Kerala

UN praise for Thrissur tourism

District in the forefront in making tourist sites accessible to the differently abled

Kerala Tourism’s Barrier-free Tourism project has received global recognition with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) making special mention of the State as an ‘Emerging Global Destination’ in the Accessible Destination Awards 2019.

At a ceremony in the Spanish capital of Madrid as part of the FITUR Trade Fair on Wednesday, Kerala Tourism Director P. Bala Kiran received the conferment from UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. The recognition was for the implementation of the project in Thrissur, which thus became the country’s only destination to win the honour instituted by WTO and ONCE Foundation that works for people with disabilities.

Kerala Tourism launched the barrier-free project in March 2019 with the view of making 120 destinations differently abled-friendly. Thrissur is one of the first in the State to create necessary infrastructure in all major destinations. This project was conceptualised using funds under ‘Barrier-free Tourism’ and the ‘Green Carpet’ scheme.

Of the differently abled-friendly projects in 80 travel destinations across the State, eight are in Thrissur district. Kerala has been the first State to work as per the UNWTO guidelines on making tourist destinations more accessible to the differently abled. The facilities include ramps, accessible toilets, lactation rooms, Braille pamphlets, signage, touch-screen kiosks, audio and sign aids, wheelchairs and walking aids.

Tactile paths for the visually challenged were created for the first time in Kerala at Azhikkode and Snehatheeram, while a wheelchair-accessible sunset viewpoint is the highlight of Vilangankunnu. There is ramp access for boating area in Poomala. As part of the project, the Thumboormoozhi hanging bridge and viewpoints will soon be made accessible to the differently abled.

The Thrissur District Promotion Council has already received the coveted status as a listed supplier of PANTOU (Promoting Accessible Tourism around the World) network based in Europe in 2018.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:57:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/un-praise-for-thrissur-tourism/article30637124.ece

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