Accessible Travel with accessibleGO
Today we introduce the first out of nine startups participating in next month’s Booster Lab in Tel Aviv. accessibleGO is a travel platform connecting like-minded travellers with disabilities. Its founders seek to, not only create a more inclusive tourism environment but also educate tourism suppliers on accessibility. Based in Israel and operating in the US, accessibleGO was launched only in 2017.
We spoke to Miriam Eljas, co-founder and CEO of accessibleGO to find out her motivations for this business and participation in the Lab. See what she said below:
What triggered you to start your business?
We started accessibleGO because we personally experienced family members facing the difficulties of travelling with a disability. Travellers with disabilities often cannot get the accessibility information they need, or receive incorrect information, leaving them in stressful inaccessible situations that could have been avoided. Knowledge is critical when planning a trip with a disability to know what is accessible and what is not. Separately, many online travel booking sites are not technically accessible for internet users with disabilities. We realised that a solution is within reach and set out to build a platform to solve these problems and offering unique booking solutions.
What does your startup do?
We are an accessible travel platform for people with disabilities offering bookings, reviews and community. We enable like-minded travellers with disabilities to connect and help one another to plan and book accessible trips, exchange reviews, find local travel resources and discover inspiring accessible travel content.
What is the impact of your product or service on the travel industry?
Through the exchange of accessibility information, travellers with disabilities are coming together and affecting change by sharing their experiences and demanding improved accessibility for all. Through personal reviews, travellers can also improve misconceptions on what it means to be accessible as many businesses are not properly informed but will take an interest when their establishment is mentioned.
Our platform is propelling hotels, attractions and tourism businesses to realise the importance of meeting the needs of this large and important demographic from both a financial perspective and a general need for societal change.
What recent milestones are you most proud of?
Our platform has been launched, bookings are being made and accessibility information is being searched and circulated. We've covered 30 USA cities in our trip resources and travel ideas sections and we are creating a community through the exchange of information our site. We've created 15 cross-promotional partnerships and launched a community blog section featuring 20 established travel bloggers with disabilities. Recent press coverage in niche publications like New Mobility magazine has also been an exciting milestone for us.
What motivated you to apply to the Booster Lab?
The chance to learn from the biggest travel network in the world would be an incredible experience for the team here at accessibleGO. While we are now in a position to move quickly and grow our startup and build upon on what we have created to date, the knowledge and expertise of Booking.com would help position us in the right direction and catapult us towards growth. The opportunity for mentoring from industry experts in order to help us execute milestones on our roadmap would be deeply valued. We would also enjoy meeting and networking with other startups working towards a shared vision of sustainable tourism.
This Booster Lab kicks off in just over 1 week at Mindspace Tel Aviv for our 3-day jam-packed programme all to prepare for the startups’ final pitches on 8 March at Rise Tel Aviv auditorium. We can’t wait!
You can get to know each startup participating over the coming days via this blog. To read about all of them, see our blog post from last week!