Everyone’s Business: Inclusive Tourism Online Learning Course Chris Maclean, Policy Officer, Local Government NSW

Local Government NSW recently coordinated, through a co-design process, the development of an online learning course which aims to capitalise on the potential of the Inclusive Tourism market in Australia. A recent analysis estimated this market was worth up to $8.9 billion over the first three months of 2017. It also highlights the expected growth of the sector as our population ages and more people experience some level of disability. This presentation will show how the principles of universal design were incorporated into the development of course materials and resources. It will also discuss the background to the project with a brief outline of the online learning course that was launched in February 2018 including: the course content, structure and resources; key facts around the inclusive tourism market; tips for the tourism sector and businesses in inclusive design and implementation principles; and the benefits to be gained from an inclusive design approach. There is growing evidence to show that businesses and local councils that are prepared to provide more inclusive information and customer service as well as physical access to their venues will create more opportunities to tap into this growing market. The presentation will focus on the consultation process undertaken in designing and developing the online resource including consultation with the tourism and business sector to promote and deliver the course which included a NSW state-wide roadshow. Key partners involved in the collaboration included the NSW Business Chamber, Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, Destination NSW, Centre for Universal Design Australia, University of Technology Sydney and NSW State Government. The potential outcomes for the sector through applying inclusive design principles across all aspects of business development i.e. communication strategies, information dissemination, customer service, and physical access are also discussed. The sector includes more than 95,000 tourism operators and businesses in NSW which, through the application of inclusive design principles, can open their businesses and venues to a very large market which had previously missed out on the opportunities of travelling and engaging in the many benefits the tourism industry can provide.