15 Jan

ABTA urges Members to use Accessible Travel Guidance

Association says tools will aid better customer service in holiday booking peak

As peak booking season gets into full swing, ABTA is urging its Members to make full use of its comprehensive industry guidance on accessible travel in order that they give disabled and less mobile passengers optimum customer service.

In January 2014 ABTA launched updated guidance to further help ABTA Members ensure that customers with accessibility challenges get the most out of their travel and holiday arrangements.  The Association has since issued regular reminders and advice pieces to Members and the wider industry about the importance of gathering adequate information – and giving the most appropriate advice for customers’ individual needs.

The guidance is available in the Member zone of ABTA’s website – www.abta.com/member-zone/travel-essentials -  and includes a booking checklist, practical guides on each part of the passenger’s journey and companies’ legal obligations (particularly following changes to the requirements on maritime travel), plus free online training for ABTA Members.

Nikki White, ABTA Head of Destinations and Sustainability said: “Our guidance is the most comprehensive accessible travel resource available – it’s a one-stop-shop for businesses looking for clarity on their obligations, and for practical support in improving holiday-makers’  experiences, and enabling travel with confidence for all customers.”

ABTA will also be using the early booking peak to promote consumer advice on travelling with additional needs, using social channels such as Twitter and Facebook to remind holidaymakers about considering what their additional needs might be, and the importance of informing their travel provider, using a simple on-line checklist that is available on www.abta.com/accessible-travel

Nikki White continued; “Meeting the needs of customers with disabilities is vitally important, not only because of the legal requirements that exist for travel companies, but also  because it’s critical for these businesses that they build loyal, repeat custom from holiday-makers, whatever their needs.

“Throughout the UK there are millions of people with some form of disability and this country also has an ageing population that is spending big on travel. The industry as a whole and ABTA Members in particular, have made great progress in making holidays and other travel arrangements accessible to all, and these tools are a thorough and practical aid to their giving even better customer service. Making full use of them will help all holidaymakers travel with confidence - which is great business sense, as well as good practice.”