NAJ (North American Journeys) Group, publisher of INBOUND, is announcing the launch of TravelAbility Summit, a new tour and travel industry event aimed at making travel easier and more enjoyable for those with physical and behavioral disabilities.
The TravelAbility Summit will address this matter from a business-to-business marketing and product development perspective by bringing together the newest innovative tourism products, technology and existing tour operator who specialize in this niche together in one place. We plan to include educational sessions featuring advocates of those who have challenges traveling, along with a regular, monthly publication featuring relevant news of this sector to the tour and travel industry.
“We’re tapping into a new (to us) market and leveraging our expertise and contacts built over 20 years producing boutique events for the tour and travel industry,” explained Jake Steinman, Founder of the NAJ Group, the parent company of INBOUND. “Once we began to look into it, we were astonished at the creativity and energy that is being invested in the area that most people don’t know about.”
Here are a few examples of what we’ve found:
· Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has created coin-operated roadside binoculars that allow color-blind travelers to experience fall in the Smoky Mountains. See the video here
· Myrtle Beach, S.C. has become one of the country’s first “autism-friendly” destinations. See the video here
· Travel Oregon has developed a resource guide for the adventure traveler with a disability. See it here.
· Gatorland in Florida offers a disability-friendly zip line that takes visitors over alligator habitats.
Then there are all of the unforeseen challenges that may arise that few of us really think about. One New York destination had to prepare to host an upcoming convention in which several thousand blind attendees would be participating. Not only did they need to address audio-enabled traffic lights, but also find designated areas for up to 500 guide dogs to poop.
According to a study by the Center for Disease Control released last month, 60 million Americans have some form of physical or cognitive disability. If TravelAbility Summit can hatch new products and technology ideas that will help make travel easier for them, it will benefit everyone.
We are planning to form a TravelAbility Advisory Council comprised of experts who can help us develop the best and most relevant agenda.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a DMO, hotel or attraction with knowledge of product or contact that we may want to feature, send the information to: [email protected].
TravelAbility Summit is being planned for Portland, Oregon in late 2019. Date and venue TBA.
Wow I wasn’t aware of all of the great things going on in these destinations.
Richard Black says
This is a great calling Jake. And kudos to all the forward thinking DMOs that are making the world a better place for everybody.