Kerala

Breaking down barriers, taking tourism to all

A sum of ₹9 crore has been provided to make 126 destinations barrier-free.

A sum of ₹9 crore has been provided to make 126 destinations barrier-free.  

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Kerala Tourism to make State a 100% accessible destination by 2021

Kerala Tourism is all set to launch an ambitious project to convert God’s Own Country into a 100% accessible tourism destination by 2021.

As many as 126 tourist destinations across the State will be made barrier-free in the first phase as envisaged in the State’s Tourism Policy.

The Responsible Tourism Mission has been tasked with developing accessible tourism infrastructure, products, and services in these destinations for getting the tag ‘tourism for all’ in the next three years.

Ramps, walkways

For this ambitious goal, specially designed ramps and walkways with non-slippery tiles, wheelchairs, self-functioning ramps, spillout spaces, grab bars, wheel-chair lifts, special restrooms and other facilities have to be set up in the destinations, hotels, resorts, house boats, and other places frequented by tourists.

As part of ensuring quality food for physically challenged, accessible food outlets will have to be set up.

“Work on creating accessible tourism infrastructure has already commenced in the destinations,” a tourism official told The Hindu. A sum of ₹9 crore has been provided to make 126 destinations barrier-free. In all, 200 destinations in the State will have to be converted.

The Responsible Tourism Mission has been asked to carry out in phases auditing of the destinations, accommodation units, including homestays, and work out accessible tour packages. An action plan to achieve the goal and the way forward was to be unveiled along with the commencement of the project work on Wednesday.

Besides infrastructure, personnel manning information counters and guides will have to be trained in sign language. Signages in Braille, tactile maps for the visually impaired, and recorded travel information and guidance will also have to be made available.

Travel assistance centres with crutches, walking sticks, and electric wheelchairs as in the tourist destinations abroad will be needed to take care of the needs of those with visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments.

Travellers with special needs, along with their caregivers, constitute a sizeable chunk of the travel market.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 5:22:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/breaking-down-barriers-taking-tourism-to-all/article24256075.ece

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