Ensuring Seamless Business Travel for All

The GBTA Foundation’s Accessibility initiative aims to guide and engage travel managers and suppliers in the implementing policies and best practices for accessible business travel.

Travelers with Accessibility Requirements Are Not a Niche

Addressing accessibility challenges has been identified as a key priority for the business travel industry. The issue is not widely understood or addressed: in a 2022 survey, 39% of business travelers identified as having an accessibility requirement that affected their performance (Accessio). Yet 70% of travel managers didn’t know or wouldn’t estimate how many of their travelers have accessibility requirements. These are travelers whose challenges include not just physical disabilities, but also other types of accessibility requirements, including mental health issues and neurodiversity, temporary conditions like pregnancy or injuries, age-related needs, food allergies, and chronic pain.

The imperative for accessibility is not just moral but also strategic, aligning with legal obligations, expanding market reach, and enhancing corporate image and employee satisfaction. Travel managers need guidance on how to get started, not only in understanding their travelers’ accessibility requirements, but how to address them.

The Solution: GBTA Accessibility Toolkit

The GBTA Accessibility Toolkit, developed by GBTA Foundation in collaboration with the Inclusion & Culture Committee and the Accessibility Task Force, is a guide to help travel managers and buyers get started on creating more accessible policies and practices in their business travel programs. It includes recommendations based on industry best practices around travel policy, traveler communication, supplier engagement, and point-of-sale. The toolkit also lays out the key challenges in accessible business travel and how the industry can collaborate on a path forward. Travel buyers, TMCs, consultants, TMCs/OBTs, and suppliers should use this toolkit as a guide to inspire action, both in improving accessibility in individual programs but also in the collective effort to create a seamless travel landscape for all business travelers.

The Way Forward

Accessibility is a material issue for business travel. As travel programs grow and travel managers look for ways to streamline their systems, we must continue to refine and define best practices for accessible business travel. The GBTA Foundation has identified five calls to action for the business travel industry around accessibility:  

The GBTA Accessibility Toolkit would not be possible without the support of the GBTA Inclusion & Culture Committee and Accessibility Taskforce.