Merlin Entertainments Welcomes All
European-based Merlin Entertainments heightened efforts to sustain operations by becoming an even greater destination for those with disabilities this year.
“Our core purpose and driving passion is to provide magical and memorable days out for everyone, including the many guests with disabilities that visit our attractions,” says Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments.
To ensure the company continues to meet its goals, Merlin joined The Valuable 500, a global initiative aimed at raising awareness and unlocking the business, social, and economic value of people with disabilities across the world.
“The leisure sector is a core element within the global economy with responsibility for creating happy memories worldwide—and is a crucial industry to spread the message of inclusion,” says Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500.
Already a supporter of those with disabilities, the ongoing plan Merlin Entertainments created to sustain guests and employees with disabilities includes:
n Continue rolling out Changing Places restrooms at attractions. Greater square footage and extra toileting equipment for those with spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis make up Changing Places facilities.
- Training for customer-facing staff who serve guests with disabilities.
- Encourage people with disabilities to join Merlin Entertainments as employees.
- Integrate inclusive design catering to disabled and nondisabled guests when developing new attractions.
- Review customer feedback to influence adjustments at existing attractions.
“We are really excited to see Merlin Entertainments embracing the move toward a more inclusive society for all, and urge other businesses from the leisure sector to follow in their footsteps,” says Casey.
Being inclusive of customers with disabilities also makes for good business. In the United Kingdom, the spending power of people with disabilities and their families is estimated at £249 billion, according to the British government. In the United Kingdom’s attractions sector, the tourism market is valued at more than £12 billion, with families having a member with a disability proven to stay longer and spend more, according to Barclays.
“By joining The Valuable 500, we want to encourage our business partners and other industry leaders to get involved and discover how different thinking and innovation can drive change to the benefit of their organizations and everyone associated with them,” Varney says.
Making sustainable changes? Let Funworld Managing Editor Scott Fais know at [email protected].
Learn more about The Valuable 500 initiative at www.thevaluable500.com.