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WTTC calls for global tourism to become more accessible

WTTC calls for global tourism to become more accessible
September 27, 2016

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President and Chief Executive David Scowsill has called for the tourism industry to be more accessible, during a speech at World Tourism Day celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand.

Scowsill explained “travel and tourism needs to take accessibility requirements seriously. The imperative is not only moral, but it also makes good business sense.”

The global Sustainable Development Goals provide a roadmap for a more equitable and sustainable future. WTTC believes that if the industry is going to be truly inclusive in its growth, it must ensure that it is accessible to everyone.

With nearly 15% of the world’s population estimated to live with some form of disability, this is a significant market. As populations get older, the number of people with special needs is going to increase.

Scowsill added “many tourism businesses can be deterred from making themselves more accessible.

"Sometimes they have financial concerns about the investment necessary to alter or refit their facilities, and at other times they are concerned about offending people.

“That is why days such as the World Tourism Day are so important. We need to raise awareness of the opportunities of accessibility and the mechanisms by which it can be achieved.”

Scowsill identified three priorities for the tourism industry when it comes to accessibility:

• Understand the market dynamics and opportunities when it comes to accessibility, and how this relates to your business so that you can prioritise actions accordingly.
• Look at what the leading players are providing and learn from them. Often some simple adaptations or a mere awareness of the needs of people with a disability can make a big difference.
• Partner with organisations which have experience of working in accessibility, to ensure that what you are providing is appropriate and communicated effectively.

Scowsill further argued that catering for people with disabilities goes far beyond those travellers restricted to wheelchairs. It includes all forms of mobility restrictions, hearing or visual impairments, learning disabilities or mental health issues. It encompasses the needs of an ageing population around the world. .

WTTC also encourages accessibility in tourism through its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. In 2015, Ilunion Hoteles won the People Category for its pioneering work in accessible design, and having a work force of people with disabilities in their hotels.

The 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are now open for entries and WTTC encourages companies that do work in accessibility to apply. Applications can be made at www.wttc.org

Winners will be announced at WTTC Global Summit, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand on 26th and 27th April next year.

For more information on the 2017 WTTC Global Summit, click here for event details in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Images: Wheelchair access in Far North Queensland (top) and David Scowsill (middle) and the WTD 2016 banner (below).

1st September 2016 - WTTC CHALLENGES TOURISM BUSINESSES TO SHOW HOW SUSTAINABLE THEY ARE

27th January 2016 - PARKS VICTORIA INTRODUCES BEACH WHEELCHAIR AT WILSONS PROMONTORY

13th November 2015 - NEPAL GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS BANNING ELDERLY AND DISABLED CLIMBERS FROM MOUNT EVEREST

27th September 2015 - AUSTRALIANS MARK WORLD TOURISM DAY WITH CALL FOR MORE MAJOR EVENTS

12th September 2013 - QUEENSLAND ECOTOURISM PLAN RELEASED

21st September 2012 - MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS FOR HERBERTON RANGE STATE FOREST 

16th August 2011 - MINISTER ENCOURAGES ACCESSIBLE TOURISM IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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