As the disabled founder of Accomable, the ‘Airbnb’ for anyone with a mobility issue – of course, I’d naturally recommend any vacation rental owner adapt their property for wheelchair users. I speak for myself, too, when I say our customers would love to stay with you!
But there are many other good and sensible reasons to adapt your property for disabled guests. I’ve listed some of the best below:
1. The purple pound is strong (as is the disabled dollar, for that matter!)
Let’s get straight to the point here. Stats show that more than 10% of people in the UK and almost 20% of the US population have some kind of mobility issue. That’s about 6.4 million and more than 60 million people respectively. Or, in other words, a lot of potential guests.
2. Get the edge over the competition
There are thousands and thousands of vacation rentals worldwide, but surprisingly few offer accessible rooms and a bathroom that are suitable for disabled and elderly people. It’s one of the reasons I set up Accomable – because it was so difficult to find accessible accommodation online I could trust. With this in mind, if you could adapt one or two rooms in your rental, you’d be able to offer something your rivals can’t – you’d have a new unique selling point.
3. Accessible rooms can be super stylish
If you’ve ever used an accessible bathroom at the airport or a shopping mall, you’ll know, disabled adaptations can look boring and clinical. But it doesn’t have to be this way! For bathrooms, many rental owners already offer stylish, spacious wet rooms, which a wheelchair can roll into. Specialist equipment like bathroom ‘grab rails’ can be attached and removed as and when you need them – so if one guest is disabled but the next is not, then you can simply remove the equipment until it’s next needed. We work with a wide range of accommodation types, including five-star design hotels, like the Grange St Paul’s, Finnish style eco-lodges, and yurts for glamping – all of which are inspiringly comfortable, modern and stylish.
Of course, it’s not possible for everyone – but if you have step-free access to your main entrance, at least one accessible bedroom and bathroom and wide enough doorways, you might be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to adapt your rental, welcome a disabled traveler and fill your rooms.
4. Accessible gadgets are awesome, too!
I am a tech geek, and learnt how to code to build the Accomable website – so I love the extra tech/gadgets you sometimes see on offer with our property owners. A couple of our properties in the Peak District offer Boma 7 off-road wheelchairs, for example, which can enable you to get off the tarmac and explore the rugged dales. Another offers timber cabins with accessible hot tubs, with cleverly integrated track hoists. While another is a canal barge which has been specially adapted for three wheelchair users.
About the Author:
Srin Madipalli is the disabled CEO and Co-founder of Accomable, the world’s leading booking portal for adapted hotel rooms and holiday accommodation you can trust.