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Here's What Hospitality Industry Pros Should Know About Accessible Tourism

3 min read

Shatia Mason

Shatia Mason

Here's What Hospitality Industry Pros Should Know About Accessible Tourism

***This article is written by Rachel Justen, Wheel the World community member and blog contributor. ***

Post-COVID tourism is booming. After years of restrictions, tourists want to travel more than ever. This includes over 14 million disabled travelers. This particular group contributes a significant amount to tourist spending each year.

Between 2018 and 2019 alone, disabled travelers spent over $58.7 billion. That's why more businesses are realizing their value as customers. They no longer add accessibility features to follow local laws. They do so as an investment in disabled tourists as assets.

As a result, it’s common for them to arrive at their destination and discover that certain accommodation options aren't available. Over 50% of disabled tourists even decide to avoid travel altogether due to a lack of information. You can avoid this by communicating the accessibility features you do and don't have. This offers benefits for businesses and disabled tourists alike.

For one, it makes the planning process easier for disabled travelers. It allows you to advertise the accessible features you've invested in and ensure they're put to good use. It also allows you to earn the business of family and friends that will likely travel alongside disabled tourists. This is all extremely crucial when it comes to improving customer experiences, trust, and loyalty in your services.


Clear and consistent communication helps attract as many tourists as possible at all points of the customer experience. Fortunately, technology has changed communication in many different ways. The Internet helps consumers access the information they need. This is even more true thanks to modern innovations like captions, screen readers, voice controls, and hands-free mouse-tracking systems.

Internet-enabled communications can help all the way from the discovery phase. Disabled tourists can easily discover and peruse your website with accessible design features. These include color contrasts for readable text, ALT text and captions for embedded media, simple navigation elements, and easy-to-understand content. You can also use these features on-site in hotels, travel centers, and tourist spots. These features ultimately play a huge role in facilitating enjoyable and accessible tourist experiences.


We use vacations to take a break from our everyday lives. The point of accessible tourism is to give disabled tourists that same experience. Earlier, we emphasized how crucial clear communications are to vacation planning. Yet it's even more important in helping the disabled enjoy the experience.

As we've previously discussed, inclusion in our community can mean multiple things. It means being able to do things despite a disability. It means enjoying an experience without discrimination or limited participation. Above all, it means that nobody gets left out.

Here, it's the human touch that really matters. Do your research on how best to cater to a wide range of individuals. Use a mix of technology and human input to enhance the overall experience you offer. Train your staff to communicate with people of various disabilities. Teach them how to use and accommodate assistive devices. Then watch as accessible tourism enhances the experiences of all your guests.

Accessible tourism is more than just another profitable business venture — it’s your opportunity to improve the world through your profession. By using better communication practices, you can reach out and offer the best tourist experiences to abled and disabled individuals alike.

About the author

Shatia Mason

Shatia Mason

Communications Manager at Wheel the World

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