Lynne Kirby Elite Travel Group director industry insight

Elite shares top tips on selling accessible holidays

Lynne Kirby, Elite Travel Group director, and managing director of accessible travel specialists Enable Holidays, shares her tips on selling accessible holidays confidently...

As with any customer, it is important to identify what type of holiday your disabled customer is looking for and to establish their specific needs at the outset. You may talk directly to the disabled person or a carer, but either way it is essential to build up your knowledge of the customer’s specific needs.

This involves taking the time to get to know your customer – including understanding their disability and circumstances. If they have a specific destination in mind, it’s always an advantage to tell them a little about the place and the facilities available for people with limited mobility. They will need to know a lot of detail, especially regarding facilities in the adapted room, accessibility throughout the accommodation, and the level of accessibility in and around the resort itself.

If, on the other hand, they have no particular destination in mind, it’s a good idea to find out the maximum flight duration they’d be comfortable with before suggesting ideas.

Ensure that you ask what facilities/services they need for all elements of their holiday starting with the airport. Do they need full assistance, or can they manage the steps? Will they be taking a wheelchair and is it manual or electric? Obtain the measurements and weight as this will influence your choice of airline. Will they be taking other medical aids or medication?

Once in resort can your customers transfer to a standard transfer vehicle? If not, will they need an adapted vehicle – not all destinations provide this type of transportation so ensure this is available prior to finalising your booking.

Establish the full requirements within the accommodation – do they need a fully adapted bathroom with a flat floor shower? If so, this has to be guaranteed at the time the booking is made as it is too important to be a request. Does the bathroom need to have grab rails, is there a shower chair? Is there full access around the hotel? Equipment hire is available in many resorts but do establish exact requirements at the time of booking.

It is essential to gain the best possible understanding of your customers’ needs from the outset and use that information to plan a holiday to suit them.

Never make assumptions of what type of holiday your disabled customer is looking for – investigate their interests. As is the case with all travellers, disabled holidaymakers appreciate a choice of experiences and different types of holiday, from relaxation to adventure, from shopping to clubbing – so it’s really important to ask the right questions.

As an award-winning brand for accessible travel with a more than 500 disabled-friendly holidays available, Enable Holidays is the preferred choice for disabled holidaymakers and many leading agents, including Elite members.

The real advantage of using a specialist such as Enable Holidays is having one point of contact with all the skills and experience needed to arrange everything from airport assistance, adapted transfers and guaranteed adapted rooms through to accessible tours and once-in-a-lifetime experiences – all tailor-made to meet your disabled customer’s individual requirements. If preferred, they will even be happy to talk to your customers on your behalf regarding matters that you may feel awkward about – especially those relating to special needs and medical conditions.

A holiday is a special occasion for anyone, but for wheelchair-users and people with limited mobility, there are so many things to think about to ensure their holiday is one they will remember for all the right reasons.

For more details on accessible travel, call the Enablers on 0871 222 4939 or visit enableholidays.com


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