Special Needs Group, provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, will launch the online Accessible Travel Advocate course for all travel professionals.
The one-hour program focuses on understanding accessible travel, building expertise in accessible travel and demonstrating accessible travel advocacy skills. The program will be available on Nov. 14 and can be accessed via the SNG Travel Agent Resource Center Agents can access this by registering for the SNG Travel Affiliate Program at http://www.specialneedsgroup.com/agents.
"With this course, 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," said Andrew J. Garnett, president and CEO of Special Needs Group.
Special Needs Group has also formed a new advisory board, the SNG Inner Circle, consisting of key players in the travel industry, such as cruise line CEOs. The board will convene several times per year to discuss key travel accessibility issues and how to improve travel experiences for individuals with special needs.
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 more frequently if their special needs were met.
Baby Boomers and mature adults took 340 million domestic vacations in 2006 and 110 million international trips from 2004-2006. The mature market alone spent $192 billion in travel expenditures. These markets contain many "slow walkers" individuals who do not consider themselves disabled, but who could benefit from special needs products and services.