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"People with disabilities spend over $17.3 billion annually on travel. The vast majority of them use the Internet to plan and book travel. 95% of all websites are in some form of non-compliance with (ADA) website accessibility standards.”Source: Max Starkov, Hotel-Online.com
“Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulates providers of public accommodations and services in the U.S., prohibiting discrimination against customers with a disability. This applies to all types of tourism and hospitality operators including hotels, travel agencies, and tour operators.”Source: Bureau of Internet Accessibility
“It pays massively for travel companies to consider the needs of blind and partially sighted people, particularly when you look at the monetary aspect of what these companies could be missing out on by ignoring millions of users.”Source: Terry Hawkins, Sigma Consulting Solutions
If you’re in the hospitality and/or travel industry, you should already know that your business and recreational travelers and guests – including persons with disabilities – expect to be able to research, book, schedule, purchase and experience all of your available resources in an accessible manner.
In fact, as places of public accommodation under the ADA, travel agencies, tour operators, tourist attractions, and lodgings must ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities for both their physical and digital presence, which includes websites, mobile apps, and kiosks.
Think of it like this: just as a hotel should have wheelchair ramps, elevators, and bathrooms for persons with disabilities, it must also make its website accessible to people with vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive disabilities. Digital interactions at every part of the process need to be accessible, from research and purchasing to the travel experience itself.
Bottom line: hospitality and travel companies that do not meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) level 2.1 A/AA are vulnerable to class action and other lawsuits as well as Department of Justice enforced actions. That’s not a scare tactic. That’s reality.
If you need to ensure greater website accessibility and compliance for persons with disabilities, don’t go it alone. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility has been helping hospitality and travel organizations to achieve compliance for more than 20 years.
Get in touch with us today to get started on your journey to website accessibility and compliance success. We offer both FREE consultation services and a FREE website accessibility scan to see where your biggest online pain points currently exist. Let’s get started.