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Efforts of T-LIFE Holdings Hikarigaoka MK Building, 5-11-26 Takamatsu, Nerima City, Tokyo

Establishing a special department to provide travel that's safe, worry-free, and fully accessible

T-LIFE Holdings Co., Ltd. is a travel company group in Nerima City that more than a million people use per year. In 2019, some 30,000 people were using accessible travel services per year, with the majority going on group trips. So that year, T-LIFE Holdings launched a specialized department called "Universal Tourism Desk" with the aim of helping the elderly and people with disabilities enjoy traveling free from worry. This was an unusual initiative for a travel industry player. What was the motivation behind it? We asked staff members Takashi Annaka and Hiromi Yumoto to tell us more.

Helping people who'd given up on travel feel the joy and excitement of it again

Many people find travel has become an ordeal because of health reasons like needing nursing care or assistance for themselves or a family member. This can also happen to people who'd always been able to do it normally before. They'll face some rather high hurdles if they try to arrange nursing care, assistance, and suitable transportation and accommodation at the destination themselves, and only a limited range of travel companies currently have the right know-how to meet their needs.
The accessible sector saw as many as 30,000 customers in the 2019 fiscal year, including special-needs schools, welfare parks, welfare workshops, and facilities for the elderly. We wanted to use all the know-how we'd built up so far to help lots of people in various situations enjoy traveling again even though they'd previously given up on it for health reasons. That sentiment was what prompted us to start working on accessible tourism.

Travel both you and your family can enjoy with complete peace of mind

Specific initiatives we're planning include accommodation that supports accessible tourism, and trips that include travel assistants who go along as well and take care of the customers' transportation, assistance, and nursing care needs. The travel assistants will be dedicated staff who are both experts in nursing care and qualified tour guides. They'll provide the necessary assistance at the destination to meet the individual physical needs of the elderly and people who require care.

In terms of transportation as well, you'll be able to get picked up from home by a UD or nursing care taxi. Combining assistance and nursing care support such as accommodation with wheelchair-accessible bath facilities will make it a trip that both you and your family can enjoy with complete peace of mind. We'll ask you in advance what you need support with and what you want, then our dedicated staff will make the best possible arrangements for you, whether you're an individual or group customer.

Travel enriches our lives – our goal is trips that are safe and free from worry

In recent years, the number of accessible transportation, accommodation, and other facilities has increased significantly compared to before. However, the specific assistance needs regarding disabilities, nursing care, and so on vary from person to person. For example, some people need their meals to be minced up, while others need them to be a paste. In short, there's a huge variety of needs to support, and still only a few facilities that can meet them all.
On top of that, COVID-19 means people who want to travel can't at the moment despite all the progress that's been made in accessibility. Even families who've been thinking about going with their elderly parents to a hot spring for the anniversary trip are giving up on the idea.

Even under these circumstances, we're not going to just offer transportation and accommodation. We're also going to suggest plans where people get to enjoy the beautiful scenery that's unique to that season, and enjoy anniversary celebrations and so on while traveling. We'll ask people what they want to do, then aim to make their trips more fulfilling based on what they tell us—for example, enjoy a private bath at a hot spring with the family, go to a theater, or watch a sports match.

And above all, we're going to make sure that the trips are always "safe and free from worry."
We're committed to preventing infection and avoiding the Three C's so that our customers can enjoy traveling with even more peace of mind. For hotel accommodation, dining areas, and so on, we only use places that comply with the official COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
All accompanying staff also work very hard to ensure our customers can feel completely secure in a wide variety of travel situations, including about things like wearing masks and daily health care like checking their temperature.

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Tokyo, a city that is accessible everywhere to anyone.

Sightseeing where you wish, as you wish.
This ability to travel anywhere you please makes life that much richer.

Tokyo welcomes your visit.
Here you can encounter tradition,
history, culture, nature, technology,
and, best of all, smiling faces.

Making tourism closer and more
enjoyable through accessible tourism.

tokyo is fit for all.