Photoroute for Accessible Tourism

Knowing that PhotoRoute for Accessible Tourism is a great concept, a number of us from PhotoRoute had the great pleasure of attending Visit Scotland’s Accessible Tourism Conference this week in Edinburgh. What a great event this was to promote the concept and business case for accessible tourism in Scotland. As ever, Scotland seems to be ahead of the curve!

Scotland is host to a number of significant events in 2014:Visit Scotland

  • Homecoming Scotland 2014
  • Glasgow 2014 – The Commonwealth Games
  • The Ryder Cup – Gleneagles 2014

The country, quite rightly, is gearing up to provide an accessible welcome to all. People with disabilities and impairments are just as entitled to visit these and other great events, but the tourist infrastructure needs to be fit for purpose to provide accessible facilities for those people. Provision of World-class tourist facilities makes good business sense.

  • The statistics make for a great business case to support accessible tourism:
  • The market is growing in terms of customer numbers and so its spending power. 
  • The annual disability market is estimated in excess of £80 billion, older people’s spending is set to reach £100 billion p.a. 
  • In 2008 older people’s spend reached £97 billion, some 15% of total household spend in the UK.
  • According to ONS Travel 2009-11, the 55 plus age group outspent the 16-34 group for the very first time.

However, the clients feel that there is insufficient choice for accessible facilities. Studies have shown that there is pent up demand for accessible tourism, not just within the UK, but from the rest of the world. People with disabilities do like to travel and explore tourist places as much as anyone.

  • 84% of Europeans believe better accessibility of goods and services would improve opportunities for industry to sell products to disabled and older people
  • Two thirds 66% said that they would buy, or pay more for products if they were more accessible and better designed for all.  

(Flash Eurobarometer  Report EU Commission – Director General Justice –  March 2012)

Accessible Tourism

The main barrier for the Tourism Industry is the low level of awareness, misconceptions and discomfort with disability with the needs and aspirations of people with accessible needs. The Visit Scotland conference was about getting behind those myths, asking the difficult questions, opening up the dialogue that has been shut down by political correctness over many years!

Accessible Tourism is all about unlocking the potential that exists in the business case for providing accessible facilities. It is far more than just compliance with the law, it will give you a real return on your business investment:

  • Expand and diversify your customer base
  • Financial benefits: increased sales and improved profitability
  • Loyal customer base and repeat business
  • Improved reputation and ‘free’ word of mouth advertising
  • Competitive advantage: differentiation from competitors
  • It is not about charity
  • It’s about a better return on your investment
  • It’s about higher occupancy rates
  • It’s about sales
  • It’s about just good business sense
  • “Just market to me like you market to the golfers…. I have money to spend I need good quality information, I need a smile… these cost very little.”

PhotoRoute is happy to support this accessible initiative of Visit Scotland. The Photoroute product is a facility to help businesses help people with access and learning difficulties find their way to their premises. Hotels, visitor attractions and parks are ideal clients for the PhotoRoute technology. It is very cost effective and easy to use. It provides facilities for the traveler on the go, as well as providing the opportunity to research the terrain and access of where they are going, before they set out.

If you would like more information on PhotoRoute for accessible tourism, please use the contact page and we will talk to you soon.






News PhotoRoute

The Guardian lists PhotoRoute

The Guardian Technology Apps Blog has discovered Photoroute and likes what it sees. It has listed a number of recently published apps and in the list it has included Photoroute.

Here’s what it has to stay about our recently published Photoroute London mobile app.


This is a really good idea: an app from Enabled City for “accessible, editable route maps” in London, aimed at people with physical and learning disabilities, as well as people speaking English as a second language. That means step-free routes for people using wheelchairs, and photos taken along each route to aid navigation.

Android / iPhone”
The Guardian Technology Apps Blog, by Stuart Dredge

Over 100 Premium Routes through Central London

We are very pleased to have a national newspaper and media company of the standing of The Guardian confirm that they think it’s a really good idea too and with a circulation of 60,847,400, we couldn’t have said it any better ourselves!

