A popular review website which aims to “remove the fear of the unknown” for disabled visitors to Scotland has been awarded £25,000 by the national tourism organisation.
Euan’s Guide, which was founded by wheelchair user Euan MacDonald and his sister Kiki in 2013, received the grant through the VisitScotland Growth Fund to help create new downloadable e-guides for Dundee and Fife.
And in Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the website has been given a further £5,000 by Historic Environment Scotland to help produce a guide highlighting the ‘unexpectedly good access’ to some of the country’s most striking historic attractions.
The guides will feature accessible visitor attractions, accommodation and restaurants as well as contain information on accessible transport. According to latest figures*, tourism parties in which at least one member was identified as disabled contributed approximately £1.3 billion to Scotland’s economy.
Euan, who has Motor Neurone Disease, was at the announcement of the award at Verdant Works in Dundee, along with Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland’s Regional Partnerships Director for Dundee, and Paul Ralph, the website’s Access and Inclusion Director.
Run by Dundee Heritage Trust, Verdant Works is a former textile mill which is now a five-star visitor attraction and is currently home to the Great Tapestry of Scotland Part II.
Euan’s Guide will use targeted social media campaigns to promote its new guides to disabled people, their families and their friends within day-trip distance as well as in the North-East of England.
And as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, they will enlist the help of young disabled people to share their knowledge of the accessible destinations featured.
Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “We hope that these new guides will give local and visiting disabled people, their families and friends great enjoyment as they discover Scotland as an accessible destination. We are thrilled to have received this Growth Fund award from VisitScotland and are looking forward to showcasing the best that Scotland has to offer in accessible tourism.”
Jim Clarkson, Regional Partnerships Director at VisitScotland, said: “It is our aim to make tourism inclusive and accessible for all, so we are delighted to make this Growth Fund award to Euan’s Guide, who regularly work with our Quality Assurance advisors on accessibility requirements for tourism businesses.
“The website is already a valuable resource for disabled visitors and the new downloadable guides to Dundee, Fife and to Scotland’s historic attractions will help people make an informed choice about what to visit, where to stay and where to dine.”
Dr Paul Jennings, Executive Director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said: “We are very pleased that the announcement of the Growth Fund award to Euan’s Guide has been held at Verdant Works which is 100 per cent disabled accessible. The new downloadable guides for Dundee and Fife will be an extremely valuable resource to disabled visitors to Scotland.”
Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to support Euan’s Guide on this project, and look forward to collaborating on creating the downloadable guides. We continue to improve access at our sites and properties and welcome the advice and expertise of Euan’s Guide to help ensure the historic environment is enjoyed by everyone.”
The VisitScotland Growth Fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects which focus on growth and ensure that visitors experience the true Spirit of Scotland. To be eligible for a Growth Fund award, applicants must place a strong emphasis on digital marketing and the creation of digital content assets. They are also encouraged to align themselves with Scotland’s themed years, including the 2017 Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology.
For more information about Euan’s Guide, go to www.euansguide.com
To find out more about the VisitScotland Growth Fund, visit www.visitscotland.org/growthfund
To find out more about accessible tourism in Scotland, go to:
*Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) 2015 and Great Britain Day Visitor Survey (GBDVS) 2015