There is so much exciting news at the moment – accessible travel opportunities, inclusive summer fun, new disability-related initiatives – that it’s easy to miss something amazing. Here’s a round-up of everything that’s caught my attention lately. If you have any hot tips, please share them in the comments or over on our Facebook page!
2023 has been declared the Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that 2023 is going to be the Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland – cue an excited happy dance from us! This means a huge investment in accessible and inclusive travel opportunities in the Sunshine State.
“The Year of Accessible Tourism will change the perception of what it means to be an accessible tourism business; tourism businesses will be supported to develop a wider range of accessible tourism itineraries and promote their accessible tourism destinations and experiences in Queensland.”
Funds are being allocated across the regions – including Bundaberg, Capricorn, Gladstone, Mackay, Southern Queensland and the Whitsundays – to assess and improve accessibility for travellers and people who work (or want to work) in the tourism industry.
We already love Queensland as a holiday destination, and from next year, it looks like we’re going to have even more opportunities to enjoy it! Here’s the official announcement on the government website.
Van Gogh Alive returns to Sydney this summer
“The global blockbuster art event Van Gogh Alive returns to Sydney this Summer, re-imagined in the spectacular Grand Pavilion with all-new immersive spaces.” Apparently, it’s the most-visited multi-sensory experience in the world, and we can see why. Braeden went three times when it was last on in Sydney!
Carmen on Cockatoo Island
Opera fans are in for a treat! Rehearsals are underway for a new production of Bizet’s Carmen opening on 25 November on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island. This will be the first opera ever performed on the heritage-listed island.
Getting there: Cockatoo Island is accessible by the Opera on Cockatoo Island Shuttle Ferry, public ferry, or water taxi. All Sydney public ferries are wheelchair accessible, though some older-style wharves do have steps. Our tip is to use the online Trip Planner to plan an accessible trip, which will show you which journeys are accessible.
At the opera: Opera on Cockatoo Island has wheelchair and companion seating allocations available. Assistance animals are also welcomed. Contact the Opera Australia customer service team on 02 9318 8200 to book accessible seating or companion seating, and to arrange courtesy wheelchairs or seat transfers. Find out more on the Opera Australia website.
IHG Hotels & Resorts are improving career opportunities for people who live with disabilities
IHG Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality company, employing around 325,000 people around the world – and they’ve just announced that they’re partnering with EmployAbility to provide career opportunities for people with a disability across their hotel network.
They’ve said: “The aim of the partnership is to increase employment options beyond a desk role for people with a physical disability, to assist with providing an inclusive environment where guests with a physical disability can feel at ease, while providing IHG colleagues with a strong insight into providing a seamless inclusive service… We want to showcase what’s possible for people with a physical disability; and not focus only on office-based roles but also roles within our hotel operations too.”
It’s fantastic to see IHG take this initiative. The more diverse a workplace is, the more inclusive it will be for their customers. Find out more about opportunities at IHG with EmployAbility here.