Photoroute London

Our first mobile version of the photoroute product family focuses on London and should help the many people visiting London for the first time, whether it’s for the Olympics or the Diamond Jubilee or for business. It comes with a whole lot of carefully selected routes and we are adding to the store of photoroutes all the time. Your investment in the mobile app version will allow you to access an ever increasing number of routes in London and, eventually, throughout the world.

If you haven’t already downloaded your version of the app you can do so on the side panel on the right. It’s available at a very special launch discount right now.


Visit the London Sea Life Aquarium

We are delighted to feature one of London’s top tourist attractions – The London Sea Life Aquarium – which is right in the heart of London’s SouthBank. The London Sea Life Aquarium brings the underwater world to the centre of London and is accessible to tourists and locals alike.
Directions of how to get to the London Sea Life Aquarium could not be easier than with Enabled City’s award-winning photo route maps. These easy to use maps show the way to the London Sea Life Aquarium from the nearest major transport hubs. Our maps are just right forthose who find it difficult to read traditional maps.

Major attractions within the London Aquarium include the Shark Walk and the shark
reef encounter featuring around 16 real live sharks. You can even touch shark skin – if you are brave enough. The shark encounter lets you come face to face with some of the most awesome sharks from the Pacific and other oceans. Walk within feet of these highly specialised creatures through the glass walkway of the London Aquarium.
For those who are completely fearless, there is the opportunity to go snorkelling with sharks. You will be pleased to know that they haven’t lost any visitors yet!
If sharks are not your thing then the London Aquarium has many other great creatures from the depths and the shallows of the world’s oceans. Turtles, penguins, octopus and, of course, Nemo otherwise known as the clownfish who has a striking relationship with stinging anemonea can all be found at the London Aquarium. The delicate sea-horse is in stark contrast to the mighty crocodile yet the both inhabit the underwater oceans of the world.

Feeding times at the London Aquarium

Feeding times at the London aquarium are not to be missed. Check the precise schedule, but somthing is fed every day on the half hour between 11.30 and 16.30. Discover the feeding frenzy of some of the top line predators. Watch the piranhas devour everything which is put in front of them.
Whatever you do, don’t put your hands in the water!

How to get to the London Sea Life Aquarium

Finding your way to the London Aquarium couldn’t be easier with our Photoroute maps which show you the way from the nearest transport hubs. You can check the map out here. Very shortly you will be able to download directions of how to get to the London Aquarium onto your mobile phone. In association with the Greater London Authority, we have produced many maps of London’s Southbank and these can be found here.


Incorporating Photoroute on your website

Incorporating Photoroute on your website can be implemented in many ways thanks to the flexibility and configurability which has been designed into the Photoroute product set. There is no single best way to build Photoroute maps into your website, but rather you have the choice of a number of ways to complement the design and content of your site.

The best way to add Photoroute to your homepage will depend on how many Photoroute maps you want to show on the front page. Perhaps, it’s only one from the nearest tube station. Or perhaps, there are several bus stops and train and tube stations nearby from which your visitors will arrive. If there are so many alternative ways to get to your location, then perhaps a map or schematic showing the available photoroute maps may be the best option.

Let’s have a look at some examples.

Full Width Embedded Photoroute

Reduced width Embedded Photoroute

You can configure the size of an embedded photoroute to any size you want to fit in the real estate on your website page. We have produced a reconfigured version of the above phoroute here to show you what a smaller version would look like.
You could incorporate more than one of these Photoroutes on your website page but it might begin to look too cluttered if you have too many of them.

List of available Photoroutes

Sometimes a straightforward list of the available Photoroutes will do the job. A list of start and end points is clear and unambiguous and easily understood. The list should not be too long, and the start points should be easily recognisable. Tube and train stations are well suited to a list approach. Bus stops can be problematical if there are many stops which surround your location.

