Ask Anthony: Better Serving Guests with Mobility Needs

Anthony Melchiorri, hotel fixer and host of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, loves dishing out advice. From sharing best practices to tackling operational issues, he’s here to answer your questions.

How can hotels better serve guests with mobility needs?

The U.N. Standard Rules of 1993 focus on equalizing opportunities for persons with disabilities worldwide. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act established equal opportunity and non-discrimination requirements with strict compliance standards. To this day, despite some grandfather clauses that delay certain changes in older hotels, new hotel development and renovations ensure properties meet the highest standard of compliance with these requirements.

However, challenges remain. For example, a friend of mine requires the use of a wheelchair. He’s traveled around the world to the finest hotels, yet he has difficulty getting into bed. There is no effective, convenient, affordable bed lift product currently on the market for people in a hospitality setting. While laws have required lifts for swimming pools and hot-tubs, people with mobility issues do not have access to an on-site lift to get them into bed. He has reached out to national associations, politicians, and advocacy groups, but no luck. We have come far with regards to accommodating guests of all types; however, it’s clear to me that we still have work to do. We need to make further strides to better accommodate all guests.



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