British Columbia

Accessible travel: Consultant wants tourism industry to offer more, better services

A travel consultants who focuses on accessibility say the tourism industry is becoming increasingly aware of the needs of people with disabilities.

Tarita Davenock wants to see hotels posting pictures of their accessible rooms and amenities

Davenock said fear is the number one factor that holds people with disabilities back. (Shutterstock)

A travel consultant who focuses on accessibility wants to see B.C. tourism websites and hotels do a better job of promoting the accessible amenities and services they offer.

Tarita Davenock said currently very little is advertised. 

"There is nothing visual and there is nothing written," she said, 

She would like to see things like pictures of a hotel room and lists of accessible tours posted to websites. 

Fear of not knowing

Davenock was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 29 and said fear is the number one thing that holds people with disabilities back. 

"When you're travelling you are leaving your home, which is your safe zone," she said. 

"Your wheelchair is your legs, so if something is deterring you when you arrive there and not working, you're stuck," she said. 

No guarantee

Davenock said it's not easy to book travel online as there is no way of knowing what you will arrive to and definitions of accessibility can vary. 

She said even a wheelchair-accessible room isn't always possible to confirm when making a booking.

"It goes into the booking as a request, similar to asking for an 'ocean view room," she said. "You're told that they'll let you know within 24 to 48 hours."

Davenock is going to meet with Destination B.C. in June in hopes of developing a tourism information site with a focus on accessibility and also wants to see legislation that would guarantee the needs of people with disabilities are met. 

With files from the CBC's The Early Edition and Michelle Eliot.

To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Accessible travel consultant shares travelling tips