Redefining Accessible Tourism as a Profitable Market
Accessible Tourism is no longer about building ramps and accessible bathrooms. It is about building products and services for a large and rapidly growing market. This is no longer a niche, but rather, a segment that is approaching 25% of the total tourism spend.
The market is being driven by the retiring Baby Boomers, who, despite their age, will be unlike any previous generation. There will be active and will travel to relive their youth, albeit at a slower pace.
This generation has never taken "no" for an answer and will expect the tourism industry to meet their needs.
The attitude of the Baby Boomers is summed up by this quote from Tom Peters:
We are the Aussies. Kiwis, Americans and Canadians. We are the Western Europeans and Japanese. We are the fastest growing, the biggest, the wealthiest, the boldest, the most (yes) ambitious, the most experimental and exploratory, the most different, the most indulgent, the most difficult and demanding, the most service and experience obsessed, the most vigorous, (the least vigorous), the most health conscious, the most female,the most profoundly important commercial market in the history of the world … and we will be the Center of your universe our for the next twent twenty-five years ears. We have arrived!
The following video from the "Mind the Accessibility Gap Conference" in 2014 summarizes how the tourism industry can go about capturing a lucrative size of this market.
- Accessible Tourism is important because it is an investment in the future
- All investments in accessible tourism studied have paid back
- There is a high level of loyalty
- Scandic - of 50 hotels in Europe there was payback in the first year
- One person may decide what the whole group does, real implications for conferences
- It is about creating a seamless stream of accessible offers
- Accessible information has to enable people to make a real choice
- Small inexpensive things can make a huge difference
- Accessible tourism is one of the last growing markets in the economy
- It is a market that is greatly misunderstood and vastly under serviced
TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.
Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.
We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:
- Development of Access Statements
- Product, service and program development
- Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
- Staff and Management Training
- Marketing Services and Toolkits
- Access information kits
- Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
- Property Audits and Universal Design planning
- Self Audit Tools
- National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
- Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
- Disability Action Plans
- New Project planning and Development
- Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
- Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.