For the last decade, tourism organizations globally have been moving toward a more local, engaged, and citizen-focused model. 

As we set our sights on regenerative tourism, sustainability, accessibility, and a virtuous visitor economy, the question remains — how do we generate the engagement and alliances in our communities that are needed for success?

The most pressing challenge we face right now as destination organizations is how to quickly, meaningfully, and effectively engage our stakeholders and citizens. If we don't prioritize this, then the rest will not fall into place. 

Ross Calladine is the Accessibility and Inclusion Lead at VisitEngland. He develops initiatives that help tourism businesses and destinations tap into the high-value and growing accessible tourism market. Calladine has led the development of best-in-class accessibility toolkits for tourism businesses and destinations. 

He and his team have done a magnificent job of reverse engineering accessibility wins so stakeholders in the tourism community can see real and immediate benefits while working towards long-term goals. They have also worked diligently to demystify all levels of accessibility — recognizing that it’s crucial for creating spaces and experiences for all people as well as driving business resilience. 

Now more than ever we need deeper, stronger networks in our communities and new ways to deliver value from the assets and resources we already have. Like working directly with stakeholders to help them drive and improve their businesses.

Calladine and crew didn't just develop England's first Accessible Tourism Action Plan, they also built and perfected delivery and distribution models, focusing on driving uptake by providing measurable and ongoing value directly to stakeholders … let's talk about that!

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