Families Travelling with a Disabled Member: Analysing the Potential of an Emerging Niche Market Segment
The 2000 Census of Population indicated that 50 million Americans, or 19.3 per cent of the US population, were people with disabilities and covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is estimated that the number of families with a member with a disability will grow significantly. Although people with disabilities and their families have sufficient discretionary income and time to take pleasure trips, tourism and hospitality marketers and practitioners to date generally have not much considered this group to be a focal market segment. The objective of the study was to determine whether families with a member with a disability should be considered a viable niche market by tourism and hospitality industry. Two secondary data sets from US Census reports and a six-state longitudinal travel market survey were used to evaluate the viability of this group as a market segment according to Kotler's criteria for market segmentation. Substantiality, differentiability and actionability were identified as the three most important criteria to determine that this segment is a viable niche tourism market. The findings indicate that this market can possibly be attracted through discount deals and reached through auto club publications and specially designed web pages. The marketing implications of this study are discussed.