World congress boosts Edinburgh's accessibility credentials

Published: 04 June 2015

Edinburgh’s business tourism sector has received a substantial boost with the news of a successful bid win that will bring a far reaching legacy for the city.


Scotland’s Capital has been selected as the host city for the prestigious Rehabilitation International 23rd World Congress (R.I. World Congress) in October 2016.  Bringing over 1,000 delegates to Edinburgh and with an estimated economic impact of over £2million, the four-day event will play a crucial role in cementing Edinburgh’s reputation as an accessible destination that welcomes disabled and disadvantaged visitors.

Jointly led by Convention Edinburgh and host venue, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), the winning bid not only showcased the city’s strong business tourism offering, but ensured the Edinburgh’s accessible credentials were at its core. From Edinburgh’s transport providers and its compact size, to the considered approach to accessibility by the EICC and city businesses, Rehabilitation International leaders agreed Edinburgh was the best fit for its conference and delegates’ needs.

Roy O'Shaughnessy, Chief Executive of Shaw Trust and organisers of the R.I. World Congress 2016, said:


Shaw Trust is delighted to host the 2016 R.I. World Congress. As a country, Scotland is committed to equality, tackling social exclusion head on. Edinburgh was the natural choice to hold an international conference which promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities. For example, Edinburgh’s Trams and easy access buses offer accessible transport links will make it easier for delegates with limited mobility to attend the congress.

The event is a unique opportunity to build a stronger international coalition aimed at eradicating socioeconomic barriers and promoting independence. It will open a crucial dialogue between world leaders on how to improving the lives of people with disabilities.

VisitScotland currently estimate ‘Accessible Tourism’ market spend in Scotland to be worth £1.5billion, generating 29million day trips per year. It is a crucial market for both leisure and business tourism, yet often overlooked by businesses.