Asia-Pacific Mar 6, 2016
TACLOBAN CITY, LEYTE, PHILLIPPINES: The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and the Department of Tourism are pushing for accessible tourism for persons with disabilities as they sponsored a seminar of the same objective.
On Thursday, owners/managers of tourism partners like hotels, inns, tourism transport companies, restaurant, ambulatory clinics, spas, recreational and other players in the industry gathered to support the campaign which started in 2011 where DOT issued a memorandum Circular entitled: Adopting the Guidelines on the Grant of Special Discounts to Persons with Disabilities Pursuant to the Provisions of Republic Act No. 9442.
The tourism industry partners were honed in the knowledge and skills on the right ways to handle persons with mobility, hearing and vision disabilities.
Other participants include officials of national government agencies, local governments and officials of some disability groups.
Carmen Zubiaga, NCDA Executive Director, Rizalio Sanchez, Chief, information, Education and Communication Division of NCDA took turns in discussing the key mandates on Disability.
DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes was also present to show support to the project.
Tiopes in her message urged those present that “E Visayas should not only be known for its great food, great sights and historical places but as champion in handling tourists who are persons with disabilities.”
Tourism for All concept ensures tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age as long as they are able to travel and function independently in their socio-cultural and economic activities in places where they want to visit.
As the seminar folded up, the participants were asked if they are ready to receive the type of tourists that the NCDA endorsed, the attendees honestly replied, “not yet’ but promised to be so in the near future.