Agents will have more tools for working with clients who have special needs. // © 2018 Getty Images
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has announced its partnership with Special Needs Group (SNG), a global provider of special needs equipment rentals including wheelchairs, scooters, oxygen tanks and more. The company also services travelers to resorts, hotels, theme parks and convention centers.
Why It Matters:
With SNG as the official mobility and special needs partner for both ASTA and National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA), advisors will have increased access to tools such as education, training and other support. As a result, they’ll better equipped to tap into the special needs and mature markets, thus making a positive impact on such clients and working toward a more accessible world.
- According to ASTA and SNG, more than 60 million Americans have chronic disabilities (20 percent).
- 24 million have indicated a desire to travel/travel more frequently if their needs were met.
- These individuals spend $13.6 billion on travel annually and take 32 million vacations each year. Additionally, 85 percent of their vacations are taken with others (so 15 percent of the trips are taken solo).
- Meanwhile, the mature market takes 340 million vacations annually.
- Boomers are turning 65 years old at the rate of 10,000 daily since Jan. 1, 2011, and this pace will continue through 2030.
What They Are Saying:
“If professional travel advisors are to effectively service evolving consumer needs and emerging market segments like the special needs market, they need the tools to do so,” said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of ASTA. “Through this partnership, we are working toward that end and we are pleased to recognize SNG as the official mobility and special needs partner for both ASTA and NACTA. SNG has long been an unwavering supporter of travel agents through its Accessible Travel Advocate Certification program, with a track record of delivering superior customer satisfaction.”
“We are honored that both ASTA and NACTA have embraced our cause of delivering an accessible world,” said Andrew Garnett, president of SNG. “Our 4,100 SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocates have helped to propel our ability to service more than 215 major metropolitan destinations in 68 countries. ASTA is the voice of the travel agency distribution system, and we are pleased to support their efforts with education and training.”