Martin Heng

Communications professional and inclusive travel advocate

Melbourne, Australia

Born in Birmingham, UK, Martin has a BA and MA in English literature from Cambridge University and an MA in Communications from RMIT University, Melbourne. He left England in 1987 and lived, worked and travelled around the world before migrating to Australia in 1997. He worked for Lonely Planet from 1999 to 2020 in numerous roles, including seven years as Editorial Manager.

A bicycle accident on his 20km commute to work in 2010 left him a quadriplegic. He was Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel Manager & Editorial Adviser from 2013 to 2020, in which role he published a number of accessible travel titles, including the world’s largest collection of Accessible Travel Online Resources, which was cited as best practice by the UNWTO, and an accessible guide to Rio de Janeiro that was supplied to all athletes participating in the 2016 Paralympics. He also commissioned and co-wrote Accessible Melbourne, Accessible Brighton, Accessible Bristol, Accessible Edinburgh and Accessible Glasgow.

Since 2014 he has become a regular speaker at travel conferences held by such global travel NGOs as UNWTO, WTTC, IATA and PATA. In 2021, he authored Tourism Access and Inclusion: Best Practice Guidelines for Tourism MSMEs for APEC, complemented by a series of three online workshops featuring many of the world’s accessible travel luminaries. In 2022, he authored the Accessible and Inclusive Host Handbook for the Australian Tourism Export Council, complemented by a series of training modules that he created and delivered.