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Influencing a New Trail for Accessible Travel

By: Geena Bevenour, U.S. Travel Association

Meet the content creators leading a shift in accessibility awareness for travel.

61 MILLION. That’s the number of American adults with a disability. A number that is set to grow as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age. According to a 2022 study by MMGY Global, travelers with mobility disabilities spend an estimated $58.2 billion per year on leisure travel, travel with a higher frequency and spend more per person in comparison to other active leisure travelers—some of which is allocated toward additional disability-related costs. 

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Travelers of all ages and abilities share an enthusiasm for adventure and crave experiencing new places, people and things. While the travel industry has taken steps to improve inclusivity, much work remains to ensure all communities have access to the services essential to their travel experience—be it at a hotel, on an airline or within a destination.

Challenges present themselves at nearly all stages of the traveler experience but top barriers for those with mobility disabilities include lodging accessibility, navigating within a destination—and, related—proper transportation accessibility. 

With knowledge, comes the power to do better—and that’s just what content creators across the digital sphere are advocating for. As travelers with disabilities themselves, no one knows how to navigate accessibility in travel better. Their stories not only provide others with game-changing (or rather, trip-changing) advice but also serve as essential insights into where the industry can improve.

Prepare to be influenced by these avid travelers changing the accessibility landscape. 

Cory Lee | Curb Free with Cory Lee

Cory is an award-winning travel blogger, sought-after speaker and major change-maker in the accessible travel space. Having adventured across all seven continents, Cory’s Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Type 2) diagnosis has only fueled his desire to explore the world—and importantly, his advocacy for why traveling with a disability is worth all the while. 

His content focuses on helping other wheelchair users travel the globe and bringing awareness to accessible experiences and destinations. Check out what he looks for in a wheelchair-accessible hotel room, how to explore Grand Rapids, Michigan or some of his tips for air travel.

Holly | Life of a Blind Girl

Holly is a 27-year writer and music-lover. Considered one of the most influential people with a disability in the U.K., she frequently speaks on and writes about all things vision impairment and disability misconceptions—topics close to her heart as she herself is registered blind. 

Her blog content transcends travel but delivers valuable insights key to ensuring hospitality and travel workforces are equipped to accommodate the needs of all ability levels. Take, for example, her recent experience on public transportation, thoughts on the importance of transportation safety features or tips for making your blog or online content accessible for those with visual impairments. 


Kristy Durso | @kristygoes

Kristy is a mom to three, Ms. Wheelchair Texas and traveler extraordinaire. She seeks to bridge the gap between what is labeled as “accessible” and what is truly disability friendly. Being a full-time wheelchair user has not stopped Kristy from taking on adventures—be it zip lining, taking on a skate park or cruising Alaska. Her honest reviews shine a light on businesses doing it right and challenge others to improve. 

Kristy’s work goes far beyond her social media. Her consulting is valued by destination marketing organizations, tourist boards and resorts alike—in addition to her impactful endeavors as a business owner at Incredible Travel Memories where she curates fully accessible vacations alongside vetted agents. 

The traveler's journey is full of opportunities to improve. Whether it’s an overhaul to ensure accessibility or fine-tuning to enhance the hospitality experience, expanding inclusivity is a necessity for the industry. Voices like Kristy’s, Holly’s and Cory’s are helping to change the industry and serve as both inspirational and tactical springboards to do better so that everyone—no matter their abilities—can explore our beautiful world.