World Tourism Day Message

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to join the international community of nations in celebrating World Tourism Day 2016. This year’s theme: ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’, reminds us of the need to ensure that all persons, including those living with disabilities, have equal access to tourism experiences, tourism business opportunities and employment in the industry.

As a region, it is important to be aware that accessibility in tourism is a shared responsibility, which warrants consistent and conscientious effort by all parties involved in the tourism value chain. This requires that countries and destinations – and the industry as a whole – promote accessibility for all in the physical environment, in transport systems, in tourist and business facilities and in the availability of services and opportunities.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization encourages its members to invest in the necessary training, improvements to infrastructure and facilities and adoption of the new information communication technologies which are available and can contribute to enhancing both business and destination competitiveness.

We believe that making tourism more accessible is a moral and social responsibility which speaks to the need to treat everyone with due courtesy, care and consideration. We are also confident that the benefits to be gained by countries and businesses that embrace the accessibility for all philosophy, far outweigh the required investments and will result in added value and a competitive advantage in the global tourism market. And it is simply the right thing to do.

Making tourism more accessible means creating the opportunity for any individual, regardless of his or her physical limitation, circumstance or age, to function independently and with dignity and respect, by making available appropriately designed tourism facilities, attractions and environments. It also requires a zero tolerance policy on discrimination, prejudice or abuse both in relation to the delivery of services to guests and in the management and treatment of staff.

 In our commitment to position ourselves to be the world’s most desirable year round, warm weather destination, our attention must be focused on the needs of every citizen and every traveler, as we work to make the Caribbean truly accessible for all.

2 thoughts on “World Tourism Day Message

  1. This article gives us hope, but unfortunately this is all it gives. The reality is that some of us will continue to be discriminated against, in spite of our passion, ability, experience or qualifications. I would love to see infrastructure changes that would make for an easier experience for our visitors. We seem to be spinning top in mud as we keep saying and identifying the same problems all the time. We need new ideas, new focus, improved infrastructure, retraining of our staff as some of them are still stuck in the idea that tourists only want to swim and take pictures. Mr. Riley I am sorry to say that you might be the voice crying in the wilderness because come five years from now, you will still be posting this
    same article.

    Like

  2. Thank you for your comment Veronica. You are probably right, the situation will take a while to fix. However, we must recognize the efforts of others who have inspired some positive change with regards to accessible tourism.

    The Barbados Council for the Disabled led by Kerryann Ifill has created a Fully Accessible Barbados “FAB” opportunity. According to Ifill, “providing equal access to goods and services will be a must, also in the tourism sector.”

    She further states that “FAB is intended not only to help create a world class product but also to award public and private sector initiatives that have made their facilities and services accessible for all ; to promote Barbados as an inclusive Society, to raise the awareness of the local business community to the benefits of receiving an access award and to raise the standard of service delivery by incorporating a “universal design.”

    From this example, there is an opportunity here to create a Fully Accessible Caribbean- A truly world class sustainable tourism product. You can check out their site here http://fullyaccessiblebarbados.com/

    Like

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