Driving agent knowledge and skills for servicing Americans with disabilities and the aging population is behind a new partnership between Special Needs Group (SNG) (www.specialneedsgroup.com) and VAX VacationAccess (www.vaxvacationacces.com) to promote its online SNG Accessible Travel Advocate Certification program.
Both organizations believe travel professionals will benefit from a better understanding of the special needs market, which represents a significant and growing percentage of the U.S. population. SNG provides of wheelchair, scooter, oxygen and other special needs equipment rentals for cruise lines and hotels.
“VAX VacationAccess has always made agent education a top priority. Special Needs Group has an impressive certification program designed for travel professionals needing more information to serve this growing market,” said Kathy Fitzpatrick, president of VAX VacationAccess.
VAX VacationAccess is a premier online resource for travel professionals to research, market and sell the industry’s leading agent-friendly leisure travel suppliers. Over 100,000 travel agents use VAX, which is focused exclusively on the travel agent channel.
The SNG Accessible Travel Advocate Certification features a one-hour, three-module program. It focuses on understanding accessible travel, building expertise in accessible travel and demonstrating accessible travel advocacy skills.
SNG reports these are critical subject matter areas for travel professionals if they wish to service the fastest-growing segment in the travel industry – the accessible travel market, SNG says.
The initiative represents the first time travel professionals can become conversant with this market segment through online study and testing. Travel professionals can learn more about the program by visiting the Special Needs Group’s Supplier Showcase on VAX VacationAccess.
“With this program, we hope to not only help travel professionals generate incremental and profitable business, but to also play a critical role as we strive to fulfill our mission of delivering an accessible world,” stated Andrew J. Garnett, president and CEO of Special Needs Group.
SNG notes that twenty percent (62 million) of the U.S. population has some form of disability, and the number of these individuals is increasing daily. Americans with disabilities spend $13.6 billion annually on travel. Studies show that 24 million disabled Americans would travel or travel more frequently if their special needs were met.