Barbados Tourism Minister Looking to Improve Island’s Accessibility for Tourists with Disabilities, Locals
Americas, Tourism, June 10 2019
Kerrie D. Symmonds, Barbados’ minister of tourism and international transport, told TravelPulse on Thursday that the island is looking into several initiatives to make disabled tourists more comfortable on vacations, while also improving the quality of life for its disabled locals.
As part of Caribbean Week New York, which was organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), we sat down with Symmonds to learn more about what Barbados is doing to tap into the accessible travel market and help their own people at the same time.
“It’s a tremendous benefit to cater to someone with a disability,” said Symmonds, who took over as minister in May of last year. “We need to keep them comfortable so we can capture this market. But first, we need to cater to the full menu of requirements for this market.”
Symmonds said that mostly has to do with infrastructure improvements, but also told TravelPulse a requirement is being considered for hotels to have at least a certain percentage of its room inventory made equipped with the disabled traveler in mind. He also said certain streets on the island will be revamped so locals with wheelchairs can use them.
“This is something that will benefit our visitors with disabilities, but also our own people,” he said. “We have located streets in such rough condition that they are off limits to wheelchairs. So, this is something we are doing to capitalize on the accessible travel market but to also make lives easier for our disabled locals.”
And although Symmonds couldn’t share a projected cost for these initiatives, or other specifics in general, he did say there will be announcements made soon.