Aug 1, 2023, Travel and Leisure: This Hotel Company Now Has Specially Trained Autism Concierges to Help Neurodiverse Travelers https://www.travelandleisure.com/karisma-hotel-and-resorts-autism-concierges-7567902
For neurodiverse travelers, going on a trip can often create a cascade of challenges. Since there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, Karisma Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Autism Double-Checked to offer Autism Concierges to help guests traveling with a child with autism or adult guests with autism enjoy seamless getaways.
The specially trained team will help families plan and execute their vacations at select resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic by being dedicated points of contact for questions and guidance — both in advance of the stay and while they are on site. Additionally, every member of Karisma's staff has completed a training program with Autism Double-Checked, which aims to help families of all ability levels travel without hurdles or worries.
"Inclusion is only possible if you truly understand the population you wish to include," Alan Day, Autism Double-Checked's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. "It takes specialized training to understand and address the specific needs of travelers with autism, and we’re proud to help bring understanding and compassion to our travel industry partners.”
The Autism Concierge will be available at Karisma’s Mexican properties: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya, Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Cancún, Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancún, Generations Riviera Maya, El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas Royale, El Dorado Maroma, El Dorado Seaside Suites, and Palafitos Overwater Bungalows. It will also be at its Dominican Republic resorts: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana and Margaritaville Beach Resort Cap Cana.
"In addition to ongoing training, this added resource will assure guests that we take their concerns seriously and that we want them to feel at home at our resorts,” Daniel Lozano, Karisma Hotels & Resorts' vice president of operations, said in the release. Additionally, Karisma properties will introduce temporary door alarms this year that families can request to ensure every member is safe and secure.
In the U.S., one in 36 children and nearly 5.4 million adults are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, only 13 percent of families with members with autism actually travel, a survey by the Family Travel Association and International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards revealed.
Travel companies have started to adapt their programming to accommodate families. Legoland has made every resort a Certified Autism Center and Quasar Expeditions offers Galapagos sailings specifically for families with children with autism.