By Keletso Mkhwanazi
Tarryn Tomlinson, the creator and director of Able2Travel, is aware of how time-consuming and difficult it can be to search and find accessible vacation spots that cater to persons living with disabilities. She set out to make it easier for these travellers to find the information they needed so they could plan their vacations easily and focus on having fun and making new discoveries.
A unique hospitality sector solution for travellers with disabilities, Able2Travel currently is a website that offers various services for those on holiday such as finding a career, transport and entertainment. Tomlinson told Vutivi News that she had encountered two issues when she established the business in 2019. She said there were no services for travellers with disabilities within the hotel or tourism sector, which was crucial for them because they depended on information when making reservations, and there was no information on the features of a hotel. “People with disabilities frequently stay indoors because they are hesitant to venture outside with their families to have fun and explore. Able2Travel was founded to fill that gap in that way,” she explained.
Also, there was a lack of representation in the sector, and Able2Travel was constantly advocating for businesses to change their layout and improve their communication strategies. The business is in the final stages of developing an Assisting Travel App. It will include helping job seekers with impairments by easily generating CVs, applying for work, and attending interviews without having to travel.
It will also have an e-hailing service to help persons living with disabilities commute. Tomlinson said Abel2Travel and the Federation Hospitality Association of South Africa were partners in the Cape region. She is also a member of Cape Town Tourism, which she wants to collaborate with national tourism bodies after she received a responsible award for diversity and inclusion at the World Travel Market in South Africa. Tomlinson is also looking at developing an Able2Travel 13-part series TV programme, which will be a travel and lifestyle show that explores cultures, food and wine, and luxury spaces. She already has a YouTube channel.