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I’m a mother of three – this fact alone immediately leads to travel stress. From preparing the suitcases and being unsure of luggage allowances for my flight, to debating with my husband on which taxis to book (five people don’t fit in a normal taxi, and then there’s the question of child car seats), or taking a chance on accessible airport parking for our own car – it’s almost enough to convince me to take a staycation instead.
Beside this, there is something else which raises my post-booking stress and uncertainty to another level. My oldest child has a non-visible disability, which requires us to be aware of certain logistics ahead of our trip to avoid major surprises. Imagine we’re going to Disney World for the first time; it would be essential for us to know their services for guests with disabilities. Standing in long lines and waiting in general are a burden on our experience, which make discounts and fast passes for people with disabilities a must. Meals are another challenge. We need to count on specific eating times and know if certain foods will be available – or – know if we can bring our own food. For my family, it’s vital to know exactly what to expect ahead of the trip to take full control and get the best possible experience.
Today, information for people with disabilities is hopelessly ambiguous and scattered, forcing many parents like myself to trawl through internet forums and Facebook groups, and to send emails in search of answers. Imagine how reassuring it would be to receive all of this critical information on your mobile device. The stress, and more importantly, the precious time wasted on trying to find the information needed to ensure an enjoyable experience would be eliminated!
Disabled, elderly and solo travelers are increasingly looking to travel sellers to make travel more inclusive and accessible. Many are frustrated about the lack of information not only at airports but also during tours and activities at the destination. Language barriers and communication for people with hearing and visual disabilities can also be a major obstacle. These can be perfect entry points for travel agencies which can send personalized offers for destination activities that cater to the specific needs of each traveler. And travelers will embrace this support openly, as uncovered by our whitepaper Destination X:
“Any help you can provide regarding attractions and other local sites to people like myself with mobility issues would be good.” - CheckMyTrip special needs traveler
In order to begin serving these travelers, travel sellers should focus on three specific areas:
Content: It’s fundamental that the content pushed to travelers with health conditions or impairments is 100% correct and relevant as it could have a huge impact on the outcome of their overall travel experience and consequently their loyalty towards their travel provider.
Communication: How are you communicating with this traveler segment? For instance, are you considering whether they are dependent on audio or perhaps vibrations to be able to receive any information you share and act upon it? These factors make a big difference for the individual traveler.
Analytics: This can be a great help for travel sellers to achieve the level of communication required for disabled travelers to have a seamless travel experience. Obtaining solid and useful background information on these travelers can help meet their needs without them having to request specific information beforehand.
Solo travelers – another traveler segment demanding more inclusivity – also have certain requirements in terms of content, communication and analytics. These travelers’ requirements are mostly based on personalized offers relevant to one person – avoiding bundled offers and focusing more on safety or virtual assistants. Solo travelers recently told us in our global survey:
“The aspect of safety for female travelers is especially important when going and moving around a destination – this information also needs to be shared.” - CheckMyTrip solo traveler
We are fully committed to enable travel sellers to better serve their travelers in the ancillary post-booking game – this is why we have examined travelers’ needs and the critical role of destination services in improving the overall travel experience.
To find out more about our findings and recommendations on how to best help travelers in Destination X, please visit amadeus.com/DestinationX where you can download our paper, view the infographic and learn more about the 8 key trends extracted from our research.