The “Welcoming Autistic People” guide will assist travel businesses and tourism operators boost business by ensuring they have a better understanding of autism, the challenges it presents and what improvements they need to make.
Tips and practical advice include how and why to provide visual stories, quiet spaces, ear defenders and sensory backpacks to autistic visitors and travellers, and the positive impact they can have on individuals and families.
Andrew Stokes, director of VisitEngland, said: “By following the tips in this new guide, businesses can offer autistic people and their families and friends the very best experiences when visiting our attractions, accommodation and tourism businesses, increasing the value this important sector brings to tourism and the economy across England.”
Daniel Cadey, autism access development manager at the National Autistic Society, added: “More than 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK and many would love to visit heritage sites and other tourist attractions but are prevented from doing so because unfamiliar and unpredictable places make them extremely anxious.
“Our recent research revealed 79% of autistic people and 70% of family members feel socially isolated because they are unable to access places others take for granted.“
According to VisitEngland, there are around 700,000 people in the UK on the autism spectrum and together with their families, this means autism is part of daily life for nearly three million people.
The guide is accessible from the VisitEngland website.