Map or schematic representation of many Photoroutes

We can create a schematic or map based representation of many Photoroutes to your organisation’s location. The choice of map or schematic will depend on a number of factors. The design objective is to allow your visitors to easily and quickly identify the most suitable route for them to use to get to your location. Your own branding could be incorporated to maintain your own brand identity.

A great example of a map based view of the available photoroutes is one we have created for the Southbank Riverside Walks in London which will be launched in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics visitors. You can see this example here. Note that this example also includes the list of available Photoroutes so that the reader can choose whichever means of identification with which they are comfortable or confident.

With this range of ways of adding Photoroute maps to your website, there really is a compelling reason to embrace Photoroute and give your visitors the clearest way to find your location.


Sample Photoroute – Tower Hill Gateway to City Hall

To get the feel for the quality and effectiveness of PhotoRoute maps, it is often best to take a look at one of the routes. As described elsewhere, the GLA has invested heavily in the Southbank Riverside walk access improvements and as part of that investment programme, they commissioned Enabled City Ltd to produce 26 PhotoRoutes into/out of/and around the improved Southbank Riverside infrastructure.

Here is just one example of one of the Photoroute maps. This shows the route from Tower Hill Gateway to the GLA building, City Hall on the Southbank, near the Tower of London.
This is a fully functional route which is shown here in embeddable form. Click on the map and you will be able to trace your footsteps through the route.

If you click on the “view this map on enabled maps”, then you will see the full size version of the photoroute map and you can step through the decision points on the route to take you to City Hall and onto the Southbank Riverside Walk which stretches from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge.

This is just one example of these very effective and useful maps which you can use on a mobile device or you can print out the route details before you set off and use it as your guide.

Southbank Riverside Walk

Please contact us if you would like to have PhotoRoute maps for directions to your organisation. Be helpful to your customers and make it easy for them to find you. Particularly if your customers have special access requirements, PhotoRoutes can improve the experience of your customers using your premises.

The embeddable version (like the one above) is great for the home page of your website or on your ‘how to find us’ page. It really couldn’t be any easier with our intuitive toolkit.

Enabled Maps News PhotoRoute

Southbank Riverside Walk Access Improvements

We were delighted to be able to share a display unit at LOCOG’s (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) Inclusive Journey 2012 exhibition Sign 1at the Excel Centre yesterday to exhibit the enabled maps which we have developed for the GLA (Greater London Authority) for the Southbank Project.

Click on images for full sized display board reads:

The riverside walk along the Southbank of the River Thames from Westminster to Tower Bridge is being made more accessible. The South Bank remains home to many of the capital’s finest cultural institutions and is one of the most visited locations in London.
Working with the London Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, the Greater London Authority is investing £4 million to improve pavement layouts, install better lighting and signage, increasing seating and provide more access ramps and handrails. This is a lasting legacy for London, enabling even more people to enjoy this area.

Southbank Riverside Walk

Sign 2The improvements will provide:

  • A continuous safe and accessible route along the Southbank of the River Thames
  • A route that everyone can use and enjoy regardless of age or disability
  • Alternative routes for cyclists where the walkway is at its narrowest on the street network to the south of the main pedestrian route
  • Accessible links between the bridges providing pedestrian connections to the north of the river
  • Easy wayfinding by photo routes – the route along the Southbank and the accessible connections to it from nearby rail and tube stations have been illustrated with photographs which can be downloaded from This helps everyone find their way to the Southbank Riverside Walk and is particularly helpful to people with learning disabilities, people whose first language is not English including British Sign language users, and others who find traditional map reading difficult.

PhotoRoutes provide an easy way for people with learning and other disabilities to confidently get around London and other cities and locations. London expects to welcome thousands of disabled visitors including people using wheelchair and other visitors with access requirements during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

The Mayor is committed to delivering the most accessible Games ever and the production of Photo Route maps along the Southbank contributes to making everyone’s visit to London an accessible experience.

See articles for an update on PhotoRoute.