Ross Calladine

Ross Calladine

Head of Business Support, Visit England, United Kingdom: Developing and promoting accessible destinations throughout England.


Ross Calladine is Head of Business Support for VisitEngland.
As part of his role at VisitEngland, Ross is the in-house accessibility expert developing initiatives that help tourism businesses tap into the high value, growing accessible tourism market, to entice people with access needs to enjoy England.
Ross led on the development of England’s first Accessible Tourism Action Plan, providing a clear strategic direction for stakeholders nationwide, to position England as a leading destination for people with access needs.
Ross has also developed an innovative ‘Access Statement Tool’ that assists England’s tourism businesses to improve the accessibility information they give potential visitors and spearheaded the production of a number of guidance booklets. These include ‘At your service’, which presents the business case for improving accessibility, ‘Listen Up!’ with tips to meet the needs of customers with hearing loss and ‘Speak Up!’ to help businesses market their accessibility.
As an authority on accessible tourism, Ross regularly speaks at industry events, most recently including ITB Berlin, World Travel Market and Destinations for All World Summit and he also plays a leading role in VisitEngland’s Access for All Tourism Award, which recognises leaders in the field.


National Tourist Board VisitEngland takes a leading role in the development of England as a leading destination for people with access needs. Key areas of work are: developing the economic business case, providing a suite of business support materials and undertaking Access for All Projects that develop and promote accessible destinations.
VisitEngland has recently produced a powerful infographic, which shows that the overnight accessible tourism market is now worth £3billion to the England economy, with day visits bringing the figure up to £12.4billion. What is particularly striking is the growth of this market over the past 4 years. Overnight domestic trips by disabled Britons and their companions have increased by 19%. Spend too has increased - by 33%, three times more than that of all trips.
The national tourist board has developed a framework for destinations to target the accessible tourism market. A pilot Access for All project, supported four destinations with accommodation and attractions from each destination taken through a robust Access for All programme to ensure they deliver the highest standard of access for visitors. The project culminated in the first ever national marketing campaign in England aimed at disabled people during March 2014. Now, with co-funding secured from the European Commission, a new Access for All project will support 7 destinations and 56 businesses with a marketing campaign scheduled for end Summer 2015.
VisitEngland has developed a suite of business guides, tools and case studies to help businesses meet the needs of travelers with access needs. This includes an Online Access Statement Tool for businesses to provide information on their accessibility, an annual Access for All Tourism Award and guides such as Listen Up! with tips on welcoming customers with hearing loss.