Disabled travelers stay longer, spend more, expert asserts
Malcom Noden, a retired Cornell professor and an expert in the hotel industry, wrote a fantastic column in the News Leader of Fernandina Beach, Florida. I highly encourage you to read the whole thing. But here's a few key quotes, and some commentary on each:
"The opportunities associated with these travelers are directly related to the fact that they are often accompanied by family members and caregivers, and have significantly different travel habits and patterns, the most important economic element of which is that their length of stay habits are very different from the rest of the traveling public. Unlike many other segments of the population, this group has a pronounced tendency to plan for and stay longer at their chosen destination."
This last point was a trend I wasn't aware of. Travelers with disabilities tend to stay longer. Then again, that makes sense. If you find a place that works for you, you stay longer maybe just because you have less choice in the first place.
Think that catering to travelers with disabilities isn't more lucrative than the average traveler? Think again, says Noden: "First, because this group makes their travel plans further in advance, and carefully chooses hotel accommodations based upon both location and accessibility, they are more frequently to be found in higher priced facilities. This means that their typical daily expenditure for accommodations, entertainment, meals and recreation is higher than the average of other travelers."
This addresses the too prevalent idea that everyone with a disability is destitute. For some, disability does bring economic struggle. But can you, if you have a tourism related business, afford to keep out those that do have money to spend? (A lot of coin photo by Jane M. Sawyer via morgueFile.com)