Big data: finding, refining and monetizing – Making it possible for wheelchair users to travel with BookSpecials

Over the last 20 years the travel industry has changed radically. Through online information sharing, now the whole world lies at everybody’s feet. However, this applies not for the 50-75 million wheelchair users in the world. They are struggling a lot with organizing their day trips and vacations. As a result, they go much less often away, much less far away and many times to the same (dull) destinations. If they want something else, they literally need to do months of research beforehand.

The online travel sites possess huge amounts of data. The problem for wheelchair users is that nothing is categorized or searchable. For example, there are reviews from wheelchair users available on TripAdvisor, but it is impossible to search for them. And when there is data available, it is mostly wrong or incomplete. For example, about 10% of the vacation home rentals state that they are wheelchair accessible. In reality, probably only 2-5% of these actually are. This means that when a wheelchair user for example likes to rent an apartment via Airbnb, that this person probably needs to screen about 50 ‘wheelchair accessible’ listings to find only one that seems accessible indeed. And then, finding the right accommodation is only step one. Next is air travel, public transport, attractions, restaurants, etc.

This project assignment is about how to find, refine, combine, present and monetize all ‘publicly available’ travel information for wheelchair users.

“So that they can do a world trip by themselves as well.”


For more information, contact Dirk Fahland