Recently launched company SuzanneStays makes travelling more accessible and enjoyable for people with a disability. The company acquires and then makes available properties that are inclusive for mobility-assistive technology needs, coordinating with property owners and service providers to match properties to the requirements of travellers.
CEO Michael Rossiter has been extensively involved in real estate for a number of years in Brisbane and Dubai. His business partner, Paul Hyland, is a professor of Management at QUT and also a business consultant who has been involved with many successful startup organisations. SuzanneStays was created after Michael’s wife, Suzanne, was diagnosed with terminal motor-neuron disease.
Suzanne and Michael met in November 1993, and share a common passion for travel and adventure. Together they have travelled independently throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Africa, and Asia. In December 2017 Suzanne was diagnosed with motor-neuron disease, a progressive, ultimately fatal disorder that disrupts signals to all voluntary muscles. Like many people faced with a fatal diagnosis, Suzanne created her bucket list which featured predominantly family travel and adventures she still wanted to enjoy.
In 2018 Suzanne and her family started ticking off the bucket list items. They travelled to New York, Washington and the Hamptons in USA. They also visited Tanzania, Dubai, and Turkey. As they travelled, they were exposed to more and more challenges to do with Suzanne’s decreasing mobility. It became obvious that there are many variations to the term ‘accessible’ and ‘wheelchair friendly’. While Suzanne and her family did not let this deter them from their adventures, it did make them wary of the planning and checking of these accessible requirements for future travel. It is from this experience that SuzanneStays was conceived. Michael, Paul and the team are committed to delivering world class accommodation and travel experiences to people with a disability.