AccessAbility, a social enterprise recently decided to conduct a survey on Accessible Tourism for disable people, in association with Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH). The new survey will figure out the spending capacity of disabled people during their travel and based on the survey the facilities required for them while travelling in buses and trains will be decided. The survey will be conducted through a market research company and will also involve expertise of SATH and Scott Rains who is a freelance consultant for Inclusive Tourism.
According to Shivani Gupta, Director, AccessAbility they have sent the proposal to the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) which is yet to be approved. AccessAbility also introduced a travel guide, which provides information on about 2,000 places in Delhi and NCR on their website, free2wheel, for disabled travellers visiting these two places. Gupta further informed that the new survey will figure out potential of including disabled people as clients for tourism business in India. Besides, it will also enable MoT to take appropriate steps in regard to the development of Acessible Tourism for disable people.
Jani Nayar, Executive Coordinator, Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) informed that it (disable community) is a huge segment, which has been ignored by Indian travel business community. People in the industry have a negative concept that disable people do not have the money to spend on travelling. Therefore this survey will be an eye-opener for the Indian travel and tourism business fraternity in opening a niche market for them (disabled people) and provide facilities which are specially designed for disabled people at destinations.
Nayar further informed that they had done a telephonic survey on the same subject titled, Accessible Tourism for disabled people in United States in 2002. It revealed that the percentage of disabled travellers in US per annum, as well as their contribution to the tourism sector was high. “In 2005 we approached MoT to conduct the same survey in India but it did not materialise due to certain undisclosed reasons,” concluded Nayar.