About Inclusive Tourism

Who are we?

Melissa James is the CEO and Founder of Inclusive Tourism, which is the parent to the multi award winning website cangoeverywhere.com.au She began her accessible tourism crusade after experiencing firsthand the difficulties of travelling with people with special requirements and the lack of information available to them.

Melissa is a qualified access consultant, specialising in the accessible tourism space. She can provide advice and support to operators wanting to implement change within their businesses. By helping them to identify barriers and implement simple, inexpensive improvements she enables them to maximize accessibility.

Since founding Inclusive Tourism, Melissa has developed and delivered educational programs, keynote addresses and was invited to speak at the World Summit on Accessible Tourism held in Brussels in 2018.

Melissa has worked with a variety of organisations ranging from small to large tourism operators, Destination Management organisations and Councils on a variety of projects.

Who do we work with?

We work with various organisations, government of all levels as well as the private sector.

Inclusive Tourism has developed accessible tourism products such as the Accessible Experiences Guides for Gold Coast Council in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

Destination Gold Coast employed our expertise to develop and promote tools and workshops to enable operators to better understand the market and take steps to accommodate and attract travellers of all abilities. With the help of funding from the Queensland Government, a mentoring project was run to take a select number of businesses through the process of becoming more accessible.

Melissa regularly runs workshops for local councils, often in partnership with Chambers of Commerce, to educate businesses about the accessible tourism market. The workshops provide an introduction to the market, its size and potential business opportunities. These are then followed up with Inclusive Customer Service workshops aimed at front line staff with ‘how to’ for patrons with accessibility requirements. People that undertake this training learn how to engage with confidence and understanding, helping them to provide their guests with the highest level of service.

See our Training page for more information about our training services.

Melissa is also a sought after speaker and contributes articles to a variety of publications. She speaks to many business groups, educating them on the practical elements, as well as the economic and social benefits of being accessible. This in turn is a positive for local communities as cafes, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses recognise the benefits of becoming accessible.

CanGoEverywhere was created to be the conduit between travellers and accessibility-friendly destinations and services. By providing information on accessible businesses and service providers around the country, CanGo helps people with special requirements have more confidence to travel and know their needs will be met – because let’s face it; everyone deserves a holiday without hassle!

Our vision for CanGo is for it to provide complete destination information.  Not only will people be able to find somewhere to stay, but they’ll also be able to find what they can do, where they can eat and any other relevant information, such as equipment hire outlets.

This website is an ever evolving project.  It has been designed by qualified access consultants and does not just provide information for wheelchair users. We want to provide information relevant to a broad range of people with many different disabilities and requirements.

When dealing with Inclusive Tourism our clients can expect to:

Case Study

Scandic Hotels operate 223 hotels across eight countries. They have a total of 40,274 hotel rooms and 13,000 staff members. Scandic hired its disability coordinator in 2003. He started by hiring three wheelchairs for the head office. Then he let all the team members, over 100 of them, spend time in a wheelchair to see life from that perspective. They passed the wheelchairs round the office for 3 months. Being in a wheelchair is just one of many disabilities, but it is an excellent way to get people discussing the issue. Just ten years later Scandic has the most inclusive approach to accessibility of any hotel chain. Magnus Berglund, Disability Ambassador at Scandic said “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. This gives us a clear competitive advantage as well as showing our commitment to social responsibility.”

Case Study

The training delivered provided an honest approach and delivered applicable strategies for my team of Customer Service professionals to feel like they can deliver a positive customer experience for people with a disability. The training was localised and tailored to our organisations needs, which made it relevant. It has delivered an increased level of comfort for my staff to feel they can use the most appropriate combination of touch, language and actions to best support a customer with a disability in person, online or over the phone.

– Tiffany S, Coordinator Communications and Customer Service

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