Did you notice that this year’s World Tourism Day was dedicated to accessible tourism?

To my mind, that means “Accessible Tourism” has finally become a recognised sector of the mainstream tourism industry. It means, times are changing, it means millions of people around the world will have the opportunity to travel to places they never thought possible and it also means those of us who’ve been banging the accessible tourism drum are finally being heard.

I’m sure you’ll agree, these are exciting times, so it seems fitting to announce some more exciting news.

I’ve been sitting on this news for a couple of months, but I think now is the right time to tell you that I’m joining forces with Martyn Sibley on Accessible Traveller

Update: we are now collaborating on The Accessible Holiday Club, not Accessible Traveller.

When I say joining forces, what I actually mean is, I’m running it.

Before the emails start coming in, don’t worry, I’m still fully committed to The Bimblers. In fact, the partnership with Accessible Traveller has motivated me to get more organised and take a more professional approach to the way I run this blog.

I genuinely believe that accessible tourism is on the cusp of something big, and I want both The Bimblers and Accessible Traveller to be ready for it. I’ll tell you more about the changes on The Bimblers as we go along, but for now, let me introduce you to Accessible Traveller.

What is Accessible Traveller?

The club is a unique concept in the world of accessible tourism and can best be described as a one-stop shop for travelling with a disability.

Designed from the ground up by Martyn Sibley of Disability Horizons fame, accessible traveller falls into two camps.

accessible-travel-newsletter

At the heart of the project is a members only subscription newsletter. Each month, the newsletter features unique curated travel information, information that is not freely available anywhere else and includes:

  • In-depth travel guides for popular destinations around the world. Specifically written for and by people with access problems, the guides will help you travel to your destination with prior knowledge of what and where is fully accessible.
  • The researched guides include all of the information you could possibly need including accessible accommodation, flights, ferries, transfers, taxis, places to go and sights to see. Not only that, we will include first-hand tips so as well as getting factual information about your trip you’ll also get an opinion from real disabled travellers.
  • In-depth interviews with accessible travel experts, accessible tourism businesses and tourist boards. We encourage them to share their insider tips to make travelling with a disability easier and less stressful.
  • Inspirational stories and trip reports from disabled travellers, people like us who have been there, seen it and done it.
  • Also included, reviews, opinion and suggestions of accessible products and services that may well provide answers to your questions and help you on your travels.

Martyn and I are passionate about accessible tourism but as good as the newsletter is to help you get the right information, on its own, it’s not enough. It’s one thing showing you what’s possible, we want to take it further, we want to actually help you take a dream holiday, wherever that dream destination maybe.

So, as part of your Accessible Traveller subscription you’ll also have access to:

  • Every newsletter we’ve published
  • Members vault packed with specially negotiated travel discounts.
  • Travel guides for some of the world’s best cities
  • Bonuses including eBooks and travel checklists
  • And, if that’s not enough, we are working with some of the biggest accessible holiday providers to create a unique travel planning service. In the coming months, annual subscribers will have access to a concierge type service where we’ll not only help you find your dream holiday but book it and save money too.

Why I’m Joining Accessible Traveller

I’m not going to lie, initially, I was sceptical. To my mind, why would anyone pay for travel information?

But, I was missing the point, I’m like that, it takes me a while to catch up…

In reality, people pay for all kinds of information, and if we think about accessible tourism specifically, people often end up paying far too much because of the lack of information and that just ain’t fair.

After much deliberation and a 2-hour conversation with Martyn, I started to get it. It dawned on me that curating and creating in-depth guides that can’t be found anywhere else, persuading experts to give up their time to contribute to a unique newsletter, negotiating discounts with companies who generally don’t offer discounts and putting it all together in one place is not only time consuming but costly.

Therefore, I had it the wrong way round. I was looking at the cost when in fact I should have been looking at the benefit of subscribing.

By subscribing to Accessible Traveller you are joining an exclusive club. A club where you have access to expertly written destination guides, written by people who know what your needs are. You can read personal stories from disabled travellers, possibly from people with the same disability as you. You can see the barriers they faced, learn how to overcome them then take a dream holiday yourself – that in itself is priceless!

Let’s say you’re going on holiday and you are prepared to pay £1000. If Accessible Traveller can get you a 5%, 10% maybe even more discount, why wouldn’t you accept it?

Better still, if Accessible Traveller can help you plan your holiday and save you money on the incidentals such as travel insurance, equipment hire and transport it’s a no brainer.

And, if you do subscribe and decide it’s not for you within the first 60 days you can have your money back, no questions, no quibbling, no haggling just an unequivocal money back guarantee.

What I want from Accessible Traveller

I have honestly thought long and hard about joining Accessible Traveller, not because I don’t like the idea, I do, but because I had to be sure in my own mind that I can bring something to the party.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that I do have something to offer. If I want to help level the accessible travel playing field, I need to be on the field in the first place.

What do I mean when I say levelling the playing field?

Like all who work in accessible tourism, I want to remove the barriers to travel, I want to open up the world to people who feel travelling is too difficult, and one way or the other, I want to make travel affordable.

Looking at these in more detail:

  • The biggest barrier to travel is information, therefore as well as what we do here on The Bimblers I can use Accessible Traveller to tap into markets and destinations I wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. This way, we can truly open up the world to travel opportunities and build a global audience that effectively becomes the driving force behind the direction of the newsletter.
  • The next barrier to travel for many is the price. This is a biggy for me in more ways than one. One part of me has struggled to get over the hurdle of charging for information. Ultimately, without an income to invest, we won’t be able to see all of our plans come to fruition, plans that are paramount to helping you travel more often and cheaper.
  • Accessible Traveller is a business and in order to function it needs money, in order to grow the newsletter, negotiate better discounts, provide a truly one stop shop for disabled travellers it needs money.
  • No other business in the travel industry is expected to work for free. There’s a misconception in accessible tourism, it’s assumed that anyone who operates in the space is either a charity or social enterprise. If we truly want accessible tourism to be mainstream, we have to behave like a mainstream business. Even writing this makes me realise how the issue I have with charging for our services is futile because it’s not my decision to make, you will decide how valuable the service is not me.

On reflection, all we can do is create the most useful accessible travel club on the internet. Build partnerships and relationships so we can offer the best travel related discounts and create a business where the value it offers far outweighs the cost of joining it.

How You Can Join Accessible Traveller

I guess all that remains is for me to tell you how you can join Accessible Traveller. But before I do, I have written a full list of the benefits you get when you join The Accessible Traveller Club

If you yearn to travel more, save money, get the inside track on travelling with a disability and reap the benefits of joining our exclusive club – head on over to Accessible Traveller now, we have a very special offer for you.