Tourism Accessibility Standard Wins International Award

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has received a top international award for a new standard for the tourism sector.

I.S. 373:2013, universal design for customer engagement in tourism services, helps tourism providers to make their products or services more accessible, by improving various types of communication, such as written, verbal and electronic. This new standard was named Most Innovative Policy by the Zero Project, at an awards ceremony at the United Nations Building in Vienna, Austria.

This Irish standard and free toolkit, the first of its kind in the world, enables tourism providers to communicate more effectively with a wider range of tourists, helping to improve customer services and increase revenue.

Co-owner Maria Ruddy of Clewbay Hotel in Co. Mayo, said her team followed the checklist for written communication, in order to make their menus easier to read and understand. “By using this standard and making small changes, our staff were able to focus more on selling rather than answering queries. This resulted in an increase in food sales per server,” said Ms. Ruddy.

Published by NSAI in 2013, this standard was a collaborative project between the National Disability Authority, the Equality Authority and Fáilte Ireland.

Senior Design Advisor James Hubbard at the National Disability Authority and Chairperson of the NSAI Technical Committee, who developed the standard, said as visitor numbers increase, now more than ever it is vital Irish tourism providers ensure their products and services are more accessible.

For more information, visit www.standards.ie.

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