The San Diego Tourism Authority’s groundbreaking new Tourism Workforce Study revealed that tourism jobs expand far beyond the leisure and hospitality, which includes hotels and restaurants, into sectors such as finance, law, transportation and more.
To illustrate the diversity of jobs that fall under tourism, Connect Blog will be sharing testimonials from industry professionals in the coming weeks. This week, we’re featuring Kelly Twichel, a licensed and registered occupational therapist, the founder of Access Trax, and a graduate of the San Diego Tourism Authority’s Tourism Accelerator program.
What does your company do, create, or provide? Access Trax empowers people with mobility disabilities to easily access outdoor terrain and recreation using our patented, portable access mats. The mats are made right here in San Diego and we’re proud to work with families, businesses, events and government for inclusion and accessibility.
How is your work related to the tourism industry? There is so much to do and see outdoors here, from our miles of beautiful beaches to our parks, but oftentimes those spaces are inaccessible for those who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Access Trax serves families either directly or through a business or event to provide an easy-to-use portable pathway for temporary use. We rent and sell our mats to empower all people to enjoy San Diego without barriers.
What are some projects or partnerships you’ve done with the local tourism industry? I enjoy working with event coordinators of local beach resorts and wedding planners to create accessible outdoor weddings. It is special being part of someone’s big day and making dreams possible. We also serve guests through the hotel concierge when they’re in need of accessibility during their stay.
What benefit does the tourism industry provide to you and your company? The tourism industry allows Access Trax to make an impact on the level of accessibility people experience here in San Diego. Many people who wouldn’t otherwise interact with us will learn about Access Trax when planning their vacation. The beaches are a huge draw here and families want to feel confident they can access them regardless of mobility challenges.
Any special or exciting stories that stand out to you from your work with the tourism industry? Recently, we worked with the concierge at the Catamaran Resort to serve a guest from Washington. Their whole goal of staying on the bay was to swim daily to practice for an upcoming open-water race. Without Access Trax, they would not have had a way to cross the sand in their wheelchair to get to the water. It was a win-win situation for everyone involved because the guest had a positive experience and they even bought some Access Trax to take home to Seattle! The Google Review is worth a read!
Read more about the Workforce Study and its takeaways here.