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LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, religious and disabled travellers not being catered for

A survey of 141 European travel, procurement and HR managers by Business Travel Show Europe has shown that corporates are not building travel programmes that cater for the majority of LGBTQIA+, neurodivergent, religious, solo and disabled people who travel for business. 

Business travellers with additional needs are still being ignored by their employers, new research has shown.

A survey of 141 European travel, procurement and HR managers by Business Travel Show Europe has shown that corporates are not building travel programmes that cater for the majority of LGBTQIA+, neurodivergent, religious, solo and disabled people who travel for business. 

Business Travel Show Europe is the leading event for business travel buying and takes place in London from 19-20 June 2024. HR professionals are invited to attend for free.

LGBTQIA+ travellers  

As we enter Pride Month, more than half (54%) of travel programmes do not provide special consideration for LGBTQIA+ travellers compared to 22% in 2023. 

Travellers with accessibility needs 

People with accessibility requirements (around 25% of the UK population is disabled) also appear to be less well catered for compared to 2023 – dropping from 48% to 43%. 

Accessibility in travel is being debated at Business Travel Show Europe on Wednesday 19 June at 12pm with a panel session – Let’s make business travel truly accessible – when panellists from Maiden Voyage, EventWell and British Wheelchair Basketball will explain what travel managers can do to prioritise accessibility in their travel programme and where pressure needs to be applied to make the sector perform better as a whole.  

Neurodivergent people  

Despite accounting for around 15% of the UK population and 10% of the workforce in Europe, only 18% of travel programmes cater for neurodivergent people.  

EventWell CEO & Founder Helen Moon: “The reasons for ensuring neuroinclusion in travel are vast. A minimum of 20% of travellers will be diagnosed with a neurodivergent cognitive difference, but the reality that there are an even higher number of travellers who are undiagnosed. Travel accommodations that benefit this community are well documented to benefit the mental wellbeing of ALL travellers, in the same way that drop curbs in pavements designed for individuals with physical disabilities also benefit everyone. Accessibility and inclusion are about removing barriers to allow everyone equal opportunity to participate and engage. As a wider industry we have a duty of care to be supporting this, and it is vital component to the future of travel and events.” 

Younger and older travellers 

26% of travel programmes cater for younger travellers and 23% for older travellers. 

Orthodox and Jewish travellers  

Despite the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, two thirds (67%) of travel programmes do not provide special consideration for Jewish travellers, with a further 7% claiming they are too small a community to justify the cost. The same stats apply to all orthodox religious travellers. 

Carolyn Pearson, CEO &CIO, Maiden Voyage: “Whilst this survey reflects the current state, I don’t believe it is a true reflection of the ambition of travel managers and travel management companies because we are seeing unprecedented interest in building inclusivity into travel programmes particularly bearing in mind the changing dynamics of today’s workforce: upcoming generations are generally more ‘gender-fluid’, different life-stages (like the menopause) bring new challenges , we have an aging workforce where more people will be encumbered by growing accessibility needs, and all of this and more will need to be factored into travel programmes moving forward.” 

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