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Survey reveals challenges, opportunities for travelers with mobility disabilities

People with mobility issues spend more than $58 billion a year on travel and their leisure trips are nearly the same frequency as those without mobility disabilities. But their experiences are much different.

Transportation and lodging accessibility are the biggest barriers, according to new research reported by Travel Agent Central. The report analyzed data from MMGY Global’s survey of 2,700 Americans with mobility disabilities and their caregivers and companions.

Ninety-six percent reported an accommodation problem. About 80% have dealt with inaccessible showers and more than 50% have encountered beds that are too high to access. Sixty percent faced extended wait times for flight assistance and 40% reported an airline had lost or damaged their mobility aid.

Respondents said destinations could earn their business by providing more information, along with photos and virtual tours of rooms and sites, and by expanding infrastructure and enhancing maintenance for sidewalks and ramps.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.