Accessibility in Tourism - one of the subjects I am studying this year at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. It may look like an easy, simple, not-a-lot-to-study-about topic at the beginning, but the truth is that accessibility in tourism is a very important factor nowadays and which is multifaceted, conceptualized through a range of diverse theoretical discourses and networks (Buhalis D., 2010).
Hotel Scandic Grand Marina
Hotel Scandic Grand Marina
Hotel Scandic Grand Marina is the second place we visited and below I am going to analyse its accessibility.
The hotel is located close to the city center, near the seaside and in the past this building was actually a ware house. In order to preserve the"uniqueness" of an old building with lots of history, the interior and exterior design of the hotel is "vintage" and old-styled. Even though the building itself is old, the hotel (chain) has a list of requirements regarding accessibility, which the hotel(s) should fulfill. Not less than 80 out of 110 requisits.
(I have to say that I am in love with old photographs, I see them as a tool for time-travelling. These pictures are just priceless.)
The Hotel Manager of the Scandic Grand Marina has shown us the main points they are taking in consideration regarding the accessibility. In the picture above, you can see the large corridors in the restaurants and the low buffet tables, which are very comfortable to use for people in weelchairs.
Accessibility also means easy access for children, pregnant women, women with children, elder people etc. This little playground near the restaurant made me curious, I saw it very accessible and useful. being placed just at the beginning of the hall, it won´t disturb business people, and it will give some free time to parent(s) who need some time alone.
The corridors are spacious; the carpet is designed in the style of the hotel.
The pictures from above and below are from a room that is adapted to the needs of disabled people. It is more spacious than a standard one. The wooden floor is just perfect for people that are using weelchars, and the bed is not very high.
The bathroom is also adapted to the easy access of people in weelchairs.
This picture represents "sustainability" and not "accessibility", but I liked it very much. It is a nice practice that should be implemented not just in hotels, but in hour homes as well.
The outside entrance is also accessible, with a easy to use ramp just in front of the main entrance. The doors are opening automatically, which makes it easy to access the building.
We saw here a nice example of how an old building, not a new construction, was transformed into a hotel, and how it adapted to the needs of all people. It also nicely integrated into the style of the hotel, the rooms being exactly the same, minus the difference in the space of a standard room versus the special one (for disabled).
A nice practice that should be extended and taken more into consideration if not in the built already hotels, at least in the future ones.