Comment: Accessible travel is worth the investment

Travel Weekly’s Lucy Huxley says there is a clear commercial rationale for placing greater focus on inclusive holidays

Like everyone at last week’s Atas Summit, I was moved by the story of Nick Wilson, an injured ex-serviceman who was thwarted in his attempt to scale Snowdon in a custom-designed power chair due to a technical failure just metres from the peak.

While this story was incredibly emotional, more powerful still was his description of the aftermath of his accident, when he yearned to see the world and have the fun and freedom taken for granted by able-bodied travellers. It was a compelling story and I know a number of the touring and adventure suppliers in the room were moved to consider ways to make their holidays more accessible.

More: Disabled travellers ‘continue to be overlooked’, says inclusive travel entrepreneur

Comment: The narrative around ‘accessible travel’ has to change

Agents call for ‘one-stop shop’ for accessible travel information

One specialist in the field took aim at the industry, saying nothing had changed in the past 30 years because suppliers are too fearful to address the issue.

But another delegate countered that it wasn’t fear that restricted change, more the corporate risk involved when not every element of a package can be owned or guaranteed.

It is undoubtedly complex, but in addition to the ethical obligations, there is also a clear commercial rationale for change when you consider one in four households includes someone with special needs and the accessible market is valued at $95 billion globally.

Next month, we will be publishing our second accessible travel-themed issue as we help our readers improve their understanding and better serve their customers. It will be packed with information and advice from specialists, so make sure you check it out in print and online on July 11.


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