The research shows that 26 per cent of people would not be happy with receiving an accessible room and that 17 per cent would ask to be moved either that night or the following night.
With UK businesses losing an estimated £1.8bn per month due to ignoring the needs of disabled customers, Stephen Maley of HEWI UK blames imported accessible bathrooms for the apparent unhappiness.
“The UK hotel market is going through a huge expansion phase for building new hotels and refurbishing existing properties at present. Many of these are using cheaper poorly designed imports from the Far East and creating accessible bathrooms that are more akin to hospitals or care homes,” he said.
HEWI’s research also shows that 76 per cent of people say that they prefer to shower at home than bath, with wet rooms, separate shower units and showers over the bath coming into this bracket.
Arnold Fewell, a former hotel manager in Chipping Norton, Abergavenny and Ilkley who was left permanently disabled after an accident in 2000, said that if wet rooms were built in hotels as standard they would have a wider appeal to all hotel guests and that he wants ease of use and accessibility when he stays away from home.
“I can’t use any form of bath and need a shower without a step up or even better a wet room,” he said.
“If hotels want to attract more business from disabled people then they need to have a process in place when a disabled person makes a booking where more information about their specific needs is collected. The room should be set up specifically for their additional requirements such as grab rails on the right side because someone has an impairment on their left side. This is a way hotels can deliver great customer service and encourage more disabled people to enjoy time away from home.”