Travel Tripper/Pegasus · 11 Jun
ADA compliance lawsuits are on the rise. In 2018, the number of website accessibility lawsuits exceeded 2,250 — that's nearly triple the number from 2017. In this post, we explain the issues surrounding ADA-compliant websites and what to do if your hotel receives an ADA web compliance lawsuit. The Impact of ADA-related Lawsuits With the recent spike in lawsuits, it only makes sense to know what to do if your hotel receives a compliance lawsuit of its own. To add context to this issue, it's first worth highlighting a few recent examples. At the start of this year, a Fort Lauderdale woman and her attorney reached settlements with at least 20 hotels and motels in Florida because their websites' reservations systems "failed to provide any information regarding the accessibility of the hotel or rooms". In a separate case last year, Avanti Hotel in Palm Springs was accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because its website was deemed as inaccessible to people with seeing or hearing problems. For the hotel to address the issue and make its website ADA compliant, it will cost about $3,000. Payment in damages to the plaintiff is reported to be an additional $8,000-20,000. Confusion Around ADA Compliance The surge in lawsuits is partly due to a lack of clarification around ADA, which was enacted back in 1990, before the rise of the internet. The law only provided the requirements for businesses' physical locations to properly accommodate disabled individuals but didn't provide any guidance for the internet, or web-based and mobile applications. Instead, hoteliers have to make their best judgment based on the suggested guidelines from the Worldwide Web Consortium or W3C — the governing body of the web. If a website does not meet these guidelines, it risks being on the recipient end of a compliance lawsuit. Yet businesses, including hotels, remain confused and continue to feel vulnerable by the overall lack of clarity. For that reason, we recommend having a plan that mitigates the risk of an ADA-related complaints, and being aware of the steps required How Your Hotel Should Handle an ADA Web Compliance Lawsuit Below, we've outlined the three key steps to take if your hotel finds itself on the receiving end of a website-related ADA compliance lawsuit. 1. Seek legal advice If your hotel receives notice that it's being sued for violation of the ADA, get in contact with a lawyer. Choose an expert who specializes in ADA compliance and Internet Law. 2. Get a website audit After getting in touch with a lawyer, you'll need to carry out a website audit. An audit will help you to identify if your website doesn't meet any of the accessibility guidelines set out by the W3C. There are plenty of audit tools available. If you're on a budget, you can use free-to-use options, such as Lighthouse, which can be added within the Chrome browser. However, bear in mind that the free version of Lighthouse won't fix any issues it uncovers — you'll have to do this yourself or ask your digital marketing agency to carry out the fixes for you. Premium tools offer a more comprehensive audit process. At Travel Tripper, our ADA Compliance auditing and monitoring platform is specifically designed for hotel websites. It includes automated scans, manual testing using accessibility tools, and testing across multiple desktop and mobile browsers, all of which helps guests to navigate your website and complete a booking. 3. Update your website After the audit is complete, you can start making any necessary changes to your website. Even if the lawsuit never makes it to court, your hotel website still needs to be ADA compliant — most obviously to help avoid further lawsuits. Of course, the main reason is that ensuring your website is accessible to anyone with a disability is clearly the right thing to do and shows respect and care for your guests. How to achieve ADA compliance It's actually relatively straightforward to make sure your hotel website is ADA compliant. Here are some of the main areas to consider: Ensure all of your images, graphics, animations and video have "alt" text that describes their content. Having easily resizable text. Make sure the code on your website and booking engine supports assistive tools, such as screen readers and alternative keyboard devices Make sure documents are available in HTML text-based formats For more in-depth information on this topic, read our comprehensive post to ensure your hotel website is ADA compliant or sign up for our webinar about how to mitigate the risk of compliance lawsuits. In the meantime, stay tuned for the final post in this series where we'll provide hoteliers with an essential checklist for ADA compliance. Travel Tripper & Pegasus can work with you to ensure your hotel website conforms to standards of ADA compliance. Request a consultation today to get more information and support!
Travel Tripper Blog · 15 Apr
We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the hotel distribution landscape right now. For the last decade, there’s been a boom in the number of new hospitalit
Travel Tripper/Pegasus · 7 Apr
The Amazons and Netflixes of the world have spoiled travelers, says Travel Tripper’s Steffan Berelowitz. Thanks to the well- designed and highly efficient websites of the tech giants, finding and buying products and services is practically effortless. Our challenge is that travelers now have the same expectations of convenience and personalization when it comes to booking a hotel.
Travel Tripper · 14 Dec
It's easy to forget that Netflix started out as an ambitious DVD-by-mail company that nearly went out of business. Back in 2011, Netflix was being savaged by the media and its stock price was plummeting. Today, it's the second-most valuable media company in the world and boasts 125 million subscribers.
Travel Tripper · 13 Dec
While taking a vacation alone once carried a certain stigma, the popularity of traveling solo is now well and truly on the rise. A recent travel report by Pinterest found that the number of people who are going independent as solo adventures is up by 593%. And Hostelworld has seen a 42% increase in the number of solo bookings between 2015 and 2017.
Travel Tripper · 8 Dec
Christmas is historically the busiest time to travel in the US. Last year, AAA predicted that a record-breaking 107 million Americans would travel over the Christmas and New Year's holidays. As guests prepare for the upcoming seasonal break, now is the time to plan how your property can capture a surge in demand for hotel rooms.
Travel Tripper Blog · 3 Oct
Welcome to “Insider Perspectives”, a new series in which we interview travel industry insiders and veterans to hear their insights and stories, drawi
Travel Tripper · 27 Sep
Artificial intelligence (AI) now infiltrates every element of the travel process. Today, website chatbots, personalized search platforms, and in-room virtual assistants are being deployed to improve customer engagement, boost conversion rates, and personalize the entire guest experience.
Travel Tripper · 24 Sep
The meteoric rise of Instagram continues. Just recently, it reached an incredible one billion monthly active users for the first time in its history—up from 800 million back in September 2017. In comparison, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all announced slowing or declining growth.
Travel Tripper · 27 Aug
The sharing economy came with the promise of revolutionizing the way we purchase goods and services, creating a frictionless world where buyers are connected to sellers, thereby cutting out the middleman and bringing down costs to consumers.
Travel Tripper · 27 Aug
Amazon dominates the world of e-commerce. Could it do the same in online travel bookings? Consumers would happily use the platform to book their travel plans if given the chance, according to a recent survey by flight travel intelligence company OAG.
Travel Tripper · 21 May
Organic search is a field that is constantly evolving—and quickly too. The speed at which Google and other search engines roll out and test new search features can make it difficult to plan your hotel's search strategy for the next few months, let alone the entire year.
Travel Tripper Blog · 22 Feb
The Google Search team have been busy making big changes to Google Search Console (GSC), an essential free tool for webmasters to monitor how their w
Travel Tripper · 6 Feb
Significant changes look set to transform the travel industry in 2018. Blockchain technology, China's booming tourist sector, and the continuing travel ambitions of Airbnb, Facebook and Google all look set to define the coming 12 months. Here are six major trends we will be keeping an eye on in 2018.