Enable Travel, a specialised venture supported by Cox & Kings, is offering curated itineraries in 14 Indian cities to aid the aspirations of disabled travellers in India.
Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel, informs that the initial plan is to spread awareness amongst the disabled persons that India is more accessible now and inbound tourists too can be catered well. Sen points out that according to 2011 census, almost 27 million, which is 2.1 per cent of the overall population of India, are suffering from some form of disability and this number is growing at two per cent annually over the last decade.
Putting the numbers in context, Sen says that 12 per cent of total travellers from the UK are disabled; 11 per cent of total Australian travellers are disabled and thus, eying the vast potential of this specialised, untapped market, Enable Travel hopes to be the first dedicated player in this space. Also, Sen believes that since the disabled travellers always travel with friends and family, the revenues for airlines, hotels, etc. increase manifold.
“We are launching in 14 cities and soon in the second phase we shall expand to other cities in India. Also, we will launch the outbound division for disabled travellers once they start travelling within India. Through this initiative we are trying to address various barriers like inaccessible travel information, lack of transportation and disabled friendly hotel rooms that prevent people from travelling,” he says. The company is currently offering inbound and domestic holidays and will introduce quality transportation, support services including investments in specially trained manpower such as caregivers, sign language interpreters, expert guides and escorts.
Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings, comments, “Many tourists with disabilities within and outside India are keen on exploring different travel experiences the country has to offer. It is important to tap this largely underserved segment of travellers by providing quality assistance and services that focus on individual needs. Enabling barrier-free travel for people with disabilities will contribute to a significant increase in inbound and domestic tourism.”