Benelux blog
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Voyage of discovery: Working towards inclusive and accessible travel for all – that’s the title of the study performed by ILUNION, a firm owned by ONCE (the Spanish National Organisation of the Blind). The investigation included some 800 interviews with travellers with extra accessibility needs as well as industry experts, private-public sector representatives and international institutions.

What better way is there to uncover an untapped market (in Europe and the US alone travellers with accessibility needs represent a market of US €60 billion), help thousands of people fulfil their travel dreams and do your part in the Benelux than to analyse insights straight from the source?

Download the report on travel accessibility here and let’s get started.

Voyage of discovery: key conclusions

Even though we’ve been dealing with the issue of accessible travel on this blog for a while, people with accessibility needs rate their overall travel experience a 6.2 out of 10. The least satisfactory areas with regards to accessibility are railway stations (4.9 out of 10) and the most satisfactory area is accommodation (6.2 out of 10).

The 5 largest obstacles for a seamless & accessible trip

Amadeus’ study on accessible travel has uncovered a whole batch of problems that people with special needs have to deal with when travelling:

  • Lack of information about accessibility at destination – 46%
  • Lack of skilled customer service – 46%
  • Inaccuracy of information about accessibility at destination – 37%
  • Challenges with the physical environment at destination – 37%
  • Knowledge about specialised providers at destination – 33%

Did you notice? Accurate information about the accessibility at the destination is the common thread throughout the top 5. In other words, do your research, and do it well.

What you can do to make travel accessible

“We don’t want anything special, just to travel like anyone else.” That’s the essence of the respondents’ wishes. Do you want to help them achieve that? The report indicated 4 main action points. Try to improve on every single one of them:

  1. Communication at every stage of the journey
  2. Efficient and responsive customer service
  3. Greater integration and standardisation of content and services
  4. A more personalised offering

What Amadeus does to help

To make travel truly accessible all over the world, every partner needs to pull their weight. And we try to do just that. Watch our video and be inspired.

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  • First of all, I am a person with Special Needs living here in the USA. I am a trusted travel adviser since 2008. I specialize in services for those who have special needs like myself. I have type 1 Diabetes since the age of 13, I developed complications at the age of 35 with a husband and daughter. I had lost 75% of my vision and FYI, this website isn’t exactly accessible for everyone. For shame, you have a website that isn’t accessible to us. I am also 12 years post kidney transplant, I have still issues with my diabetes, that sometimes I need to use a scooter to get around and a service animal. I have tried to get through to our travel partners their websites need to be better, there services need to be better, their education of their employees need to be better, and our governments no matter where you live, need to treat us better as well, if they keep hiding us and sticking us in the closet, then the tourism industry will do the same. There used to be an organization called; it is only a facebook page now, and not involved in the fight anymore, we need more people with special needs working in this industry so we are the face of our travelers, and travel. If we don’t do it, then why should our clients believe us that it is possible.

    • Dear Cheryl

      Thank you for providing us with a unique perspective on accessible travel. You are absolutely right that the we should not ignore the subject – which is why Amadeus commissioned the study. At Amadeus we try to help our clients in the Benelux to do their part, as we try to do ours. Thank you for your good work and let’s make the tourism industry more accessible together! We’re convinced this is not mission impossible.

      Best regards

  • In an effort to document the problem of bed heights in wheelchair accessible hotel rooms, I am reaching out to all of you. I have built a data collection from that can be used to enter YOUR Hotel experiences and the approximate bed height that was encountered. The data collected will be a source of information that will be distributed to wheelchair accessible travel sites on request. This information will never be used inappropriately or to be sold to anyone. I have designed a portable bedside lift that I am attempting to have available in hotels upon request. Your personal experiences with bed heights in wheelchair accessible rooms will be documented to support adoption of this lift by hotels. I am trying to make it easier for those of us with mobility issues to travel confidently. If you have experienced bed height issues please use the action button on the first screen of the website. Thanks in advance

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