Advocates for Inclusive Tourism
Working Towards Making the World Accessible For All
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TravAbility is dedicated to Inclusive Tourism through education, advocacy, and by providing accessibility information for the world’s best travel destinations.
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.
TravAbility Properties is a resource to find accessible home swaps, vacation rentals, long term rentals, and homes for sale throughout the world!
PhotoAbility provides travel operators, advertising agencies, destination tourism authorities and boards and the media with a rich resource of inclusive imagery.
Gothenburg was the proud winner of the Access City Award 2014. The annual competition is organised by the European Commission and awards European cities that have shown exceptional good work with addressing accessibility issues. The competition is intended to recognise cities that have high goals and have a holistic approach to creating an accessible environment for everyone, with a focus on people with disabilities. The City of Gothenburg’s efforts to integrate people with all types of disabilities in the society made it 2014’s winning city.
A day out at the Melbourne Zoo is now more accessible and convenient for all Victorians and visitors to the State with the opening of a $110,000 Changing Places facility, but the State Government missed the opportunity to enhance the Accessible Tourism experience.
Changing places are a great facility and there should be many more in the state at all major tourist attractions, but more needs to be done to recognise that Accessible Tourism is a quarter of the total tourism market. It is mainstream business and travellers with a disability have to be treated as valuable potential clients. Accessibility is not an audit report page but should be incorporated into the descriptions of all the exhibits and activities as a matter of course.
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has launched a new Access for All campaign, aimed to raise awareness of accessible destinations and businesses in England, informing disabled people of accommodation and visitor attractions when planning a day trip or holiday.
Following a successful pilot project in 2013/14 with four destinations; VisitEngland accessed funding from the European Commission to expand the Access for All initiative, with a grant of €125,000. For the past year VisitEngland has been working with seven local destination partners across the country to create a series of access guides covering coastal, countryside and city destinations.
In an interesting new development we see a sport created for people with a disability becoming popular with everyone. Increasing new technology is opening up opportunities for people with a disability to engage in a greater variety of sports and leisure pursuits. In the case of four wheel mountain bikes it is creating inclusive opportunities for people of all abilities to enjoy activities togther as a family or group of friends. The challenge now for venue operators and track designers is to ensure they incorporate enough double track courses in their designs and developments to cater for this growing market. People with a disability as not passive observers and represent a large market to the tourism industry. Clearly Scotland is recognising the value of attracting people with a disability in a wide range of leisure activities and further recognises the value of Accessible Tourism to the Scottish Ecomomy
Well not really but at least I have your attention! It would be nice to think that travelers with a disability were free to travel the Universe with nothing more than their trusty towel. In reality, travel even to a local attraction, is far more difficult than it needs to be. Travel, recreation and leisure are all about about the "experience" which ideally should be seamless from planning, to arrival back home. Enjoyment comes from those experiences and the way they are shared with others. The experience lingers in the memories of those who participated. A truly remarkable travel experience leaves the visitor changed in some way.
Centuries ago in an ancient world, kings were building magnificent temple complexes. King Suryavarman II wasn’t exactly thinking about wheelchair accessibility when he built Angkor Wat, the largest temple complex in the world. Although Angkor Wat can be difficult to climb even for an able bodied person, it didn’t stop these adventurers from Belgium using their wheelchairs!
In May of 2012 Global Ballooning, Based in Melbourne, Australia, became Australia's first commercial hot air balloon company to put into service an accessible basket. At this years Victorian Disability Awards Kiff Sanders was recognised for supporting people with a disability winning the ‘Business and Community Supporting Disability’ category.
It is time to understand that a traveler with a disability is not a risk management problem, but a customer who has the same desire as any other traveler – to experience and participate in something they choose for themselves and for which they exchange valuable currency to do so.
Travability Properties has been created to provide a new resource for you to find accessible swaps, rentals, sales and vacation rentals throughout the world.
What if you could take a two week vacation anywhere in the world of your choice with FREE accommodation and a vehicle provided? What if all you had to pay for was airfare to get there? Well, this is now a very real possibility with our Home Swapping or Home Exchange site.
The one thing I learned in Belize, which was actually the most impactful on me, is regardless of how intentionally or unintentionally inaccessible and excluding the country is, they are some of the most helpful, willing and friendly people I have ever had the pleasure of overcoming “challenges” with. There was nothing that was impossible to them. Literally nothing was refused. I was pulled in and out of boats, my chair held over head and walked from ocean to deserted islands, provided with a private snorkel guide to assist me. I had three of the strongest most fit men literally mule carry me up a forest mountain and attach me to not one, but eight zip line platforms and take me tandem through the longest zip line in all of Belize.
While the title may appear to unusual it goes to the very heart of the issue for travelers with a disability and a tourism industry that has so far been unable to see beyond the end of its nose in relation to one of the fastest growing opportunities it has ever had.
VisitEngland has unveiled plans for a national marketing campaign to promote accessible tourism in England next year. The national tourist board will work with five destinations to develop exciting itineraries with top class accommodation and attractions that provide a warm welcome for all visitors including those with access needs. The campaign, a first of its kind, will be promoted through marketing activity starting in late Summer 2013, and is designed to highlight the fantastic tourism experiences on offer to all across the country.
From the 1st of January 2012, the Baby Boomers start turning 65 at the rate of 1 every 8 seconds in the US alone. It is a market being ignored by the travel industry.
There is significant cultural change needed within the industry. That change has to occur at all levels but most importantly at the wholesaler and tour operator level. That section of the industry drives what the consumer ultimately sees as packaged product, what the retail agents offer and what training is given to the retail industry. Until such time as the wholesalers regard Inclusive Tourism as a viable market it will not be adopted into the mainstream tourism culture.
We have expanded on our original article to examine the key areas that the tourism industry world wide is ignoring and what needs to be done to get a more inclusive result.
Scandic is intensifying its successful focus on improved accessibility. This year, over 100 new rooms for disabled will be added to the portfolio and 2012 there will be even more to meet the large and growing demand.
I travel because I want my mind and my heart and my soul to overcome the boundaries that my body now feels. I travel in spite of the fact that it is “inconvenient” in that I am unable to walk onto the plane or to simply stand up and use the bathroom when needed, or that I have to spend innumerable hours planning and seeking out where I may be able to go in a wheelchair.......