Guide

Legal requirements for tourism businesses

Discrimination and equality in tourism businesses

If you provide any sort of accommodation in Northern Ireland, serviced or self-catering, you have duties under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Under this law, you must not discriminate against disabled people using your goods, facilities or services. You must treat everyone fairly, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, religion, belief or political opinion. You can’t refuse to serve people with disabilities or provide them a lower standard of service, unless this can be justified.

You may need to make 'reasonable adjustments' to any barriers that may prevent a person with disabilities using or accessing their service.

What is ‘reasonable’ will depend on a number of circumstances, including the cost of an adjustment. Think ahead and take steps to address barriers that impede disabled people. This can include:

  • making ‘reasonable’ changes to the way things are done – things that put disabled people at a disadvantage, eg no dogs policy
  • making ‘reasonable’ changes to the built environment – eg altering the structure of a building to improve access
  • providing auxiliary aids and services, eg information in an accessible format, an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, etc

See access and facilities for disabled people

The Equality Commission offer advice and information to service providers on their obligations under equality law.