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American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), announced that IBM is the launch customer for its new global accessibility solution for business travellers. The first end-to-end accessibility solution of its kind supports travelers with visible and invisible disabilities on every stage of their journey. This includes onboarding, booking, trip disruption and traveler preferences, through a consolidated framework that combines service-based solutions, advocacy and technology.
Accessibility is an obstacle to travel for an estimated 1.3 billion people around the world who have a disability1. Recent research conducted by Amex GBT and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that business travel continues to play a key role in corporate growth and scalability. In the survey, 84% of respondents agreed their organizations recognized tangible business value from in-person meetings with clients, customers and prospects. To achieve an inclusive workplace, employees should be supported when traveling for work.
Andrew Crawley, President, Amex GBT: “Amex GBT and IBM have a likeminded approach to travel accessibility. We are committed to an open environment that allows everyone to travel and succeed, so we were pleased when IBM asked us how we could help its community feel more comfortable when they book and travel. Our accessibility solution opens opportunities for many people who previously felt uncomfortable about getting on a plane or knowing they have the right accommodation. They now know we have their backs and can support them regardless of whether their disability is visible or invisible.”
Amex GBT’s accessibility framework is built upon three key pillars designed to make travel programs more inclusive:
- Services: The services platform includes the TRSA (Travelers Requiring Specialty Assistance) desk, which provides access to a specialist team of travel counselors trained to understand and support accessibility needs. The platform also captures specialized traveler requirements for those willing to share their data. The solution opens a channel for travelers with disabilities who require assistance in booking or managing travel.
- Technology: Integrating accessibility-related solutions into booking and travel management experiences.
- Advocacy: Amex GBT’s solution helps customers like IBM identify industry partnerships to promote all travelers’ needs and those of the wider travel industry.
Prashanth Kumar, Director, Global Travel and Expense, IBM: “We champion people with diverse abilities and the value they bring to the workplace. This has been an integral part of our company culture in creating a more diverse workforce, enabling inclusivity and advocating for equity, both inside and outside IBM. The support of Amex GBT will help us reinforce our DE&I commitments and, most importantly, provide increased assistance to employees with diverse abilities when they travel for business.”
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