A new travel agency is hoping to revolutionise the slow and difficult booking process for the disabled travel market.
Inclu Travel, set up by former Travel Counsellors homeworker Richard Thompson, hopes to make it possible for agents to get holiday quotes for disabled clients within 24 hours for the first time.
Thompson has battled for years to get the industry to recognise the commercial benefits of tapping into the disabled travel market and make it easier for agents to book holidays, in particular to guarantee accessible hotel rooms, in the same time frame as standard accommodation.
He thinks this may now finally be possible by focusing on the luxury sector. His homeworking agency, set up during the UK lockdown, is part of 360 Private Travel, also a member of the Virtuoso network of luxury specialist agents.
He said: “My objective is that within six months we can go to a destination marketing company anywhere and get an itinerary with a quote within 24 hours. Before, that was impossible; it would take five months to get a complex itinerary booked [for a disabled client].”
As well as the agency, Thompson, who is himself disabled, has set up Inclu Consulting with a board of specialists from the disabled market.
He is in talks with nearly 100 DMCs and hoteliers through 360 Private Travel to train them and help them adapt their facilities to cater for disabled travellers by installing items such as swimming pool hoists.
He is confident that suppliers in the mainstream market will follow the lead of those in the luxury sector.
He added: “Being part of 360 Private Travel means I can now get to the people with the right mindset.”
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