The appointment follows the government’s release of its new ‘National Disability Strategy’ – with officials outlining plans to offer disabled people better job support and opportunities.
Nicholls said that as part of her new role she will “ensure” that the sector becomes “even better” at accommodating customers with disabilities, as well as providing employment – noting that there is “huge potential” for jobs and careers for those with disabilities.
In addition, Nicholls stated the appointment will help “boost the difference” that the group can make to deliver on its previous commitment in the Tourism Sector Deal, to make the sector “more accessible and to work to broaden public understanding of disability and accessibility, beyond simply visible disabilities”.
She said: “Our sector has always striven to welcome team members and customers from all backgrounds and levels of physical or mental ability but today’s announcement will hopefully provide the basis to improve yet further our ability to do so.
“The ongoing reopening of venues has underlined the prime objective of hospitality – to make people feel safe, welcome and comfortable, in order to enjoy good company and great food and drink.”
She added: “There ought to be no impediments to the nation’s 14 million people living with disability to miss out on the same pleasures that hospitality brings to the rest of the nation, either as a customer or as a valued member of staff, and so we welcome today’s strategy to that end.”