Queensland launches accessible tourism podcast – Accessed That in a bid to open travel to everyone

2023 marks the Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland and the Sunshine State has upped its inclusivity game with the launch of a new podcast, Accessed That, hitting the airwaves.

The podcast was conceived around the belief that ‘travel should be good’ and ‘travel should be easy’ for everyone and is based on the statistic that almost one quarter (23%) of travellers worldwide have accessibility needs. Closer to home, 20% of Australian adults live with a disability or long-term health condition with three quarters (75%) of those with a disability reporting that they travel regularly. The statistics highlight a need for increased awareness, information and empowerment around accessible travel options. 

The Accessed That podcast explores what it’s really like to travel while living with a disability. The aim is to both educate the tourism industry about the specific needs of guests living with disability, while at the same time, inspire travel without limitation. Spanning 11 engaging episodes, the series encourages travellers with a range of disabilities to share their own insights of ‘having been there, accessed that’.

Driving the conversation each week is Oliver Hunter, award-winning standup comedian living with Cerebral Palsy, and Karni Liddell, Paralympic swimmer, TV presenter and proud Queenslander who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy as a child. The duo get in front of the mic for a candid and informal chat with each of the 10 guests, drilling down into the challenges as well as the uplifting moments that come with travelling with disability.

Speaking ahead of the Accessed That podcast launch, Mr Hunter said he is wants to spread the word about accessible tourism and share stories of those who travel with disability.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing how different people travel and what they need in order to have a really great trip,” said Mr Hunter. 

“It is also a chance for me to get a bit of a low-down on the various accessible experiences, stays and events that are available across Queensland – from the beaches to the hinterland, the outback and the city centres.

“I use a wheelchair and the main barrier for me is the limited information available about accessible accommodation and activities. I often have to double check, usually with a phone call, which is becoming harder as everything is online. I sometimes need to get photos to understand how I can make travel work for my individual needs.

“For people with a disability, the best resource to prepare for anything, especially travel, is to hear direct from others with lived experiences. Firsthand reviews are what the Accessed That podcast offers. Each episode is filled with experiences straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Queensland’s tourism industry is embarking on a long-term journey to expand its existing accessible experiences and the podcast references examples from across the state. 

Steph Agnew has no vision and is one of the guests appearing on Accessed That, examining what it’s like to travel after losing one’s sight. The Sunshine Coast resident recently took a trip to Tropical North Queensland. 

“I would recommend Kuranda Scenic Railway to travellers who may be blind or have low vision,” said Ms Agnew.

“Even though I couldn’t see the vistas, I was able to tap into my other senses, like smell and hearing, to experience the rainforest. I could feel the cool air on my skin as we ascended up the mountain, while the audio aids onboard helped me understand the scenery we were passing and the history of the railway.

“Plus, the local food served in gold class was just incredible!”. 

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Queensland has a golden opportunity to become the world’s all-abilities destination of choice ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“The Queensland Government has declared 2023 as the State’s $12 million Year of Accessible Tourism to accelerate inclusive infrastructure, technology and industry knowledge,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Accessed That is about sharing supportive and welcoming travel experiences to inspire visitors of all-abilities to explore Queensland’s great lifestyle and iconic destinations.

“Accessible tourism is a transformative $1.8 billion opportunity for the visitor economy and good jobs because Queensland is too good not to be enjoyed by everyone.” 

The Accessed That podcast will be streamed via Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts from today, 28 August 2023, with new episodes released weekly on Monday. Listeners can find out more about the Accessed That podcast at queensland.com/accessedthatpodcast

For more information on accessible holidays in Queensland visit queensland.com/foreveryone.

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