Ensuring the same high level of service for all guests, whether or not they have a disability, is an important goal for Scandic, but what exactly is the best way of serving a blind guest, for example, and what is the most important thing to do when a guest with a hearing impairment comes into reception? Today, Scandic is launching wide-ranging interactive training on disabilities at www.scandichotels.com/specialneeds, open to everyone. Here Scandic provides the answers to difficult and sometimes sensitive questions about the most important issues for Europe’s more than 65 million people who have some form of disability.
Since 2003 Scandic has been working to increase accessibility every day, and today Scandic is launching a new web-based training programme which uses advice, tips, tests and instruction videos to show how to provide optimum service to guests with disabilities. The training is one of the many courses and training programmes that Scandic has produced on accessibility for its own staff but because the market is developing quickly and these issues are extremely relevant, Scandic has chosen to make the training available to everyone on its website. The hope is that this unique training programme, which sheds light on some of the many disabilities there are, will also benefit people outside Scandic too. Particularly those working in the travel and tourism industry.
“The great thing about the new training programme is that everyone can learn something from it, whether they work in the hotel industry or in any other service sector,” says Magnus Berglund, Scandic’s Accessibility Director.
“By following the route of a guest through the hotel, stopping at reception, in the hotel room and in the restaurant, we are able to highlight tricky and sometimes maybe sensitive issues in these different settings. The way guests are treated is vital – it’s about treating everyone equally but at the same time knowing and understanding how together we can meet the special needs and resolve the issues that arise with different disabilities.”
Need and interest greater than ever
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, approximately a billion people on earth have some kind of disability today. That is equivalent to 15 percent of the total population. The number is growing fast because we are living longer and because we are travelling more than we used to in older age.
“The need to learn more about disabilities and to share this information is huge, and it’s growing fast, just like the number of travelling guests with disabilities,” says Frank Fiskers, Scandic’s CEO.
“To put additional focus on these issues, we are celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities tomorrow by inviting local organisations for people with disabilities to many of our hotels. At the same time, our Accessibility Ambassador Magnus Berglund has been invited to talk about Scandic as a good example in the hotel industry as the European Commission marks today’s International Day of People with Disabilities in Brussels.”
Scandic’s accessibility work
At Scandic, everyone should be offered the same high Scandic standard, whether or not the guest has a disability. In consultation with organisations for people with special needs, hotel guests and team members, Scandic has therefore drawn up a checklist of 110 points that goes by the name of Scandic’s Accessibility Standard. The standard covers everything offered by Scandic and is an integral element of all products and services at its hotels. Scandic has also implemented smart design features in the rooms to make them accessible for people with disabilities. Scandic is the first hotel chain in the world to post full accessibility information for all 160 of its hotels online. Each Scandic hotel has its own page carrying unique information about the hotel and its facilities. More information is available at Special needs
The training is available at Special needs. At the moment the training is in English but Scandic will also be launching it in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and German in the future.
For further information, please contact:
Anna-Klara Lindholm, PR Manager Scandic, tel: +46 70-973 52 31
Magnus Berglund, Accessibility Director Scandic, tel: +46 70-973 50 77
Every day, Scandic’s 7,500 team members work with one single goal in mind – to make you feel welcome. As the Nordic region’s most sustainable hotel chain we’re always focused on the environment, social responsibility and accessibility. With around 160 hotels in eight countries, 30,000 hotel rooms and a turnover of EUR 923 million, Scandic is the leading hotel chain in the Nordic countries. We want to be more than just a hotel – Scandic is a place where people meet, work and get inspired.