up Britain's Tourism Business
Every tourism business in the UK can now reach out directly to the lucrative accessible tourism market with the help of the new OpenBritain.net website, launched this month at the House of Lords as part of British Tourism Week.
Championed by the charity Tourism for All UK, OpenBritain.net is set to become the leading website for disabled visitors into and within in the UK. It has been developed in direct response to feedback from last year’s Paralympic Games when a large number of Britain’s disabled visitors said that they found it difficult to piece together all the information they need.
The website already lists over 8000 tourism businesses which are committed to accessibility and showcases destinations around the UK – such as Leicestershire – that are working particularly hard with local partners to provide a great welcome for disabled visitors.
The service, whose founding sponsors include Clos-o-Mat, Omni Serv and AVH, will also provide listings of mobility equipment suppliers. This means it will be equally useful to operators seeking to make their facilities and services more accessible.
Speaking at the OpenBritain launch at the House of Lords, famous Paralympian Baroness Tanni GreyThompson said “Planning any sort of trip when you have a physical disability can be a real challenge. Bringing together all the information that’s needed into one site will be a tremendous help and is long overdue. I hope that every hotel, attraction and restaurant in Britain will take advantage of the chance to easily promote their facilities to disabled travellers.”
Over one-quarter of the UK population have a long standing health problem or disability, making the demand for accurate information about accessible services and facilities a national imperative. Conservative estimates value the disabled travel market in excess of £2 billion and the biggest single barrier for travellers is piecing together all the information so they can manage (source VisitEngland, March 2012).
Each business listed on OpenBritain is given its own log-in to the system – Guestlink – to allow them to directly update their information – pictures, description, availability and pricing - whenever they want. The site was designed and built by NVG: leaders in tourism technology using its Open Tourism platform.
“In our inclusive society, it is vital we enable as many people as possible to enjoy the facilities Britain has to offer,” says Ian Tomlinson, Commercial Director of Clos-o-Mat, lead sponsor of today’s OpenBritain launch. “To our mind, that includes making sure there are appropriate toilet facilities for them. We go to the toilet several times a day; research shows people will decide NOT to visit somewhere unless they are sure there are suitable, clean and working toilet facilities, so there is commercial sense in helping people ‘spend a penny’!”
For further information or to arrange interviews please call Jenifer Littman on 07949 248646 or Jo Leslie on 07966 223330 or email email@example.com.
Tourism for All UK Registered charity No 279159 and Company Limited by Guarantee Non 01466822
Notes to editors
1. OpenBritain.net is the first tourism website with a properly national, multi-source searchable
repository of accessibility information, bringing together a range of data that was previously only available from several disparate sources. The site will be linked to/from VisitEngland.com and a range of other third party websites and a free mobile app will be launched later in the year.
2. According to research carried out by VisitEngland in 2012: 94% of people planning a trip – whether for themselves or on behalf of someone who has access needs – say that access information is important to them, with 4 out of 5 people describing it as very important. Two-thirds of people looking for access information say they will avoid an attraction/destination if they can’t find the information that they need.
3. There are three key sponsors for the event:
Clos-o-Mat - Clos-o-Mat is the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider, and manufacturer of the top-selling wash and dry (automatic) toilet, the Clos-oMat. Founded 50 years ago, the company supplies and installs fully accessible toilets, from creating accessible en-suite facilities in hotels to fully accessible washrooms. Clos-o-Mat is our lead sponsor and will be a crucial partner for OpenBritain for the whole of its first year.
Omni Serv - Omni Serv specializes in contracted human resources for the airline industry.
Services include: Wheelchair Services, Passenger Services, Electric Cart Services and Ground Transportation, plus Baggage Handling & Transfer, Cargo Acceptance & Handling, Custodial & Janitorial Service, Aircraft Cleaning & Cabin Appearance, FOD Removal, Lavatory & Water Service, Ramp Escort Service, Warehousing, Distribution & Logistics, Snow Plowing & Snow Removal, Oxygen Service, Unaccompanied Minor Service, Skycap Service and Airport Security& Cargo Screening.
AVH - Adapted Vehicle Hire provides a nationwide service catering for the needs of disabled drivers and wheelchair users and carers. AVH has 200+ vehicles suitable for clients with a wide range of disabilities with delivery available throughout the UK.
4. OpenBritain.net is being created for Tourism for All UK by New Vision Group (NVG). NVG is the developer of the world's only integrated tourism technology solution. Since 1985 they have supplied software and hardware solutions to Local, Regional and National Tourism Organisations, Destination Management Organisations, Tourist Information Centres and tourism businesses, including hotels, guesthouses, attractions and tourism associations. Their solutions help destinations and tourism businesses alike communicate more effectively with visitors and businesses, attract new visitors and target new markets, and increase revenue streams.
21 March 2013
Further information from:
Raymond Martin, British Toilet Association
T: +44 (0) 2891 477397