Franchise set up to target ‘neglected’ disabled travel market

Franchise set up to target ‘neglected’ disabled travel market

A franchise operation has been set up by The Travel Network Group to target the disabled travel market.

The project is a joint venture with Gloucester-based TTA member Accessible Travel, a leading operator of holidays for disabled travellers.

Former Accessible Travel employee Danni Brown is developing the franchise from her home and is covering the Bath and Bristol area.

Other TTA members have expressed interest in becoming franchisees to serve a market often overlooked by the industry.

The launch of the franchise follows remarks by World Travel Market chairman Fiona Jeffery that the trade neglects disabled customers.

Accessible Travel sells mostly direct, but Brown said there would be opportunities for agents.

She said: "This is a very specialist market so selling it takes a lot of training, but we will be working with agents more because of our relationship with the TTA.

"We currently sell through World Market Travel in Bath on a referral basis, but that’s not to say staff won’t be trained in the future."

One agent who will be working closely with Accessible Travel is Linda Spina-Beatty, a new member of TTA homeworking division Independent Travel Experts whose daughter Maisie has the rare genetic disorder McCune-Albright.

Spina-Beatty said she wanted to help tackle the "knowledge gap in the market".

Travel Network chairman Simon Hargreaves said: "We were looking for markets that were not commoditised. Disabled travel really met that criteria."

Once the first franchise has been running for a year, The Travel Network Group will seek accreditation from the British Franchise Association.

"Agents will then be able to apply to be a franchisee of a given UK region," said Hargreaves.


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