The chairman of Bespoke Hotels is one of 11 ‘sector champions’ chosen by the government to help tackle issues affecting disabled people.
Robin Sheppard will represent hotel to champion disability issues.
The airports sector will be covered by Michael Connolly, regional training and standards manager at facilities management firm OCS.
Chris Veitch, co-founder of Access New Business, will champion the tourism sector.
The Department for Work and Pensions revealed the initiative yesterday with ‘champions’, who represent a range of different sectors and businesses, from banking to retail, using their influential status as leaders in their industries to promote the benefits of being inclusive to disabled people.
The spending power of the households of more than 11 million disable people in the UK is estimated at almost £250 billion.
But many businesses are missing out on this potential customer base by having everyday products and services which are not available to disabled people.
Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, work and health, said: “As a public advocate for accessibility, Robin Sheppard will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs.
“These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values – it must change.”
Sheppard said: ‘’’I would like an upgrade to a disabled suite please.’
“If we can change hearts and minds in the hotel industry to make such a question elicit a positive answer, then working as an industry champion will have been worthwhile.”
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