Every year more than 400 people with disabilities use our services to travel around the world, says Rodrigo Moreno of Travel Xperience

According to WHO estimates, one in six people in the world has a disability; additionally,, people with disabilities twice likely to develop pathologies, such as depression, asthma, diabetes, stroke, obesity and dental diseases. How to help such people not to lose interest in life and get maximum positive emotions? One of the answers to this question is to create comfortable conditions for travelling. After all, travelling not only gives a feeling of happiness, but also has a generally beneficial effect on mood and, thus, on mental health.

Travel Xperience offers 1,500 vetted accommodation options in over 125 countries, including Costa Rica, the USA (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Florida, New York), Mexico (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta), Argentina (Iguazu Falls, Perito Moreno Glacier, Buenos Aires), Morocco, South Africa, Scandinavia (Fjords, Stockholm, Bergen), Jordan and  other  European countries. Taking into account the interests of people with disabilities, Travel Xperience combines nature, gastronomy, culture, shopping and wellness activities. The agency takes responsibility for renting adapted equipment, such as  shower and sanitary chairs and manual or electric wheelchairs. We spoke to Rodrigo Moreno, founding partner and administrator of the agency, about organizing travel for people with disabilities.

Interview: Irina Rybalchenko

Please tell us about your agency that specializes in organizing travel for people with disabilities.

Travel Xperience is dedicated to organizing accessible travel around the world. Every experience is unique, and we provide services according to the needs and wishes of each of our travelers. It is our responsibility to ensure that every aspect of the trip – from accommodation to travel to tourist activities – is tailored to our clients’ needs. We strive to provide a “normal” travelling experience, where comfort issues need not be a concern.

Do these trips include any rehabilitation programmers?

We do not directly offer rehabilitation programmers as part of our trips, but we collaborate with local health and orthopedic centers in a variety of ways, which allows us to effectively respond to any medical needs that may arise during the trip, ensuring our clients have access to mobile equipment and personalized assistance as required.

Which trips are the most popular now and why?

One of our most popular destinations for people with disabilities is Japan, because of its rich culture and accessible travel infrastructure. Our clients appreciate the combination of tradition and modernity, as well as the travel and accommodation benefits that contribute to an inclusive and carefre experience.

What are your main challenges, and how do you deal with them?

One of the biggest challenges is the difference in accessibility standards from country to country. We solve this problem through research and co-operation with local partners, which allows us to adapt each trip to the specific needs of our clients and guarantee accessibility in every destination.

Another major challenge is transport, especially air transport, where there are currently no clear protocols on the conditions of movement of people with disabilities and, above all, on the mobility aids with which they travel.

How do you see the tourism infrastructure for people with disabilities? What is lacking, and what could be improved?

Despite significant improvements, there is still a lack of uniformity in accessibility in different parts of the world. Lack of reliable information on accessibility is a common barrier. Better education in the tourism services industry could significantly improve the situation.

How many people with disabilities use your agency’s services each year?

Each year, over 400 disabled people use our services to travel around the world, reflecting trust and confidence in our ability to provide safe and accessible travel. To date, over 3,500 disabled people have travelled with us around the world.

In terms of price levels, are there any discounts for this category of travelers?

Although individual trips can be more expensive – due to special accommodation and logistical needs – we try to keep prices as competitive as possible. To offer the best prices, our agency actively seeks out options that combine value and accessibility.

What about the ethics in dealing with the disabled? Do you have specially trained staff?

We have highly trained staff to meet the specific communication and assistance needs of disabled people. Our approach is to ensure that every interaction is respectful, informative and empathetic, reinforcing our commitment to quality service and understanding.

What new directions do you plan to develop?

We plan to grow our areas of expertise, especially those that are less explored. In addition, we are expanding our co-operation with assistive technologies that support and enhance human functioning and independence, thereby contributing to health and well-being, as well as online platforms to further simplify the booking and travel planning processes for our customers.

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