Able2Travel, an accessible travel concierge service, will be promoting accessible tourism in South Africa at the AccessAbilities Expo, one of the biggest events in Dubai that caters to the needs of people with disabilities, from 9 – 11 October 2023. The expo, born of government’s vision of making the UAE the world’s friendliest country for People of Determination, in its 4th year, is expected to attract over 12,000 attendees from around the world, with more than 50 countries represented, providing an excellent platform to showcase South Africa as an accessible destination for travellers with disabilities.
Tarryn Tomlinson, founder of LiveABLE Access Consultants and Able2Travel says, “We are excited to be showcasing South Africa as an accessible destination at the AccessAbilities Expo as we want to highlight the fact that people with disabilities are able to explore and enjoy all that our country has to offer in terms of destinations, accommodations, restaurants, tourism activities and wildlife. Our aim is to create awareness of the need for accessible travel and to show that with proper planning and preparation, travel is possible for everyone, regardless of ability.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with disabilities – that’s around 1 billion people worldwide. In terms of South Africa, with a population of around 60 million people, according to Statistics South Africa’s 2019 General Household Survey, some 7.5% (4.5 million) of the population has a disability. It’s worth noting that disability statistics can be challenging to gather accurately due to various factors such as underreporting, differences in definitions and classifications, and other socio-economic factors that may affect the willingness of individuals to disclose their disabilities, so these numbers could be higher adds Tomlinson.
Despite the large population of people with disabilities worldwide, the travel industry has been slow to tap into this market, with many people with disabilities facing significant barriers when travelling. These barriers include inaccessible transportation, accommodations, and attractions, as well as a lack of accessibility information and staff training.
By promoting South Africa as an accessible destination, we hope to bridge this gap by providing accessible travel options and services tailored to the needs of people with disabilities along with inspiring others to create similar opportunities for disabled travellers and to make travel more accessible for everyone, says Tomlinson. In 2018/2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it was estimated that people with disabilities in the UAE spent around AED 3 billion on travel. If South Africa’s focus were only on 1% of that value, it could potentially generate AED 30 million in revenue.
“We hope that our participation in the AccessAbilities Expo will help to raise awareness of this important issue and encourage the travel industry to step-up, become more inclusive and accessible and by doing so, tap into this unexplored, niche market of explorers and travellers with disabilities,” says Tomlinson.
Able2Travel is actively seeking partners to exhibit with them at the AccessAbilities Expo and invites hotels, tourist attractions and other travel-related businesses to showcase their accessible facilities and services alongside them. Various packages are available to cater to the needs of partners ranging from booth space, static and digital to complete travel packages.
Able2Travel’s participation in the AccessAbilities Expo is a significant step towards creating more accessible and inclusive travel experiences for people with disabilities. “By partnering with other travel-related businesses and showcasing South Africa’s accessible destinations and services, we hope to inspire others to follow suit and make travel accessible to everyone, regardless of ability,” says Tomlinson.
Interested parties are encouraged to contact Able2Travel directly to discuss their requirements and explore partnership opportunities.
Contact Tarryn Tomlinson on:
+27 078 926 1232