Improved accessibility – a commercial success for Scandic
Photographer: Jonas Hessman
Scandic is intensifying its successful focus on improved accessibility. This year, over 100 new rooms for disabled will be added to the portfolio and 2012 there will be even more to meet the large and growing demand. More and more companies and organisations seek rooms and conference facilities that are accessible to all. At the same time the numbers of older, active private travellers who are attracted by improved accessibility are increasing. Improving accessibility has proven to be a commercial success for Scandic, the Nordic region’s leading hotel chain.
Design for All is a key concept in Scandic’s accessibility work. The aim is for the rooms for disabled to be just as well designed as any other room, with practical solutions that go almost unnoticed, except by those who really need them. Hooks, mirrors and keyholes at two heights are appreciated by children, short adults and those who use a wheelchair. Height-adjustable beds and extra spacious bathrooms are popular with all guests. Scandic’s comprehensive 110-point accessibility programme covers everything from team member training to adapted rooms and extensive, detailed accessibility information on every hotel’s website.
“When we take over a hotel, we implement our accessibility programme within three months and, after just one year, we tend to notice more bookings from private guests and from companies and organisations, thanks to our accessibility work. This gives us a clear competitive advantage and, as well as showing our commitment to social responsibility, we see major commercial benefits in being accessible to all,” relates Anders Ehrling, President and CEO of Scandic.
New hotels require smart new solutions
A lowered reception desk for wheelchair users, a guest computer in the lobby at a comfortable height for a wheelchair and an ordinary chair, a hearing loop in conference facilities and reception, and vibrating alarm clocks that also hear the fire alarms are just some examples of smart solutions that ensure a high level of accessibility. Scandic’s accessibility work remains a core focus in its new and refurbished hotels, with numerous examples of best practice:
With Scandic Victoria Tower, the new spectacular 34-floor hotel in Kista, Stockholm, Scandic shows that it is perfectly possible to offer rooms for disabled with fantastic views high up in the building, with the help of fire-safe elevators that allow wheelchair users to evacuate the building easily.
The flagship Scandic Grand Central opening soon in central Stockholm (Oct 2011) proves that it is also possible to incorporate accessibility into a 130-year-old property.
This year Scandic Sydhavnen in Copenhagen will become Scandic’s most accessible hotel in Denmark, offering 11 new rooms for disabled and reception, restaurant and conference area all on the entrance level, with easy access from the car park.
“We have worked hard on accessibility for eight years and learned a great deal about these complex issues, but there is of course plenty still to do,” states Magnus Berglund, Disability Ambassador at Scandic. “We have entered an exciting phase, where interest and bookings show our accessibility work is appreciated by many more people than just the guests with a disability.”
For more information about Scandic’s accessibility work, visit http://www.scandichotels.com/en/Always-at-Scandic/Special-needs