Home News Assisted travel: a boon for the wheel-chair bound in India

Assisted travel: a boon for the wheel-chair bound in India

4 min read
View original post.

Assisted travel, a concept that is popular in the West, has started catching up in India as more elderly and physically challenged people prefer to travel abroad.

Enable Travel, an entity of Cox and Kings, has started offering assisted travel service in India and reported encouraging response from such groups who need special assistance through out the journey. “We have enabled over 100 physically challenged customers to travel abroad in the last eight months. The trend is growing in India,” said Debolin Sen, head, Enable Travel.

Target groups

The company’s main target are the four disability types — wheelchair users, visual, speech and hearing impaired. It also caters the senior citizen segment. This market has huge potential.

“We find that the senior citizens have huge disposable incomes. However, due to age, their movements are restricted but they have the urge to travel. We facilitate this type of travel,” Mr. Sen added. This segment of travel is growing at 15% year-on-year, said analysts.

The total inbound market for travel for people with disabilities is worth several million dollars. The domestic market remains untapped.

According to the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO), more than 12% of the people from the U.K., who travel, had a disability or a long-term health problem. About 11% of Australian tourists who travel have some form of disability and American adults with disabilities or reduced mobility spend an average of $ 13.6 billion annually on travel. With 12 million disabled living in the U.K., with a spending power of £249 billiona year, it is the largest untapped consumer market which travel firms have started eyeing.

In India, data from the 2011 census shows that people with disabilities has increased 2% per year in the decade since 2001 and is estimated at about 26.8 million. This is 2.1% of the country’s population. According to the census, 20.3% of the Indian population are wheelchair worthy, 18.8% cannot see , 18.9% cannot hear and 7.5% have speech problems.

So, to cater to this huge market, Enable Travel has invested in transportation in the form of WAVs — wheelchair accessible vehicles, aids and accessories amongother support systems, including investment in specially trained staff (caregivers and sign language specialists). “Most of these important accessories are specialised in nature and aren’t available in India” Mr. Sen said. The company has deployed vans which are WAVs (wheelchair accessible vehicles) in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Commenting on the trend, Neelu Singh, CEO & director,Ezeego1.com, an online travel agency of the Cox and Kings Group said, “We see huge opportunities in this market and we cater primarily to senior citizens who constitute a large number of travellers. This segment is growing at close to 15 to 18%.”

Comments are closed.

Check Also

8 Business Travel Tips from Frequent Fliers

View original post.Traveling on the job might sound like a fun way to see the world, but t…