Guest blog by Sage Inclusion
In the dynamic world of hospitality, accessibility isn’t just a compliance checkbox – it’s a gateway to a revenue opportunity catering to 1.3 billion people with disabilities. At Sage Inclusion, we recognise that true accessibility transcends legal requirements; it’s about crafting an environment that is fair, welcoming, and adaptable to diverse needs.
As we celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, it’s the perfect time to guide our hospitality partners toward practices that champion inclusivity. Drawing from our 15 years of accessible travel expertise, we share crucial insights to maximise accessibility for both team members and customers.
Improve Facility Accessibility
Examine accessibility in a thorough and comprehensive manner. Many accessibility improvements are cheap to implement. Sage Inclusion encourages evaluations by an internal or external accessibility expert with an International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) certification. Understand the assessment basis and whether it follows international standards, local laws, or specific travel sector guidelines.
Document and Publish Accessibility Features
Accessibility documentation should be crystal clear. Identify the format of publicly available, free accessibility documentation and its presence across various locations. Whether it’s detailed descriptions or photos, clarity is key for the best experience. Sage Inclusion emphasises having this information accessible on relevant platforms including destination websites and travel business websites.
Deliver Excellent Customer Service
The third pillar revolves around inclusive policies, processes, and training. Sage Inclusion advocates for comprehensive accessibility training, covering disability awareness and role-specific aspects. We guide organisations on developing effective training programs, ensuring staff across different locations are well-equipped to handle the diverse needs of guests.
Incorporate Accessibility into RFP’s
When evaluating destinations and accommodations, ask critical questions during the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to comprehensively assess accessibility. Covering mobility, cognitive, hearing, vision, and allergy considerations, our approach aligns with The Three Pillars of Accessible Travel: accessible facilities, accessibility documentation, and accessible customer service.
Certify Your Accessibility
Gain a competitive advantage in the accessible travel market with an accessibility certification. Sage Inclusion provides the travel industry’s only accessibility certification that covers five disability types based on ISO Accessible Travel Standards.
Market to People with Disabilities
Extend your reach to travellers with disabilities through organic search, PPC, accessible travel bloggers, accessible travel agents, and accessible tour operators like Accessible Travel Solutions.
Hospitality businesses who embrace all six steps ensure that they achieve improved customer service, decreased costs, and increased revenue in the large and growing accessible travel market. Accessibility can be a competitive advantage in acquiring customers in the leisure travel, business travel, and meetings and events sectors.
Visit Sage inclusion to embark on a journey toward a more inclusive future.