14 June 2019

We travel through tourism websites. Are they accessible? Should they be?

Now, with the arrival of summer, the spread of all types of tourism is present everywhere, and fortunately also, more and more, of accessible tourism for everyone.

But when we refer to accessible tourism, we basically think of architectural barriers in hotels or museums, adapted activities, etc. And the importance of the accessibility of tourist websites is almost never mentioned.

These are the first door and the first impression that the person looking for a place accessible or suitable for their needs to spend a few days of rest or active tourism.

In the case of websites related to tourism that belong to the public administration (to a city council, county council, regional government, etc.), the law requires that they be fully accessible.

Also for transport of any kind, which on the other hand are those that often contain more barriers when buying tickets.

Companies such as Renfe, Vueling and Iberia have been reported by users to the Ministry of Health, through the office for people with disabilities.

Some have already been fined for not having access to their websites.

As for the websites of large travel agencies, large hotel companies, resorts, and so on. They are required depending on the annual turnover they have. Online bookings usually also cause a lot of problems for users of keyboard or support products. It is common for them to be unable to select, for example, a date in a calendar because it has not been designed or scheduled in an accessible way.

Small accommodation, restaurants or SMEs that offer tourist services such as activities, visits, etc., are not required, although it would be highly recommended that they take into account the accessibility guidelines in order to reach all potential customers.

If a customer with a disability finds an accessible website the perception of the business, service, accommodation they are consulting will be much more positive and therefore there will be more possibilities than the contract. So, if the company, despite being small and not required to meet the legal requirements for web accessibility, applies criteria to do so, it will have many more business opportunities.

It should be noted that the European Commission estimates that there are more than 10 million people with accessibility needs in Spain, including people over the age of 65, and estimates that there are more than 138 million in the Member States. In fact, the five largest countries in the EU have more than 90 million people with accessibility needs. And the UN is talking about a billion people with disabilities around the world.

We are receiving more and more requests on Tothomweb to improve the accessibility of tourist websites. We have worked for Vies Verdes de Girona, Turisme de Barcelona, ​​the Baix Empordà County Council, among others and we hope to do so for many more to contribute our knowledge and grain of sand in favor of an accessible tourism that contemplates all the tourist chain, starting with information and online services.

Tourism website


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