Accessible travel considerations and challenges discussed at latest Buyer Knowledge Exchange

18 Jun 2024

A poll of travel managers attending ITM’s latest Buyer Knowledge Exchange (BKE) session revealed that the biggest challenge to embedding accessibility practices within travel programmes is access to traveller’s individual requirements. Over half (53%) of buyers stated that ‘gathering sensitive information’ was a primary factor preventing them from introducing appropriate policies and support. This was closely followed by ‘confidence in supplier delivery and support’ (47%) and ‘not being able to deliver on all needs after conducting self-assessment (33%).

The complexity of these challenges indicates why only 7% of buyer attendees responded ‘Yes’ to a further poll asking ‘do you currently have accessibility practices built into your travel policy and programme?’ However 40% of respondents said that they are currently reviewing accessibility within their programmes. The results also confirmed that accessibility is still a relatively new consideration within travel policies and programmes.

Those buyers who are already in the process of introducing or reviewing accessibility shared their insights and recommendations. This included working with stakeholders in HR and legal departments to provide support with data privacy and capturing the needs of travellers; developing travel portal pages with accessibility information; and setting up a TRSA desk (travellers requiring special assistance). Buyers also debated the best channel for the traveller to share their requirements, for example HR versus travel team and the level of data that could be held in the booking tool. Some buyers expressed concern around privacy, but agreed that travellers do not necessarily need to share details of their condition, just information about their requirements when travelling.

Reference was made during the session to resources available to ITM buyer members such as the GBTA's Accessibility Toolkit, and a recent webinar focused around Business Disability Forum, hosted by ITM, a recording of which can be accessed here.

While accessibility was the primary topic covered at the latest BKE, discussions did turn to other current issues. This included TMC RFPs and criteria for evaluating customer service. A poll of buyer attendees showed that the top requirement for evaluation with an RFP is to ‘ask for a risk/reward CSAT or NPS incentive to be included in the agreement’ (31%). Other criteria include asking for agreement based on minimum expectations; time taken to answer phone/emails; and traveller satisfaction surveys.

Buyers also shared insights into their expectations in terms of how their TMC handles disruption. When asked to rate the following statement ‘my TMC communicates and supports me and my travellers well during times of disruption’, 19% agreed, and 13% disagreed, whilst the majority (69%) said that their TMC does its best when they have the information.


Buyer Knowledge Exchange sessions are hosted regularly by ITM to assist buyer members problem solve common issues, ask questions of their peers, and benchmark their approach. Global, EMEA and UK travel managers taking part represent diverse industry sectors such as financial services, energy, food, technology, telecoms, consulting, media, and entertainment.

For a full download of buyer sentiment, poll results and other topics that were raised at the latest Buyer Knowledge Exchange, visit the ITM Resource Centre to access the notes from the session. The next virtual Buyer Knowledge Exchange takes place on 9th July 2024. Buyers can register here