ORHMA launching accessibility focused accommodation directory for 2015 Pan Am Games

TORONTO—The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) is launching an advanced national directory highlighting accessibility standards and traveler needs.

Fatima Finnegan.

Fatima Finnegan.

TORONTO—The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) is launching an advanced national directory highlighting accessibility standards and traveler needs aimed at readying Ontario’s accommodation sector for next summer’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto.

The Accessible Experience will add an accessibility rating to each property listing in the Check In Canada national accommodations directory using the Planat online tool. Developed by the Rick Hansen Foundation, Planat provides travel-related accessibility information and consumer reviews regarding mobility, sight and hearing accommodations.

ORHMA is working with the foundation and Check In Canada to feature accessibility information designed to help travelers with disabilities choose accommodations that meet their needs.

The directory is expected to launch in January and be completed in March, in time to benefit the estimated 250,000 tourists expected to visit the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, which take place July 10-26 and Aug. 7-15, 2015, respectively.

“This is not about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act—it’s about accommodating guests and providing an inclusive tourism experience,” Fatima Finnegan, the ORHMA’s director of corporate marketing and business development, told CLN.

Each hotel participating in the Accessible Experience will be added to the Check In Canada directory and Finnegan said the goal is to post 1,000 Ontario properties on the site by March. Available for both web and mobile, the directory is a distribution channel with commission-free real-time direct hotel bookings enabling searchable listings by day and rate.

Included is an industry driven quality assurance program; an industry supported process for resolving consumer complaints, and optional Green Key identification available to eco-friendly hotels. Currently, Alberta is the only province listing accommodations on Check In Canada.

Beginning in March, 2015, each hotel qualifying for the Accessible Experience will be added to the Check In Canada directory complimentary in the first year. Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, along with Ontario Travel, will promote Check In Canada and all listed hotels as the official Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games hotel reservation site.