Promotion of disabled-friendly tourism urged

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, POKHARA

May 19, 2014-

Experts have urged promotion of disabled-friendly tourism to create an environment where differently-abled travellers can enjoy leisure activities.

Stating that people with disabilities in several developed countries are increasingly getting into adventure sports, they said if such activities, hotels, and restaurants in tourist hubs could be made disabled-friendly, Nepal could attract a significant number of visitors.

“For this, we have to ensure physical and mental security for differently-abled people,” said Scott Rains, at a programme on “Inclusive Tourism” in Pokhara on Monday. He said if Nepal could develop a destination like Parque Dos Sonhos of Brazil, which offers several adventure sports for people with disabilities, it could attract a significant number of differently-abled tourists.

California-based Rains, who is currently on a trip to Nepal, works in the field of inclusive tourism. Expert in Kayaking and Zipline, Rains was named Person of the Year 2009 by New Mobility magazine. During his Nepal trip, Rains, who is battling paralysis of the lower part of the body due to cancer, held

interactions with tourism stakeholders in Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara on

the promotion of inclusive tourism.

Impressed by the welcoming Nepalis, Rains expressed happiness about the initiatives taken in places like Pokhara to make tourism more disabled-friendly.

“Some hotels have already developed disabled-friendly infrastructure, while some are working on this front,” he said, stressing on the need for training to the people inv-olved in the field of tourism.

Realising that Nepal could benefit from the rising number differently-abled tourists, the programme was organised by Kathmandu-based Four Season Travels, which also arranged Rain’s Nepal visit. “Our plan is to attract more tourists by making tourism disabled-friendly,” said Four Season’s Director Pankaj Pradhananga.

 

Published: 20-05-2014 10:50

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