"Unbelievable." That was Steve Dalton's reaction to the view from Maggie's Peak in Lake Tahoe.— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) September 21, 2019
He made the journey thanks to @WheelTheWorld, a group helping people with disabilities explore without limits.@PattersonNBC shares this story. pic.twitter.com/vnhUpgBZQR
Source: Wheel the World
Tourists with physical disabilities are now able to visit certain destinations – think Machu Picchu for example – that have previously been pretty impossible to traverse, thanks to one company’s mission to make tourism accessible for everyone.
Wheel the World is a travel start-up backed by Booking.com, and according to Travel Pulse, their “main goal is to provide tours and experiences around the world for people with physical disabilities” including everything from the hotel, transportation, and planned activities.
According to Travel Pulse, Wheel the World was founded by two friends, Alvaro Silberstein and Camilo Navarro, after Navarro wanted Silberstein (who has a physical disability) to join him on an adventure to Patagonia. The duo found that, sadly, no tour companies offered options for people in wheelchairs to visit the area.
“The accessibility travel market is huge: $72 billion in the US and Europe. Without inclusive travel services, not only is it discriminating against people with disabilities but travel providers are losing a big business opportunity,” Wheel the World’s founders told Travel Pulse.
Wheel the World currently offers over 30 destinations, including Patagonia, Machu Picchu, Costa Rica, Easter Island, South Africa, and Tanzania. Experiences such as scuba diving, kayaking, biking, and hiking are made available depending on the destination.
“I believe we are building a strong community with people who don’t want disabilities to stop them from exploring the world. People really believe in and appreciate the experiences Wheel the World offers,” Silberstein told Travel Pulse. “In fact, many of our customers asked us to expand our offerings to include not only adventure travel, but also include leisure, cultural, and urban accessible experience. We took this to heart and have started to add these additional travel opportunities.”