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Disabled Travel Bloggers - More than Influencers

The Power of Influencers

These days you can’t pick up a laptop, smartphone or tablet without coming across an influencer. Usually, someone promoting a product or service, in return for a fee, freebies or so-called ‘exposure’. It’s no surprise that ambassadors are everywhere – it’s the most effective way for a brand to promote their product, by working with someone who their target audience can relate to, creating real content that isn’t a flashy ad. But what about the bloggers and influencers who go deeper than that, who offer a real wealth of knowledge to their readers and followers?

Disabled Travel Blogger

I’m a disabled travel blogger, and I think what we give to our readers is pretty unique. I started blogging in 2010, before brand ambassadors and influencers were a thing, when you could get the occasional hosted trip but there was no such thing as being paid to create content. The reason I started blogging was to share my passion for travel with the rest of the world, and to show that accessible travel is possible, and can be made easier with the right information.

Why do I blog?

Almost a decade later, that’s still the reason why I blog. Sure, the hosted trips are nice, but the best feeling in the world is someone telling you that they’ve had the confidence to book a trip, as a disabled person, because they’ve read your latest blog post.

Traveling with a disabiliy

A disabled person who wants to travel needs a huge amount of detailed, accurate information before they can even decide on their destination. That’s why disabled travel bloggers, as well as telling you why you should go somewhere, importantly we tell you how – what the accessible transport options are, how the hotel has adapted to accommodate all guests, where the best places to visit in a wheelchair are. All of this accompanied by high-quality photography and film, because there is no substitute for seeing it with your own eyes when it comes to accessibility.

"I want to inspire others to travel"

‘Inspirational’ is a word that is overused in disability circles, but I do want to inspire. Not for living my life, not for working hard despite the barriers I face, but to inspire others to travel, no matter what their impairment or disability. To know that although accessible travel can be challenging, stressful, and sometimes disastrous, it can also be freeing, empowering, and absolutely wonderful.

accessible tourism market

I urge travel brands, accommodation providers and places to visit to reach out to disabled travel bloggers and work with us to promote their offerings. The accessible tourism market is worth an estimated 3.5 billion pounds in the UK alone, a so-called ‘purple pound’ which no business can afford to ignore.

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I live in the Lake District with my husband Darren and our little dog, Poppy. I love to travel, to the next town or somewhere far away. I’m an organiser, a planner, and a list maker. Researching new places to go is what I love to do, and it was part of my role as Information Service Manager at Tourism for All for 13 years. In 2018 I started a new job, as Marketing Manager at AccessAble, the UK's leading provider of accessibility information. ​I have Cerebral Palsy, which means I use a wheelchair. I was brought up to believe that there is nothing I absolutely cannot do – there is always a way. My blog and travel writing is my way of sharing that belief with the world, and celebrating accessible businesses that go above and beyond to make sure that everybody enjoys their holidays and travels. ​

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Carrie-Ann Lightley

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