An Amadeus study has acknowledged that the travel industry has taken important steps towards improving the offer to those with accessibility needs. “But much work remains,” the travel technology company said.
Amadeus said it is estimated that by 2050, a fifth of the world’s population will have some accessibility need.
“Offering accessibility services is the right thing to do, and that will continue to drive action. What might create even greater momentum is the business sense to address a growing and increasingly important demographic,” said Tomás López Fernebrand, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Amadeus IT Group.
The Amadeus study was commissioned to better understand the needs of travellers with accessibility needs, and to identify a framework for action for the travel industry.
Amadeus took a 2015 study by Ivor Ambrose, managing director, European Network for Accessible Tourism, as a reference to identify four key elements building the value proposition of the ideal accessible trip:
effective communication, responsive service, along with standardised content and services, as well as a personalised offer.
In terms of effective communication, the study highlights both the lack of relevant content on accessibility, and the inaccessibility of information, as major barriers.
Good customer service is crucial for a seamless travel experience. In an ideal journey, customer service teams would be trained in all aspects of accessibility and have clear guidelines on ways to serve customers with different needs.
Standardised content and services are essential. The development of internationally recognised standards for accessible travel and tourism would help to eliminate one of the most shared concerns for this segment of travellers.
Finally, a personalised travel experience is a key component of accessible travel. Each part of the travel process should be tailored to the individual and their specific needs.
Across these four areas, Amadeus said technology must be seen as an enabler of more accessible travel, providing user friendly, dynamic and effective tools to better manage travel experiences.
Amadeus commissioned the research study with the consulting firm Ilunion, owned by ONCE, the Spanish National Organisation of the Blind.
Access the report ‘Voyage of Discovery – Working towards inclusive and accessible travel for all’ here.
4 key elements of an ideal accessible trip:
1. Effective communication
2. Responsive service
3. Standardised content and services
4. Personalised offers
UNWTO considers accessibility a central element of any responsible and sustainable tourism policy.
It is a human right imperative and an exceptional business opportunity. Above all, we must come to appreciate that accessible tourism does not only benefit persons with disabilities or special needs; it benefits us all.
– Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General.
Travel industry players need to sit down and agree, to come along and standardise everything and everyone else follows.
– Ivor Ambrose, managing director, European Network for Accessible Tourism