Fostering social diversity: How can visitor attractions create inclusive experiences?

Visitor attractions play a vital role in shaping our cultural encounters and enhancing our wellbeing. They hold the capability to unite people from diverse backgrounds, creating an arena for collective moments and lasting memories

Fostering social diversity: How can visitor attractions create inclusive experiences?

Regrettably, in the past specific demographics have been marginalised, shedding light on deep-rooted social and cultural injustices. However, there’s a growing recognition for the significance of inclusivity.

Creating inclusive visitor attractions in the UK is not only a matter of ethical responsibility, but also makes good business sense. When attractions are accessible and welcoming to a wide range of demographics, they can attract a larger and more varied audience, leading to increased revenue and cultural enrichment for all. 

What strategies can visitor attractions adopt to be more inclusive? 

Based on our research and collaboration with visitor attractions, we’ve identified six strategies that businesses could implement to heighten awareness of social diversity within their venues.

  1. Cultural Representation: Develop exhibits, displays, and events that celebrate the diversity of cultures within the community. 
  2. Accessibility: Create spaces that cater to individuals with disabilities, ensuring that the attraction is physically and programmatically accessible to all.
  3. Inclusive Programming: Design workshops, performances, and activities that address the interests of various age groups, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
  4. Community Partnerships: Collaborate with local schools, organisations, and community groups to grow relationships and co-create programs that resonate with different segments of society.
  5. Cultivate Welcoming Atmospheres: Train staff to be culturally sensitive and inclusive, ensuring that all visitors feel valued and respected.
  6. Affordability and Accessibility: Offer flexible pricing options, memberships, or free days to ensure that financial constraints do not prevent people from visiting.

Which UK visitor attractions can we learn from?

Let’s look at some of the visitor attractions in the UK who are embracing diversity. These represent just a handful of the remarkable attractions from around the country, demonstrating impressive efforts as we move forward toward a more inclusive society.

Walker Art Gallery

Part of National Museums Liverpool, has taken proactive steps to foster inclusivity. Responding to Black Lives Matter commitments, the organisation is reassessing artifacts to focus on cultural origins, not just collectors’ views. So far, around 50 pieces tied to slavery and empire have been identified through gallery reviews. The collaboration with local youth and Birkbeck College underscores the commitment to decolonisation and community engagement, setting an example for cultural institutions to broaden their outreach.

Woodside Wildlife Park 

Stands as a beacon of accessibility, striving for an enjoyable experience for all. Their commitment is evident through a dedicated and comprehensive accessibility page on their website, offering discounted rates for visitors with disabilities – a welcoming gesture towards inclusivity with a wheelchair-friendly environment that encourages effortless exploration.

Woodside extends its hospitality to assistance dogs and emotional support animals, inviting them into specific areas such as the car park, courtyard, toilets, and tearoom. Additionally, Woodside Wildlife Park acknowledges the needs of visitors with autism, offering valuable guidance on planning and strategies to avoid busier periods.

This wide-ranging approach underlines the Wildlife Park’s commitment to creating an inviting, diverse, and accommodating environment for all.

England’s Inclusive Tourism Action Group

Plays a pivotal role in accelerating inclusivity at visitor attractions. This collaborative initiative involves government bodies, tourism organisations, and industry stakeholders working together to ensure that the tourism sector is accessible and welcoming to all. The group provides guidance, resources, and best practices for attractions to enhance their inclusivity efforts. 

There is still work to be done 

Visitor attractions have the potential to transcend cultural, social, and economic boundaries, uniting people in a shared appreciation for art, nature, history, and more. The attractions mentioned above exemplify the many incredible accessible visitor attractions in the UK, showcasing that by actively embracing inclusivity, attractions are not only diversify their audiences, but also enriching the experiences of all who visit.

By fostering social diversity in the space of visitor attractions, we contribute to a more inclusive and harmonious society where no matter our background, we can come together to learn, connect, and create lasting memories.

About Vennersys

Vennersys has been at the cutting edge of visitor attraction management solutions for more than 30 years, operating their innovative VenposCloud system to help increase revenue and efficiency. From comprehensive event management systems to stock taking and customer data collection, the VenposCloud system offers everything from one easy-to-use system. Vennersys is proud to be apart of the Christie Group PLC network, alongside our sister company Christie & Co, who are currently active in the franchise sector, working with brands such as Carls Jr, Paulaner, and AmRest (Sushi Shop) to find new franchisees.  

Lewis Sargent
Lewis Sargent