The Roman Baths has been recognised for the outstanding welcome it offers to visitors with disabilities at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
The historic attraction won Gold in the Inclusive Tourism category as well as a Silver for Inbound Tourism. The awards were announced yesterday (Monday 23 April 2018) at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.
Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “Many efforts have been made to ensure that the Roman Baths can be enjoyed by all of its visitors, including those with disabilities, for example through staff training, information provision and adjustments to the building.
“It’s great that the Roman Baths has been named as the best in the whole of England for inclusivity, as well as receiving a second award for Inbound Tourism. The Roman Baths & Pump Room receives more than 1.3 million visitors every year, which in turn benefits the economy of the whole area.
“It was wonderful to be able to welcome some of England’s other top tourism businesses to Bath for the ceremony at the Assembly Rooms.”
Thanks to recent major redevelopments, 90% of the Roman Baths can now be accessed by wheelchair users. Visitors with hearing or visual impairments can explore the site using British Sign Language guides and tactile displays, and visitors on the autism spectrum can find detailed guidance about what to expect on the Roman Baths website.
Approximately 40% of visitors to the Roman Baths come from overseas. Audioguides are available free of charge in 12 different languages, and printed information leaflets are also provided in more than 30 additional languages. In 2017, Mandarin was the most popular non-English audioguide, with a record-breaking 108,000 visitors selecting Mandarin, an increase of 7% on the previous year.
Last year, the East Baths area next to the famous Great Bath was revamped to include the latest modern interpretation. Work is now starting on the Archway Project, which will provide the new Roman Baths ‘Clore Learning Centre’ and a World Heritage Visitor Centre. The project will also open up new areas of the Roman Baths to visitors, including a laconicum (sauna) and exercise courtyard.