PART 5: Best Practices of Accessible Tourism Around the World

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Accessible

Welcome back to our 5-blog post series showcasing the best practices of accessible tourism around the planet!

Previously, we discussed the international information and promotion efforts of the tourism industry. Today, we’re going to look into the training methods of accessible tourism around the world.

Personnel Training – What Gives?

Staff training is important at al levels of the tourism organization not only for those employees in direct contact with clients but also housekeeping and support staff who might encounter clients in the performance of their duties. Often, simply increased awareness, good communication will be even more important than assistance techniques.

Philippines’ Initiative: Training sessions for the transportation sector

The project ‘’Training on Assisting the Disabled and Elderly Persons Who Travel (ADEPT)’’ was initiated in 1994 by the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP), the national government agency mandated to formulate policies and coordinate activities of all agencies, whether public or private, concerning disability issues.

The training project came about with the enactment in 1983 of the Accessibility Law, which is “An Act to enhance the mobility of disabled persons by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments, and public utilities to install facilities and other devices.” The law sought to promote the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities to participate fully in social life.

A manual entitled “Guidebook on Assisting Disabled and Elderly Persons Who Travel” was developed to help train personnel and crew of land, sea, and air transportation firms. This aims to make them confident and at ease in assisting the elderly and persons with disabilities who travel. Participants develop appropriate attitudes, knowledge, and skills on the proper handling and care of such clients.

The National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons coordinates schedule, venue and resource persons.

Furthermore, the training utilizes lectures, hands-on/practicum, role-playing and simulation exercises. An open forum follows at the end of each module on the following areas of concern:

  • Guiding visually impaired passengers;
  • Assisting passengers with restricted physical ability/physically impaired passengers;
  • Communicating with hearing impaired passengers;
  • Handling passengers with a learning disability

Additionally, the training provides safe, trouble-free travel and enhanced mobility for travelers with disabilities as well as the elderly persons. The training contributed to the fulfillment of the Council’s mission and the implementation of the Philippine Accessibility Law.

Canada’s Initiative: Training Sessions on Customer Services for Travellers with Disabilities and Seniors Persons

“Welcoming Ways” is a course on service delivery to persons with disabilities and seniors in Quebec. There are several modules available. The basic training is a three-hour course for 12 to 18 individuals. If the participants’ duties require them to provide physical assistance or, for instance, transfer a person with disabilities, an additional module on transfer and assistance techniques is added. Similarly, if the training is for airline personnel, a module on handling wheelchairs is added.

For students of tourism, the training takes place in classrooms. For personnel already working in the tourism field, trainers conduct the training at the place of business or in a hotel meeting room. At the end of each session, the participants fill out a course evaluation form, which helps to improve the course content. Moreover, the training has also been adapted to the demands of the business world, and the health and transportation sectors. The course is tax-deductible for companies and organizations.

Since 1983, over 20,000 persons have been trained. Tourism industry employees and tourism and hotel students adapted the initial training offered to the demands of the business world, the culture industry, and the health and transportation sectors. Air, motorcoach and public urban transit carriers and a number of employees of museums and tourist attractions, hotels, and now financial institutions and government have also taken the training.

That’s it for our 5-part blog series! We hope you enjoyed and learned a few more things with us. See you around for our net blog!

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