Disability Travelers Eat Out But Need More Room Between Tables

Disability Travelers Eat Out But Need More Room Between Tables

The Open Doors Organization (ODO) in cooperation with the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) and Harris Interactive, released the findings of its 2005 research study of the disability travel market.  This follow-up to ODO's study of 2002 on the spending trends and market scope of U.S. adults with disabilities finds that more than 21 million adults with disabilities traveled for pleasure and/or business. 

Among those adults with disabilities who have traveled by air, 84% said they encountered obstacles when interfacing with airlines and 82% said they encountered obstacles at airports. Despite such barriers, the average number of leisure trips and hotel stays was up 50% from 2002.  However, 60% of travelers with disabilities who have stayed overnight in paid accommodations said they had problems at these properties:

  • 48% had problems with physical barriers
  • 45% had problems with customer service 
  • 15% had communication barriers

In terms of restaurants, the study indicates

  • 71% of adults with disabilities dine out at least once a week, a 6% increase in casual dining from 2002. 
  • 40% of adults with disabilities complained of the lack of room between tables.

The study covered a new area of travel car rental.  It found that:

  • 20% of adults with disabilities rented a car for travel in the past two years
  • 50% said they would be more inclined to rent a car if it were delivered and picked up
  • 36% would be willing to pay more for this service

For more on this study, go here.