The last year or so has been a difficult one for the tourism industry, the pandemic having had a major impact on visitor numbers at destinations throughout the UK.

The outlook is better for next year, with Visit Britain predicting an increase in tourism visits from outside the UK from a predicted 7.7 million visits in 2021, to 24 million in 2022. This would only be 59% of 2019 levels however.

In these challenging times, improving accessibility at tourist destinations can be key to increasing visitor numbers. In 2019, the total expenditure generated by those with health conditions and impairments and their travelling companions was estimated to be £15.3 billion (Visit England, 2019).


If we also bear in mind the fact that 430,000 British adults with an impairment did not take a domestic trip in 2018 due to the lack of accessibility provision (Visit England, 2018), it is clear that increased accessibility offers significant opportunities for the industry.


Moreover, improved accessibility is not just helpful for those with disabilities. A lot of the changes made can improve the overall visitor experience for everyone. For example, using plain English and clear colour contrasts on websites and printed materials makes it easier for all visitors to find the information they need.

Installing a Changing Places toilet is an important part of any accessibility improvement project. A number of tourist destinations and venues are leading the way in this area.

The family-owned Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth has made a number of changes to improve accessibility, including the installation of a brand-new Changing Places Toilet installed by Astor Bannerman, a sensory room, a new lift to improve access at the front of the building, as well as hoists in some of the bedrooms. The improvements have been made possible by a match-funded bounce-back grant from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.

Installing a changing places toilet at the same time as other changes to visitor facilities can be a time and cost-efficient way of improving accessibility. A transformation of the visitor facilities at RSPB Loch Leven’s precious woodland and wetland reserve has recently been completed, with an Astor Bannerman Changing Places toilet being installed as part of the ambitious project.

With growing numbers of people visiting RSPB Scotland Loch Leven in recent years, the site was reaching capacity at peak times and the facilities and immediate area around the buildings were tired and in need of some TLC. So, the RSPB initiated a project, funded by the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund and players of the People’s postcode Lottery, to greatly improve the facilities on-site, creating an even better visitor experience, improving accessibility to nature for more people and maximising the environmental sustainability of the reserve.

To facilitate the installation of a Changing Places toilet, part of the courtyard building was converted into a new toilet wing. The new toilet block contains a Changing Places toilet, an accessible toilet, two family cubicles and individual toilets.

RAF Museum Cosford, one of the premier tourist destinations in Shropshire, took a different approach when they installed their toilet facility, reconfiguring an existing toilet block – converting standard toilets into a fully accessible Changing Places toilet.

With the incoming £30m of Government funding for Changing Places toilets, and the new legislation requiring accessible toilets in large, new (or redeveloped) public buildings, the hope is that more and more of those businesses, groups and councils involved in tourism will provide these vital facilities over the next few years.



The team at Aveso are passionate about Changing Places toilets. We have supported the official Changing Places campaign since 2013, and can provide free, expert advice on all aspects of the Changing Places planning and design process.


Astor Bannerman offer the full range of products specified by Changing Places regulations, including fixed and mobile changing tables, hoists, height adjustable washbasins, toilets and accessories. They are always developing new products, and are proud to have developed the Astor Invincible, the first changing table designed specifically for Changing Places toilets.