Monday, April 06, 2015 Study Reveals Countries with Most Handicapped Accessible Hotels

For families with a handicapped member, like ours, traveling with a loved one who has special needs can be a complicated thing. You really need to plan it really well because it's not easy to lug along a wheelchair / stroller / car seat everywhere. You have to meticulously choose places that are accessible to contraptions on wheels because having carrying a heavy child (or adult) up a flight of stairs often can take the fun out of a supposedly relaxing vacation.

Amora Jamison Hotel, Sydney, Australia
photo borrowed from
Thankfully, we can now just go online and check about accessibility options in places you're planning to visit. Here's a quick guide that could help you decide on your next family trip destinations.

Last March 27,, one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), announced the results of its most recent Travel Smarts study, which shows the United States as having the highest percentage of handicapped accessible hotels. 

The study looked at information provided by more than 600,000 hotels available for online booking on Hotels in the United States are by far the most accessible, with 77% offering facilities for guests with disabilities.* Tied for a distant second are the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, and Portugal, where 55% of hotels in each of those countries also offer facilities for guests with disabilities. 

Hilton San DiegoAirport Harbor Point Hotel 
Top 10 Countries with Highest Percent of Accessible Accommodations
United States      77%
United Arab Emirates      55%
Ireland      55%
Portugal              55%
New Zealand      54%
Mauritius              53%
Italy              52%
Norway              52%
Puerto Rico      51%
Israel      49%

John Brown, Chief Operating Officer shared, "We are pleased to see so many hotels offering facilities for guests with disabilities since making travel more accessible is what is all about." 

Local laws and regulations, the type of visitors who come to the destination, and the age of most accommodations are some of the many factors that influence whether hotels will have accessible facilities. The United Arab Emirates, for example, has seen a more than decade-long building boom resulting in many newly-built hotels, which are more likely to be accessible. In the capital, Abu Dhabi, 90% of the hotels have handicapped facilities. 

Miura Hotel in Czech Republic
According to the study, pilgrimage destinations also tended to have higher accessibility rates. For instance, more than 60% of hotels in Fatima, Portugal; Huelva province in Spain; and Lourdes, France reported that they have facilities for disabled guests. 

Unfortunately, no Asian countries made it to the top 10 list. Singapore was the highest ranking Asian country, coming in 18th place overall with 40% of its hotels on offering facilities for guests with disabilities. Other countries in Asia didn’t fare well. Five of the ten destinations at the bottom of the list were in this region. As for the Philippines, only 15% of its properties with have this service. 

Countries with Lowest Percent of Accessible Accommodations
Uruguay 10%
Vietnam 9%
Nepal 8%
Thailand 8%
Azerbaijan 8%
Cambodia 8%
Bolivia 8%
Georgia 8%
Montenegro 7%
Laos 1%

Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort in Trinidad and Tobago
If you have a loved one with mobility issues, like we do, I hope you also find these data useful. Connect with and learn about special deals and promotions on hotels worldwide, like them on Facebook or follow on Google+, Instagram, or Pinterest.  

* of countries with more than 100 hotels listed on Data is self-reported by hotels. 

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