SCOTLAND: A Glasgow-based manufacturer of accessible vehicles has been working with a leading German broadcaster and a tour operator on an initiative that supports disabled tourism in Scotland.
Allied Vehicles Group teamed up with TV company ZDF and Schottland fuer Alle (Scotland for All) to showcase how accessible Scotland is for people with disabilities.
ZDF has filmed across the country at venues ranging from Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia, to Glencoe and Dunrobin Castle.
Its resulting footage has just been aired on German national television. The film praises Scotland’s progress in relation to the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy and finds that the country is well adapted to meet the needs of disabled people.
Even places like Edinburgh Castle are widely accessible, and elsewhere pragmatic solutions are employed to help guarantee access – either in the countryside or in towns and cities. The Scots themselves are also praised for their “super-friendly” attitude and their awareness of disability. Allied’s role in the film project was to supply Schottland fuer Alle with a specially adapted vehicle. Then, as part of the tour, the ZDF crew joined a guest and her companion to show how the correct vehicle can make many more things possible for tourists with disabilities.
Rebecca Bridges, rentals manager for Allied, said: “As a company, we are all about getting people to places that they may otherwise not be able to go and see. “Tour operators are bringing us in to help because they see the value in having a specialist vehicle supplier that really knows about vehicle adaptations for disability from the consumer’s point of view.
“We design and manufacture adapted vehicles for leading brands and tailor them around the very different requirements of individuals – so we get all of that, whether we are manufacturing or hiring a vehicle out.” Bridges added: “Scotland is known all over the world for its hospitality so it’s great to be able to play our part in this.”Andreas Schneider, from Schottland fuer Alle, said that getting around if someone disabled can be a real challenge when on holiday – both for individuals and families.
“People on a cruise, for example, can find that the cruise operator has vehicles that don’t meet the needs of their disabled customers when they come ashore for day trips,” he said. “In the same way that people might need a fully adapted room and bathroom at a hotel, so they will require a particular type of adapted vehicle that is specified to their personal needs. That’s why we have been working with Allied Vehicles who help us get it right for our disabled customers wherever we are working in Scotland.
“As a German, and a lifelong lover of all things Scottish, I want everyone to come here and have a good time, so ZDF approaching us and with Allied’s support, it has been really great in getting the news out there that Scotland is really open to disabled people.” The initiative also won praise from tourism body VisitScotland, whose inclusive tourism manager, Marina Di Duca, added: “Scotland is renowned for its warm welcome and at VisitScotland we want tourism to be inclusive and accessible for all. “It’s fantastic to hear about businesses like Scotland for All and Allied Vehicles offering tours for visitors with access requirements and it’s great that Scotland’s accessibility has been showcased on German television.