The Biggest Barriers for Travelers With Disabilities (MMGY Global Report)
MMGY Global released its latest report on the travel industry, called Portrait of Travelers with Disabilities: Mobility and Accessibility, reporting that the top two barriers for travelers with disabilities remain, as ever, accommodations and transportation. The report aims to showcase to the travel industry the needs of millions of individuals across the globe who find that their mobility impairments can also impair their ability to travel. The numbers are indicative of the truth: 96 percent of all respondents have faced a problem with accessible accommodations while traveling; 86 percent have faced difficulties with air travel, and 79 percent have also experienced transportation problems while in their destination. These are startlingly high percentages, considering travelers with mobility impairments spend about $58.2 billion annually on travel and consistently take about the same number of trips annually as an able-bodied individual. The research found that 54 percent of respondents had been given a room upon check-in to their accommodation that didn’t match the room they booked, which can cause accessibility issues to occur. The research found that 81 percent of travelers who were surveyed struggled with inaccessible showers or tubs. Fifty-two percent have also experienced having beds that were too high for them to easily access. Transportation issues continue to occur among travelers with mobility issues, too. Six in ten respondents have experienced extended wait times at the airport before or after their flight waiting for mobility assistance, while forty percent have had their mobility aid lost or damaged during air travel. The report also asked travelers what could benefit them in the future. Over eighty percent of respondents all agreed on three key things: increased promotion of accessible accommodations increased maintenance of ramps, sidewalks and mobile lifts and increased accessibility information on a destination’s website. The report surveyed 2,375 adults with disabilities who utilize mobility aids, as well as 414 caregivers or companions of someone with a mobility impairment. 1,761 had traveled in the past twelve months. MMGY Global worked with a committee of disability advocates, senior business leaders of travel companies who serve and support disabled travelers, destination marketing organizations and more. MMGY Global will be donating all proceeds from sales of the report to the United Spinal Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, to live successful and fulfilling lives.