Gold award for Accessibility
Following our recent success at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards; we were nominated for 3 Regional South West Tourism Awards. The winners were announced via Zoom on Thursday 22nd April 2021, with the best tourist attractions, accommodation, cafes, and information services rewarded for all their hard work over this challenging year.
The first ever virtual ceremony for the Tourism Awards took place via zoom with the best of the Tourism Sector across the South West attending.
We are proud to win not one but three of the prestigious awards. A Bronze Award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, a Bronze Award for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism and finally a Gold Award for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism.
The team are particularly thrilled to have received the Gold Award for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism after a huge push by the zoo to become accessible for all visitors. Our Ark for All initiative, which started in 2018, aims to support all visitors in having a great visit to the zoo.
In recent years, the initiative has seen the installation of a Changing Places toilet complete with hoist and changing bed, accessible play equipment, accessible signs as well as improving our car park to make it more accessible to wheelchair users. The team have also undertaken training in Autism, mental health awareness and British Sign Language. The increase in accessibility and inclusivity has seen a sharp rise in the numbers of visitors with disabilities and their families visiting us at the zoo.
A recent visitor said “One of the very few fully accessible places to visit in Bristol! My daughter had a wonderful time, thank you for including all children.”
This year’s Ethical Responsible and Sustainable Award is sponsored by South West Water. Therefor, there is a real emphasis on Water Conservation at this year’s awards. At the zoo, we harvest a huge amount of rainwater from the roofs of their animal houses which can be used to fill pools for animals and to water plants.
Noah’s Ark is devoted to teaching the next generation about the importance of protecting and conserving the natural world as well as teaching young people practical skills through their volunteer and work experience programmes. Recently, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm planted over 5,500 trees on their 110-acre site as well as installing over 100 new nest boxes for native birds.
Larry Bush, Managing Director, said “We are absolutely thrilled to have received these awards which highlight the dedication of our talented and committed team. Accessibility is such an important aspect of tourism and at Noah’s Ark we’re working hard to be as inclusive and accessible as we can through our improved facilities and through awareness and training of our team. It’s a huge honour to be recognised for our progress with these tourism awards.”