Welcoming all: What travel brands need to know about inclusive travelers
May 10th, 2024, Janice Fernandes

Welcoming all: What travel brands need to know about inclusive travelers

The importance of diversity and inclusion in travel services, destinations, and advertising is gaining traction, with travelers seeking experiences catering to their individual needs such as mobility issues or barriers to accessibility and preferences.

In a recent YouGov survey conducted among US adults we look at:

  • The importance of inclusivity to travel
  • The top resources inclusive travelers rely on for information
  • The biggest barriers inclusive travelers face

Polling data reveals that 31% of overall respondents find it important that travel brands use people who represent them in their advertising. This sentiment tends to be stronger among the 30-44-year-old demographic, with 41% emphasizing the importance of representation.

Around a third of US travelers (33%) would prefer to go on a trip that caters to a wider range of travelers’ needs and abilities. Parents with children under the age of 18 are more likely to opt for inclusive accommodations or destinations (40%) compared to those with at least one child over 18 years (30%).

But how do travelers assess the inclusivity of a travel package or destination? Survey data reveals the resources most valued by travelers seeking inclusive options. Reviews from travelers with similar needs emerge as the most valuable resource, with 40% of respondents finding them most helpful. These firsthand accounts can provide potential travelers with insights into accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and overall experience for travelers with specific requirements.

Clear descriptions of accessibility features offered by accommodations and destinations are also crucial, with 36% of respondents valuing them highly.

Social media content showcasing real travelers enjoying inclusive experiences is not high on the list but resonates with one in nine respondents (11%).

Travel blogs or articles highlighting destinations with inclusive offerings (7%) and using inclusive language that avoids stereotypes in marketing materials (6%) round out the list of helpful resources.

The path to an inclusive travel experience isn't always smooth. The survey also identifies challenges faced by Americans seeking inclusive travel options. Higher costs associated with inclusive options pose a hurdle for 36% of respondents.

The lack of readily available information about accommodations or travel destinations is another challenge faced by 27% of respondents. 

Finally, 19% of respondents report difficulty finding destinations and accommodations that cater to diverse needs.

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Methodology: YouGov polled 700 US adults on April 24, 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, political affiliation, education level and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

Image: Getty Images