Specialist hotel booking website AccessAllRooms.com has launched to the public.
The company, which went live with suppliers in 2013, specialises in allowing customers with specific needs to find accessible, available rooms in real time.
The launch marks a move towards travel booking websites marketing specific rooms.
After a diving accident in 1999 founder James Price was left two-thirds paralysed and wheelchair dependent.
As a keen traveller – as well as 2012 Paralympic torch bearer and wheelchair rugby player – he frequently found that basic, important details, such as room dimensions and door widths, were missing from hotel information. AccessAllRooms.com was established as a result.
The website supplies information about room types and is intended to make booking a hotel quick and easy for everybody, young or old.
The website features the Global Access Award Scheme (GAAS), the first globally accessible hotel rating system. It operates like a hotel quality rating, with five tiers.
A hotel that achieves a level five rating will have excellent facilities including accessible light switches and a fully adapted bathroom. Lower grades imply fewer facilities and poorer access but may still be suitable for many travellers. GAAS also provides access information for those with sensory impairments by showing an ear or an eye as part of the logo.
Through the GAAS, hotels complete a questionnaire and provide photographs, resulting in grades, before going live on the AccessAllRooms.com.
Each listing is loaded by a trained expert to avoid inconsistency.
Price said: “I am delighted to be launching AccessAllRooms and look forward to giving something back to the disabled community.
“After my accident I was determined that my disability would not stop me from seeing the world and I want to give others this opportunity too.”