To better understand and serve the requirements of the millions of people with disabilities who need mobility aids and their travelling companions, MMGY Global launched a new study report yesterday titled Portrait of Travelers with DisabilitiesTM: Mobility and Accessibility.
According to the poll, the two main obstacles to travel for those with mobility difficulties are accommodation and transportation accessibility. In addition, nearly all respondents, 96 per cent, claim to have encountered lodging issues while traveling, 86 per cent have had flight issues, and 79 per cent have experienced in-market transit issues.
Since travelers with mobility limitations spend $58.2 billion annually on travel, ensuring they may enjoy the same experiences as travelers without disabilities should be a top focus for the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.
With an average of 3.4 trips over the last 12 months and an average cost of $3,546 each, people with disabilities travel for pleasure almost as frequently as people without mobility concerns.
The following excerpts from the survey of more than 2,700 Americans with mobility disabilities and their caregivers and companions show that the barriers for this group are genuine and present at every stage of the travel-planning process and journey.
- In four out of ten cases, an airline has misplaced or harmed a mobility aid.
- Before or after their journey, six out of ten people waited extended times for mobility assistance at the airport.
- At check-in, more than half (54 per cent) of guests received a room different from the one they had reserved.
- Fifty-two per cent had come across beds that were too high for them to access, and 81 per cent have dealt with inaccessible showers or tubs.
The study contains a wealth of extra crucial insights for destination marketing firms.
When asked how travel destinations could better entice visitors with mobility disabilities:
- Eighty-four per cent of travelers cited increasing accessibility information available before travel.
- Eighty-three per cent said expanding infrastructure and improving maintenance sidewalks, ramps, and mobile lifts.
- Eighty-one per cent suggested the promotion of accessible lodging options by the destination.
Additionally, these visitors stressed the value of viewing multiple images of the precise room they are booking and virtual tours of the locations they intend to visit. They can check for any obstacles that might make it difficult or impossible for them to move around with their mobility device.
The United Spinal Association is a nonprofit organisation that works to enable persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, to live successful and satisfying lives. MMGY Global will donate all net earnings from the sale of the report to this charity.
“United Spinal is grateful for the work of MMGY Global in raising awareness on the accessibility needs of travelers with mobility disabilities. As a wheelchair user, I know firsthand the barriers our community must overcome when traveling, including damage to mobility equipment at the airport to encountering unexpected accessibility issues at hotels and other venues. Identifying these issues is critical to ensuring travel is accessible to all,” said Vincenzo Piscopo, United Spinal’s President and CEO.
The survey sampled 2,789 respondents, of which 2,375 have a disability and use a mobility aid, 1,761 have travelled in the past 12 months, and 414 respondents identified as caregivers or companions of someone with a mobility impairment.
Data was gathered between June 3 and June 21, 2022. Every single responder lived in the United States and was at least 18 years old.
The survey was created by MMGY Travel Intelligence, the research and insights division of MMGY Global, under the direction of a steering committee. This comprised disability advocates, senior business executives from businesses that primarily cater to the needs of people with mobility impairments, destination marketing organisations, and other travel and tourism experts.
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