Disabled people want to travel more. Barrier’s removal and necessary education is being worked on

Disabled people want to travel more. Barrier’s removal and necessary education is being worked on

HomeDisabled people want to travel more. Barrier’s removal and necessary education is being worked on
Get to know something new, get out of the stereotype and to relax. The most common reasons why disabled people travel. Surveys by the Czech Tourism Authority – CzechTourism found this out. The results apply to the deaf, wheelchair users and parents with strollers. Barriers that disabled and other people face when travelling are different. Removing obstacles and enabling disabled tourists to go on trips and longer stays is a common goal of the state, municipalities, academia and the private sector. A recent work meeting on barrier-free tourism dealt with this topic as well.
While deaf people have the biggest issues with information in transport, because announcements are often only in sound version, wheelchair users need barrier-free access, accommodation, refreshments and toilets. They often encounter the fact that presented accessibility of a place does not correspond with reality. Terrain on trips, easy access and enough space in public transport are also key for parents with prams. The visually impaired are most troubled by the unavailability of information in the so-called "blind friendly" mode.
 
"The important message for tourism entrepreneurs is that most of disabled people travel accompanied by someone. Due to lack of personal assistants, they are also very interested in organized group tours. For those, however, demand significantly exceeds supply, which I consider as crucial information and an opportunity for travel agencies. Up to now, only a minimum of them have specialized in this clientele," says Jan Herget, Director of the Czech Tourism Authority - CzechTourism.
 
All addressed disadvantaged tourists usually travel by car. They also match in regions they most often go to. It concerns the Central Bohemian, South Bohemian and South Moravian region. They all agree that Prague is the most welcoming place for handicapped people.
 
"According to our surveys, the vast majority of respondents like to travel despite their handicap and would like more. However, various obstacles prevent them from doing so. That´s why CzechTourism organized another round table where the concepts of barrier-free tourism and related subsidy programs were discussed," says Petr Janeček, Head of the Institute of Tourism of the Czech Tourism Authority - CzechTourism and adds: "To make travelling as barrier-free as possible, three main things are needed: to explain entrepreneurs the great economic potential of this tourism, to draw entrepreneurs´ and employees´ in tourism attention to obstacles that disabled people face when travelling and, of course, most importantly, to gradually remove barriers in tourism. It starts with construction as such or subsequent reconstruction of establishments, and it´s not only about social facilities."
 
More than 13% of the Czech society has a handicap, only wheelchair users are about 18 thousand here. They are the only group of disadvantaged tourists who travel mainly to explore cities and cultural monuments. They also stay overnight (86%) and spend more while travelling than other respondents. The deaf, the blind and families with strollers like nature trips the most. The visually impaired are mainly interested in experiences they can "feel". As for overnight stays, almost all disabled people stay in collective accommodation facilities (80%). The exception is parents with prams, 87% of whom sleep in their own accommodation or at acquaintance´s.
 
With the development of barrier-free infrastructure can help consistent enforcement of valid legislation, for example the regulation on construction modifications of buildings. This and much more was said at a recent round table on barrier-free tourism. Participants of the work meeting also agreed that it is necessary to properly train staff and to inform all the disadvantaged in a comprehensible manner about the accessibility of buildings. CzechTourism helps with awareness and education in the context of the tourist industry. Next year, the agency is preparing workshops, trainings and other events regarding barrier-free tourism.
 
Overviews and tips for trips and longer stays for handicapped people are available on one of the largest tourist portals, Kudyznudy.cz. The survey results are on the Tourdata.cz website.