Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Accessible Hotels, Nordic-style

A new article written by Simon Hudson in Hotel Business Review discusses the growing market for accessible tourism and the opportunity it represents for the hotel sector. The article focuses on one hotel chain in particular – Scandic - that has positioned itself as a world leader in accommodating visitors with disabilities. With 230 hotels spread across Europe, Scandic is the Nordic region’s leading hotel chain. The policies dedicated to accessibility were initiated by Magnus Berglund, pictured above, who was originally a cook with the hotel group. Due to a muscle disease, Berglund was on sick leave for five years. When he was able to start work again, he contacted his former employer with his ideas on how the hotel chain could increase accessibility and use it to gain competitive advantage. In 2003, Berglund, who walks with the help of a special cane and travels with a rehab dog, was appointed Accessibility Director for Scandic, reporting directly to the Group Executive Committee. “Guests with special needs are a growing market due to the population getting older,” says Berglund. “This will continue as disabilities are no longer seen as a hindrance that stops people from traveling. At Scandic we work hard to make all our hotels more accessible. It is not always about investing in the building – many times it is the smallest things that make a difference.” The full articles can be found at: http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/4410/accessible-hotels-nordic-style

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