Today, over two billion people worldwide have special needs when travelling,based on age and various functional variations. At the same time, a new report,drawn up on behalf of Amadeus, showed that neither the travel industry, nor the public sector, fully meet these needs.
‘Voyage of Discovery: Working towards inclusive and accessible travel for all’, showed that some of the main obstacles to travel for all are inaccurate or inadequate information, as well as a lack of knowledge in customer services.
Therefore, development towards more inclusive and accessible travel for all requires measures in a number of areas.
These areas include global standards for information and services, opportunities for personalised travel, and increased cooperation between the private and public sectors.
Moreover, technology plays an increasingly important role in this area, and features like voice recognition have become common features. Here, there are also great
opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to develop new business ideas around available travel. An example is the booking page ‘Handiscover’, which classifies accommodation according to its availability for people with special needs.
The report shows that travellers with special needs, more than previously, expect their needs to be met, as part of the standard service, and at no additional cost.
‘Eliminating obstacles to travel, customising travel, using technology to make it even easier for travellers, and creating a more accessible infrastructure, where people can easily navigate themselves, will benefit everyone,’ said Alex Luzárraga,Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Amadeus.
Available travel is one of the areas included in Amadeus’ CSR work. The study was based on approximately 800 interviews with travellers with special needs, industry experts, and representatives from the private and public sectors, as well as international institutions.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today