MANILA — The Department of Tourism (DOT), in partnership with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), has pushed for accessible tourism in celebration of United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day this year.
In support of this year’s theme, Tourism for All — Promoting Universal Accessibility,” 10 barrier-free accommodations were recognized at the Accessible Tourism Pilipinas Forum at the Diamond Hotel in Ermita, Manila.
The event aims to disseminate information about barrier-free tourism, encourage more tourism entities to be PWD friendly, promote efforts of the DOT on accessible tourism and encourage PWDs (persons with disabilities) to travel.
“Everyone has the right to access leisure and tourism services on an equal basis not to mention all the beauty that the world and the Philippines has to offer,” said DOT Assistant Secretary Daniel Angelo Mercado.
Adela Kono, a universal design expert, encouraged establishments and hotels to provide wider doorways, ramps, handbars, and visible signage for the safety and convenience of the PWDs.
Kono also mentioned that the Accessibility Law or Batas Pambansa passed in February 1983 must be amended as it does not meet the needs of PWDs.
She also added that having a barrier-free tourism will attract PWDs and retirees to visit the Philippines.
Currently, there are 785 million PWDs in the world based on the World Report on Disability which is a very significant number to increase revenue on tourism. Josephine Grace Aguilo/PNA – northboundasia.com