Asia-Pacific Feb 14, 2017
The Palaszczuk Government has launched a new guide to help grow Queensland’s accessible tourism market and break down barriers preventing persons with disabilities from enjoying a holiday.
Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the Inclusive Tourism guide had been developed to increase the sector’s knowledge about accessibility and legal obligations relating to inclusiveness.
“Disability impacts on every aspect of people’s lives and travel can be something that is either not possible, or too complicated for many Queenslanders with disability,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“Any changes we can make within the tourism industry can help persons with disabilities to experience travel in a more meaningful way, without the experience being overshadowed by barriers.
“As a state we need to roll out the welcome mat for people of all abilities and ages, and create a unique tourism experience that is accessible, inclusive and benefits both operators and visitors.
“The Inclusive Tourism guide offers businesses some great examples of inclusive initiatives already in place in the market, explanations of legal obligations, as well as practical information and strategies on how to be more inclusive.
“It is about more than installing ramps, widening parking bays and doorways, or building larger rest rooms – it is about everything that a business should do to be inclusive for everyone.”
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Chief Executive Officer Daniel Gschwind welcomed the release of Inclusive Tourism.
“This tool will provide tourism businesses the tools and resources to ensure their destinations, facilities and services delivered an exceptional experience for all of our visitors,” he said.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said improving accessibility would enable more people to enjoy Queensland’s world-class tourism destinations.
“Our Government is committed to making a difference in the lives of people with disability, their families and carers,” Ms Jones said.
“If we can remove some of the barriers people with disability encounter when they travel, it will improve their overall holiday experiences here in Queensland.
“Inclusivity is priority for organisers of major events in Queensland, including the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“All venues will meet the national requirements for accessibility, which means everyone – regardless of age, family needs or mobility – will be able to enjoy the Commonwealth Games events.”
Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Kevin Cocks said visitors with a health condition or disability and their companions spend a significant amount of money each year in Queensland.
“The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission is a strong advocate for a society that is inclusive, fair and equitable and this guide supports the tourism industry to meet this challenge,” he said.
Inclusive Tourism was produced in partnership between the Queensland Government, QTIC, Anti-Discrimination Commission, Queensland Disability Services Council, and the Local Government Association of Queensland.