The number of people around the globe living with disabilities is estimated at 1 billion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) that’s about 15 per cent of the earth’s human population that is entitled to the same access to tourist sites, hotels, facilities and services as everyone else. Therefore, there needs to be a plan to create welcoming tourism destinations for everyone.
According to an article by Josephine Wawira, a consultant at Jumia Travel, published by Hospitality Net, we should not take a back seat when it comes to becoming catalysts to foster accessible tourism. Wawira contends that it doesn’t matter if we work for the government, a hotel, a restaurant, or if we are just individuals; we are all stakeholders in the tourism industry. It is up to each one of us to take the reins and embrace the culture of diversity and inclusion.
It also makes good business sense for tourist destinations to jump on board the inclusion movement. While their occupancy rates may be healthy in peak season, there is an opportunity to fill those vacant rooms in the quieter seasons if resorts make themselves accessible. By embracing this sector as a vital part of their customer base, both the tourist and the resort can benefit.
Although major strides in technology have helped many people with disabilities access more public and touristic places, there is still work to be done to completely provide a tourism experience that is tailored to the specific needs of every traveler.
For more information about our role in promoting accessible tourism, click here.