Julie Baxter, the former Editor of Onboard Hospitality magazine, has been shortlisted for the Specialist Travel Writer of the Year award at the UK’s 2023 Travel Media Awards.
Julie’s speciality is accessible travel. Her work includes the Access Denied? feature published on the Onboard Hospitality website in June and the more recent Accessible Travel: Rights on Flights feature published in our sister publication, Selling Travel.
“Accessibility really is the new sustainability as far as the travel industry is concerned. It is a vast topic that has to be addressed head-on. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 billion people or about 16% of the global population live with a significant disability and with populations aging this is only going to grow. The needs of these people need to be top of mind as businesses develop the passenger journey of the future. It’s not just about wheelchair accessibility but about providing information and support to all,” says Julie, about why accessibility is such an important issue.
“It is not until you have personal experience of a disability or serious diagnosis that you truly understand the challenges this part of our community faces when they travel. I take it as a positive that my own family’s tough experience has given me insights that have been able to share through my journalism and that these are now being recognized in these awards.”
“I hope to build on the coverage I have already been able to give this topic, to shine a light on those working to challenge discrimination in travel and help make every journey smoother. For people living with disabilities and tough diagnoses, planning and booking bucket-list travel should be a joy supported by the industry, not the frightening and costly obstacle course it often is at present. If you have examples of good work going on in this regard within onboard hospitality, do get in touch,” she suggests.
BMI Publishing, the publisher of Onboard Hospitality and Selling Travel, has introduced the accessibility-focused Travel for Every Body campaign.