According to Figures from Cornell University’s DisabilityStatistics.org over 319 million people with disabilities in the US may experience issues when it comes to travel. While we don’t all have the resources to custom build a property for the market, there are retrofitting opportunities for owners to create more accessible spaces.
In an article on the Lodgify blog earlier this year, the founder of Accomable, Srin Madipalli talks about why it’s a smart move for owners to adapt their properties for disabled travelers. With over one billion people world-wide experiencing some form of disability, this is a market that is staggeringly underserved.
In today’s episode Andy Renals, the owner of a Cyprus villa that has amazing accessibility for disabled guests, talks about the reason he custom built the property with an accessible apartment, and how he attracts guests to it.
Andy explains how his plans for building a villa in Cyprus were reimagined after he renewed contact with an old school friend who, after a promising athletic career, had a life-changing accident. Now a tetraplegic and a member of the spinal injuries association, David inspired Andy to purpose build the villa to accommodate people with severe disabilities.
Villa Carpe Diem is a fabulous Mediterranean property designed to give disabled guests the time of their lives. As part of his commitment to accessibility, Andy created the lower level of the villa with a wet bathroom and a bedroom equipped to accommodate people with a range of conditions and illnesses including an awareness of ‘sensitivities’.
With a property like this, it’s not sufficient to list the property on an OTA and expect the ideal audience to find it. Instead, Andy knows he has to find his audience. He talks about the importance of niche marketing – understanding where potential travelers are networking online, and being there to broadcast the opportunities for them to travel.
Along with creating excellent accommodation for people with varying needs for accessibility, Andy wanted his guests to enjoy exploring the island of Cyprus as well and provides an adapted vehicle as well as plenty of recommendations on what guests can do and see.
Villa Carpe Diem is currently for sale and in the final few minutes of the episode, Andy talks about some options available should anyone wish to buy this perfect paradise.
In this episode Andy shares:
- The story behind Villa Carpe Diem
- How the design was modified with the help of a tetraplegic friend
- Why he got involved with getting people off an airplane – the Eagle Lifter at Larnaca Airport
- His niche marketing strategy
- How and why the accessibility statement covers every aspect of the villa
Links mentioned in the article:
This month’s recommended book is Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley.
The book is in 6 parts and covers most aspects of writing for online content including grammar, story rules, publishing tips, marketing tasks and has a reference list of sources.
This isn’t the definitive book on writing, or grammar, or publishing – rather it offers useful guideposts on the path towards better writing..
My favorite quote from the book is:
“Start with empathy, continue with utility, improve with analysis, optimize with love”
This is an invaluable reference book when you are writing listings or creating content.
This week’s resource is UpWork.
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