“Accessible Tourism for the Prosperity of the World with Authentic Values”
For the last three decades tourism industry has grown globally as it occupies a large percentage in the economic sector. Countries like France, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, United Kingdom, Dubai, Thailand and USA are popular for the best tourist destinations in the world. Tourism-based countries has specialized trip packages for the convenience of the visitors. In addition to this, some of the countries are popular for winter tourism activities, which, includes the natural aesthetics offering mountainous adventures, trekking and hiking etc. Nepal is recognized for adventurous climbing, trekking, and other touring activities including cultural packages, jungle safaris, paragliding, skiing and eco-tourism.
Introduction to Accessible Tourism
One question that arises in related to these destinations is whether it is accessible for differently abled people too? And the answer is a definite, no which is run by few companies only. However, the percentage of accessible tourism is increasing day by day but the companies that run such trips are very few in numbers. Every human being should be treated with equal rights where the voice of a global citizen is rising but some of these voices are still unheard and unreachable to the authorized organizations. If we support humanity and rights to live in an equal environment we should promote accessible tourism too.
Accessible tourism means “barrier free tourism”, a tourism that is accessible to all the people. It is unsure to get all the facilities and joys in the travel sector but ongoing endeavor to ensure tourist destinations and services should be made accessible to all the people with the physical limitations, disabilities or age. Most importantly, the point is whether the word differently abled should be instated from disabled to abled.
Millions of differently abled people with accessible tourism can encourage and motivate them to take part in the socio economic change this world as other normal people do. So, there is no doubt in promoting accessible tourism with equal rights and responsibilities to every human being, which can eventually work as a change in this world. In this case, they can also enjoy and share their happiness as normal people do, so travel and tourism ought to be made accessible. However, it is a bitter truth that one can encounter a disabled life by age or an accident so, all must be respected and treated equal.
Some of the inspiring stories:
One of the most inspiring people is Stephen Hawkins who was differently abled but has contributed a lot to this world with his imaginary ideas and knowledge. As we know, there various inspiring personnel’s have already gained fame through adventure tourism. In 2006, Mark a double amputee successfully conquered Everest, also a Chinese climber Mr. Xia Boyu 69, who was a double amputee too conquered Everest successfully in the year 2018 as an reprehensive examples. The achievement of these brave people will always lead and motivate the next generation not as differently abled but abled people.
In mountaineering sector there are lots of other examples, which makes the future of accessible tourism a bright future. So, it is a necessity to promote and support it for the better results.
What to Do?
For the proper developed accessible tourism all the requirements needs to be accessible for the differently abled people from the Airport to hotels and from vehicle to the mountains. If the hotels are not accessed properly how can it can be enjoyed and facilitated. So, to promote the accessible tourism the governmental sectors and private stakeholders should design well-adapted destinations such as hotel rooms, restaurants and toilets with well-adapted amenities. But most importantly every street and sidewalks should be accessible for all kinds of differently abled people.
Current situation of Accessible Tourism
According to the current report thorough research by the World Health Organization and the World Bank in 2011, over 1 billion (15%) of people have disability problems where as, nearly 200 million experienced severe difficulty in functioning. However, developed countries occupy high percentage on it compared with developing countries.
For the future plan all the stakeholders and government sectors should be aware on accessible activities by providing infrastructure as mentioned above. In the current scenario the participation in travel sector for differently abled people is very low but contrarily increasing in numbers.