What is Travel For All?
Travel For All is a business about accessible and inclusive travel - the Trip Advisor for accessible and inclusive travel. It helps travellers find suitable businesses and help businesses attract new customers by targeting a very large, loyal and underserved market sector.
Travel For All is a TripAdvisor for Accessible an Inclusive Travel, incorporating a community and providing detailed accessibility information. Travellers will have access to trusted, verified and complete information to plan, book and experience accessible travel with confidence. TFA will uniquely offer extremely comprehensive accessibility information through self and verified assessment; authenticated user reviews and operator/staff training. It will be a worldwide mainstream marketplace offering inbuilt accessibility travel information for all.
TFA is not purely a directory but selling a marketing tool to businesses that they can use on all their other platforms as well.
The current industry landscape
Currently, travellers with any form of accessibility requirement are spending huge amounts of time researching their travel; using unreliable and often out of date 'street view' information and gambling on unhelpful, meaningless statements such as “fully accessible.” Tourism businesses don’t know how to market to such travellers and meet their information requirements, meaning people with access needs are frustrated, annoyed and often simply don’t book or spend as much as they otherwise would. Inclusive travel is a huge and rapidly growing market whose needs are currently not being met. Both sides of the marketplace are missing out.
TFA will uniquely offer extremely comprehensive accessibility information through self and verified assessment; authenticated user reviews and operator/staff training. It will be a mainstream marketplace offering inbuilt accessibility travel information for all and not purely a niche site for wheelchairs or other niche disabilities. PWDs seek an all in one solution. Surveys of travellers with accessibility needs have shown that their number one requirement is detailed, comprehensive, accurate, reliable and up to date information to ensure that a business, service, hotel etc will meet their needs.
All travellers, and anyone going out of their community, require highly detailed and verified information about accessibility and inclusion at all businesses. It is simply not possible to provide assurance of "fully accessible" to cover all disabilities. Many people will benefit from being able to assess for themselves whether any business can cater for their unique personal needs, allowing easier and fuller participation in society.
How Travel For All was established
Dale Reardon, the founder and CEO of TFA, is blind and travels with a dog guide domestically and uses a white cane travelling internationally.
Dale and Jo have experienced many problems and difficulties finding suitable accommodation when travelling; being mislead or lied to by some operators, leading to developing a solution for verified accessibility information. It was actually while staying in Paris in an AirBnB property that had considerable incorrect and/or misleading information that lead to forming the idea for Travel For All.
Dale and Jo previously created and operated a worldwide disability community, and members of the MDM (My Disability Matters Club) were consulted and involved in the design of TFA. Surveys and consultation of PWDs were undertaken, and there was also extensive analysis and use of accessible travel, academic and grey literature research on the informational requirements and desires of all people with accessible needs. Analysis of other specific disability solutions were also undertaken
TFA purchased the non exclusive rights to disability awareness training developed by UTAS and incorporated into TFA training. TFA did not have the financial resources to undertake its own academic research into accessible travel requirements, and relied on existing comprehensive research and unique personal insights from the extensive worldwide travels of Dale and Jo.
TFA has also created a growing list of resources in relation to accessible and inclusive travel/tourism from its own research and member submissions. This resource database will be maintained as a resource and service to operators and travellers. TFA is also compiling a list of examples of accessible and inclusive tourism to serve as both an inspiration and guide for other businesses.
The growth of Travel For All
TFA has been created to help all people with disabilities worldwide-temporary or permanent, physical, sensory, mental health etc; essentially anyone who has an accessibility need. It empowers PWDs to decide for themselves if a business/facility is suitable for their own unique personal needs without the operator having to make promises for all disabilities
TFA created a training program for tourism and travel businesses and their staff in relation to disability awareness and attitudes. TFA is currently working with a client to create a tailored accessibility training program to deliver in person to their staff including video recording of the training for future staff and other businesses.
TFA intends to develop its IT, expand its operations, list many more businesses and work with many partners and like minded organisations from any sector.
Its vision is for equality in tourism for people with accessibility needs, whether through age, disability, accident or illness. TFA wants the planning, booking and experiencing travel to be simple and straightforward for everyone, even if you have accessibility needs. TFA will uniquely help businesses market to this large, loyal market segment through extremely comprehensive accessibility information through self and verified assessment; authenticated user reviews and operator/staff training.
TFA will be a worldwide mainstream marketplace offering inbuilt accessibility travel information for all and not purely a niche site for wheelchairs.
TFA will employ many people with disabilities as a leading employer, and of course TFA will be highly profitable enabling a suitable financial exit for investors and founders if desired.
TFA has worked with the Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, which is a member of the Australian Tourism Hall Of Fame, to develop their accessibility statement and market their accessibility and inclusion. Port Arthur realised that not all needs are visible; many people who don't consider themselves disabled still need some help and lots of information to plan their trip and work out what is suitable, and are also working on implementing recommendations from TFA's consultation.
Meet the team
Dale and Jo have 11 years of successfully working together in startups and extensive experience in legal, tourism, financial, staff management, IT and marketing online/offline.
Dale has personal experience of disability travel (he is vision impaired with a guide dog) and 8.5 years experience as an owner and operator of tourism accommodation businesses providing industry insights and connections.
Both have extensive domestic and international travel experience of many different styles and have conducted research and testing to ensure early product/market fit. They are extremely committed to make TFA succeed through working full time in/on TFA.
TFA combines their skills, networks and life experiences so they are very dedicated and commited to success.
Founder / Market Fit
TFA fully appreciates that founder / market fit is crucial to startup success and that this is important even before product/market fit. They have unique insights as both travellers and business operators. At the same time, TFA are fully aware of the limitations of its knowledge and expertise and that is why it wants to create, on an ongoing basis, an advisory committee of experts in accessible travel and also people with disabilities and travellers with various accessibility needs. This is not just important for further developing our product/market fit but ensures ongoing product development and marketing is based on its users needs and wants. It will also be important to stay connected with the tourism/travel/hospitality business community. One of the complaints about some other marketplaces from the business community is that they don't listen to them and are out of touch with business realities.
Dale Reardon has been involved with advisory committees and stakeholder engagement through his disability work and various advocacy roles so is aware of its importance and how it must be connected to the executive levels of management and not a complete separate entity.
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