The Evolution of Accessible Travel

The disability travel market is often viewed through the perspective of legal compliance but overlooked as a real opportunity for airlines, hotels, destinations, and other travel companies.

Statistics are scarce, but according to a study commissioned in 2015 by the Open Doors Organization, adults with disabilities in the U.S. spend $17.3 billion a year on leisure and business travel. Over the two years before the study, 26 million adults with disabilities took 73 million trips.

And the subject is getting more attention. New York State announced an accessible tourism initiative in mid-October, and later that month the Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at New York University’s School of Professional Studies held a discussion about optimizing hotel and tourism experiences for guests with disabilities.

On this episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about the legal and technological changes that have made travel more accessible, the opportunities that the industry has been missing, and what ground is still left to cover.

Our guests are Peter Slatin, founder and president of Slatin Group, which provides education and training to help businesses — including many in travel — improve interactions with clients who have disabilities. His program Elements of Service: Serving Guests with Disabilities also recently went online through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.

Also with us via Skype is Brett Heising, CEO of brettapproved.com, a travel and entertainment review site for users with physical disabilities or mobility impairment. Through a travel agency partnership, the site also provides bookings and trip coordination.

They join Skift podcast host Hannah Sampson and reporter Andrew Sheivachman.

 

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Booking.com CEO on Taking a Mobile-First Approach

Anyone who has traveled has likely found — or at least searched for — a room on Booking.com.

The site has more than a million accommodations to choose from in more than 93,000 destinations across the globe. It’s the largest and most important brand in Priceline Group, and we were happy to have CEO Gillian Tans on stage at the Skift Global Forum in September.

She joined for a follow-up conversation backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk about last-minute behavior, direct bookings, advertising, new search methods, and more.

Tans spoke to Skift contributing writer Jeremy Kressman.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

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What Online Travel Legends Say About the Future of Travel

The Skift Global Forum recently brought together some of the biggest names in online travel for rousing conversations on stage and behind the scenes.

The lineup was full of heavy hitters: Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia Inc.; Jay Walker, founder of Priceline and CEO of Upside; Brad Gerstner, founder and CEO of Altimeter Capital; and Rich Barton, founder of Expedia and current executive chairman of Zillow Group.

After talking about the past, present, and future of online travel in front of a crowd, they joined us backstage in the Skift Take Studio for an encore conversation about mobile, voice search, augmented reality, and how the industry is adapting to changing consumer behavior.

They spoke to Skift contributing writer Jeremy Kressman and editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson.

This is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

 

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today! Subscribe via iTunesSoundCloud, or RSS.