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Why Accessible Travel is Now A Mainstream Market

The Baby Boomer generation has started to retire and will continue to retire over the next 20 years, and the number of individuals with special needs continues to increase. These people want, and need, to travel. The accessible travel segment is making a big impact on the travel industry, and will only continue to grow. In fact, it’s now the fastest-growing segment in the travel industry. This once-considered niche market is now very much mainstream. 

  

Because of this growth, it’s more important than ever for travel professionals to have the knowledge, skills, and communication abilities to tap into the accessible market.

 

Consider these facts:

 

  • ·     Twenty percent (63 million) of Americans have a disability; approximately 10 million aged 15 and older use a walking aid such as a cane or walker. This group may include many “slow walker” individuals who don’t consider themselves disabled, but who could benefit from special needs products and services.

 

  • ·     Studies show that 24 million disabled Americans would travel or travel more frequently if their special needs were met.

 

  • ·     Each year for the next 20 years, 4 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 in the U.S. alone.
  • ·     Between 2006 and 2016 in the U.S., the age 50+ population will have grown by 22 million; the age 18-49 population will have grown by 1 million.

 

  • ·     Over 40 percent of Baby Boomers will be retiring with some form of disability, raising the total value of the accessible travel segment to over 25 percent of the travel market by 2020.

 

  • ·     In 2009, households headed by adults aged 65 and older … had 47 times as much net wealth as the typical household headed by someone under 35 years of age.

 

  • ·     By 2015, the Baby Boomer generation will command 60 percent of net U.S. wealth and 40 percent of spending.

 

Taking into account that the accessible travel segment will continue to grow considerably over the next few decades, it’s imperative that travel professionals be prepared to accommodate travelers with special needs. This will not only benefit travel professionals’ businesses, but it will help them to deliver an accessible world.

 

Special Needs Group’s (www.specialneedsgroup.com) powerful online Certified Accessible Travel Advocate course allows travel professionals to become conversant with the accessible travel market segment through online study and testing. The one-hour, three-module program objectives focus on understanding accessible travelbuilding expertise in accessible travel anddemonstrating accessible travel advocacy skills. These are critical subject matter areas for travel professionals if they wish to service the accessible travel market. Upon completing the course, travel professionals receive the SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate™ certification, which qualifies for five CLIA Certification Credits. 

 

For more information about the SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate program, SNG Travel Agent Affiliate Program and the SNG Resource Center, please call 1-800-513-4515 or visit www.specialneedsgroup.com/agents 

 

Special Needs Group / Special Needs at Sea is the leading global provider of wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, oxygen rentals and other special needs equipment rentals. It also offers a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase. Recommended by the world's major cruise lines for superior service and value, SNG also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers. is located at 302 NW 1st Street, Dania Beach, FL 33004. For more information, visit www.specialneedsgroup.com or call 1-800-513-4515.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012