September 22, 2005

Eric Lipp Makes the Business Case for Inclusive Travel

Eric Lipp, founder of the Open Doors Organization, is quoted in the following article that reports findings of the 2005 study on the travel behavior of Americans with disabilities.

Traveling with disabilities
For the travel industry, Americans with disabilities represents a potential market of $13.6 billion annually.

A recent Harris Interactive poll provides insight into the market, updating a 2002 study by the Open Doors Organization, a Chicago- based nonprofit group, on the spending trends of adults with disabilities and the barriers they experience.

According to the poll, which was conducted earlier this year, 84 percent of adults with disabilities who traveled by air encountered problems interacting with the airline, and 82 percent reported obstacles at airports.

Although the number of hotel stays rose 50 percent since 2002, the poll shows 60 percent of disabled travelers who paid for accommodations experienced problems, ranging from physical barriers to customer service issues.

"Many of the most common complaints identified in the study, such as heavy doors and lack of knowledge among staff, could be easy and inexpensive to resolve," said Eric Lipp, director of the Open Doors Organization, which advocates for people with disabilities.

"We do it to be a voice of people with disabilities," Lipp said of the study. "Everyone is following the spending of women, African-Americans and Indians. Well, we're one of the largest minority groups."


Posted by rollingrains at September 22, 2005 05:51 PM