As I mentioned when this article was published in other places Hadas did a very good job of collecting quotes and digging in with some depth into this topic. It is good to see you running something on our community of people with disabilities as a market. In spite of inappropriate usages such as “wheelchair-bound” (for a man who has been to both Poles?!!) there is good advice embedded throughout the piece for the industry. We also need to be making the (somewhat unpopular) link between the impact of the Boomers and the fact that aging brings on disabilities in some form of another to all (thus my emphasis on Universal Design, Visitability, and Livable Community principles in destination management). The message needs to be made not only at the retail level as SATH (Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality) has tried to do with travel agents but at the policy and planning level.
There is more story to pick up on following our recent training tour through India sponsored by their MoT (contact Rajeev Kohli at ASTA-India) and the charrette I led for graduate design students I led at Taj Mahal (latest issue Design for All India). Afterward, in Mumbai, we stayed in Taj Palace so the terrorism incident seems (literally) close to home. MoT Secretary Banerjee has a personal interest in assuring the accessibility of heritage sites. I have sent him a very good Thai PhD candidate and advise several of the accessibility specialist he has contracted. The history of inclusion in tourism there goes back to the very interesting events surrounding Dr Stephen Hawking’s visit.
Throughout India we left several journalists well-informed and they have continued on the topic in industry publications. Watch for developments in a new direction India next month with the Adventure Tour Operators’ Association of India. I had them meet up with our team in Brazil during the recent Adventure Tourism Summit. In Kerala, we’re working with boat builders.
The responsible tourism movement out of Leed University reaffirmed the rights of travelers with disabilities at Kochi in the follow up to their Cape Town declaration (see my site). Several articles I wrote are part of a book on the travelers with disabilities market that was released in Sri Lanka in October.
The Rolling Rains Report (www.rollingrains.com)