A few weeks ago while listening to my favourite podcast at the gym (Tech & Co on BFM Business), my ears came across Lucas Gebhardt, CEO and Founder of MobeeTravel. A young man whose aim is to offer services that are likely to be of direct interest to three million people in France and of indirect interest (as is my case) to a further 12 million.
What are they exactly?
MobeeTravel is a “Booking”-style platform dedicated to people with specific needs. It provides those with physical disabilities information regarding the accessibility of their holiday destinations.
How is MobeeTravel different from the more “classic” platforms?
The major difference with classic reservation platforms is that accessibility information is not provided directly by the hotel. Even with the best of intentions, hoteliers are not always the best placed to comment on the specific needs facing disabled travellers.
Often, information is confined to regulatory requirements and standards, which is a good start but which unfortunately can sometimes fall short as standards are not the same as actual use.
Just like Lucas, I’ve been faced with challenges while taking members of my family on holiday; of finding places which are suited to their needs.
For example, I remember attempting to dine at a restaurant which was accessible for people with reduced mobility via the car park. The only problem was that my in-laws’ adapted vehicle, used to transport my father-in-law in his electric wheelchair, could not get into the car park as it was too high for the 1m80 height restriction.
I also remember a hotel bathroom which was “adapted” to my mother’s needs (blocked hip) but whose shower was not a walk in shower (category 2 at MobeeTravel).
With this start up, referencing is completed after verification has taken place, via truly specialised classifications and checks carried out by MobeeTravel and/or its ambassadors.
The second major difference is its inclusive customer experience, which goes well beyond the 5 stars and comments posted on the platform. As a MobeeTravel ambassador, we can play an active role in finding and referencing places that are accessible based on our loved ones’ criteria. The experience is therefore particularly inclusive as it gives pride of place to the opinions of people in the know, the disabled user. The more you take part in this major “mapping” process, the more points you gain. These points can then be transformed into reductions on the site. The person providing support is supported, and the person supported provides support in return. It’s a win-win situation.
This inclusive experience is not just limited to accommodation. It also extends to accessible outings (restaurants, museums, places of interest, etc.).
Moreover, MobeeTravel also offers additional dedicated services, such as medical bed and adapted transport rental. Classic travel platforms offer car rental but not adapted transport solutions.
Is there an extra cost?
MobeeTravel strives, where possible, to provide accommodation solutions at prices comparable to those where travellers have no specific additional needs.
In short, MobeeTravel is not just an online sales and services platform, it is an excellent tool to help involve those with specific needs and their loved ones in everyday leisure activities. During the podcast broadcast on 10 February 2020, CEO Lucas Gebhardt was looking to raise €1 million to help with the automation of his platform and to scale up his offering (as demand is high!). Investors continue to remain reluctant to commit to this market, with too many of them seeing it as an expense and not an investment. Personally, as someone interested in the recruitment of disabled employees, I am a firm believer that caring and ROI are compatible, just as inclusion and profitability are.
MobeeTravel, in my opinion, is an excellent initiative and one that truly reflects the definition of “tech4good”. It is the type of company where one wants to work as it is a wonderful example of “doing well by doing good”.
For further information:
- Further explanations regarding the company’s classifications:
In French: https://information.mobeetravel.com/label
- If you would like to become an ambassador:
- To listen to the interview that I absolutely loved: