It has been a long time since I wrote my last post here. So many things happened for the past several months and I am still trying and learning to balance my life.
Study-->Work as a teacher-->Graduation-->_____--> RA. This is the timeline for the past 10 months.
So here I am writing the blog (again!), hopefully the momentum will last long since I would need to practice more of my writing skills. Alhamdulilah, tonight luckily I can still remember the password and email for this blog, cause usually if I did not log in for such a long period of time I would easily forget the username and password that I used. Usually I will keep on trying until the Google lock my account and I need to answer those security questions, which I usually won't be able to answer it correctly. Such a miserable me.
I will try to update on my graduation when my mood for writing come back later.
Anyways, I just started working last month of September as a research assistant in one of Research University. Basically, the topics that I am working with is anything about tourism. From adventure tourism to spiritual tourism, and now I am reading on accessible tourism. It is very interesting in the sense that little studies have been done to address the issue of accessible tourism. In this post, I would like to share something related to accessible tourism which I find it interesting to know, especially for the policy-makers and also the service providers.
|Credit to http://www.west-info.eu/files/accessible-tourism_pic.jpg|
Accessible tourism is when everyone is able to travel anywhere that they wish to visit regardless of their disabilities. There are 3 types of disabilities, namely: physical limitations, sensory disabilities and persons with activity limitations.
Physical limitations: limited mobility (wheelchair user)
Sensory disabilities: blind/visually impaired or hearing impaired
Persons with activity limitations: persons who may encounter difficulties in terms of mobility or activity in both everyday situations or while travelling—this includes persons suffering temporarily from the accident effect, parents with prams or baby carriages, travelers with heavy luggage, families with small children or older persons.
By referring to Germany (this paper focuses on Germany), accessible built environment is a crucial requirement for around 10% of the population, a necessity for approx. 30 to 40% and comfortable for 100%.
Hence it is crucially important for the government and stakeholders to work on assuring tourism is made accessible to everyone because of economic prospects and social responsibility.
Here I would like to share what is the basic requirements that would represent the basis for an accessible tourism for everyone. There are four main pillars of an accessible holiday for all: information, service, mobility and ability to experience. These pillars would not only apply to disabled community travelers, but also travelers in general.
Information: The access to all important information when planning and taking on holiday. The components of information is as follows:
- Simplicity: Information is easily found
- Broad information: Information is available on the entire service chain
- Clarity: The design and terminology used is familiar and easily comprehensible
- Reliability: The information is verified and reliable
- Accessibility: The information as well as the information offices on location are accessible to persons with disabilities
- Friendly, easy interaction
- Competent, qualified contact persons
- Customised solutions and assistance
- Accessibility in the public domain
- Accessible transport infrastructure and local public transport
- Accessibility of tourism facilities and attractions;ability to move around at these facilities and attractions
- Accessible accommodation and dining establishments
- Access to characteristic regional and local sites(e.g. in a seaside resort, an accessible beach)
- Access to cultural and leisure facilities and services
In the destinations, these four pillars of accessible Tourism for All must be taken into consideration along the entire service chain and implemented by means of relevant measures. Only then will it be possible for all persons to enjoy a largely independent holiday.
|Credit to http://www.venere.com/blog/images/accessible-holiday-paris.jpg|
The tourism is a right for everyone to travel and enjoy the tourism. But if the tourism is not made accessible, how are these people with activity limitations going to travel, especially traveling independently?
Before writing this, I was actually hoping for a betterment in my hometown in terms of tourism sector.
Currently, I believe the tourism sector in Kelantan is largely underdeveloped. This can be seen from lack of facilities, information, and marketing primarily. From my previous experience with a tourist from France that I met near KB Mall, the map that the tourist asked me was not reliable at all and I bet it was not updated for a decade that even a Kelantanese (me) could not figure it out. This example proves that the information is not reliable and makes it hard for the tourist to have a good experience of their journey.
Tourism has the potential to be developed into a sector which contributes a large amount of income to the state government and also to the federal government. I believe with proper planning and cooperation between local government, federal government, service providers and local people would make tourism development in Kelantan successful to attract more tourist and travelers in the future.
I sincerely hope more signs of disability access in our beloved country will present in the future. This kind of facilities provided by the government will not only benefited to local disabled community, but also to the foreigners and make Malaysia as one of the leading destinations for accessible tourism.
I need to sleep now or else I would be very sleepy at work tomorrow.