St Albans man’s TripAble hotel accessibility review service goes global
PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 February 2017
Offering disabled travellers the chance to review and score hotels according to their accessibility has proved to be a hit across the globe.
St Albans man Dan Humphrey launched website TripAble last year, after seeing his paraplegic father, Alan, facing unnecessary hurdles while on holiday, including at hotels claiming to cater for people with disabilities.
Alan was one of the most qualified ski instructors in the country but he suffered a spinal cord injury in 2005, after he fell about 40 feet, ‘bouncing a couple of times’ on his way to the ground at an outdoor centre.
With the family finding it a struggle to book appropriate hotels that met Alan’s needs, Dan was prompted to initiate the website as an online tool for people to both lodge reviews and seek out places to stay.
It enables people to rate a hotel’s accessibility, with holiday-makers including information on manoeuvrability around beds, whether bathrooms are user-friendly, and whether there is somewhere to park nearby.
Since its launch in the Herts Advertiser in May 2016, TripAble has plugged a gap in the market, and received widespread publicity.
A thrilled Dan said: “It’s been a great year, with our project gaining coverage on TV, radio and the national press.
“Most exciting is that we have been recognised internationally, with charities in South Africa and America pushing us, as well as having a feature in the Australian press.”
TripAble was also recently publicised in the travel section of the Toronto Star and EasyJet’s inflight magazine.
Dan said: “This started with your piece in the Herts Advertiser; thank you for getting the ball rolling.
“I’ve also been chatting with the International Paralympic Committee as they have major issues finding appropriate accommodation for their members at meetings and events, and really see the value in TripAble.
“The result of all this is that we have been getting reviews from all over the world and are becoming a truly global service to rate the accessibility of hotels.”
Dan said that the next step was to start a crowdfunding campaign, to help pay for publicity and “get the word out more”.
If that is successful, he is also keen to fund a hotel review campaign in at least one other country, such as the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand.
Dan added: “The aim is partly to grow TripAble as a global service, but also to ensure that we have more international destinations/hotels reviewed to give more options to UK disabled holiday makers.
“This year will be the time to push on and help more people.”
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