World Tourism Day
World Tourism Day is held on the 27 September each year. Idea is to bring attention how important tourism is to cities, countries and there people.
In Cape Town it was taken even further and September was made Tourism month. So this meant all around small functions and indabas to celebrate and discuss what the tourism market means in Cape Town.
In South Africa September is also seen as Heritage month with the 24th being heritage day and then also a public holiday. Dive Inn Cape Town attended 2 events, one at Wine tourism Indaba (Groot Constantia). The first at the Protea hotel in Stellenbosch (hosted by Metrorail and variety of partners).
The current online life hash tags for world tourism day would of course be the norm thus. #tourism4all #WTD2016 was created and used all around.
Tourism for all was the main theme for this year and focuses on Universal accessibility in tourism.
A lot of travellers do have disabilities and only for some this is catered for. The norm is normally wheel chair access, parking and specialised restrooms. But this is not the only disabilities out there. Vision for example is also a big issue. Writing is small on all paper work, taps you cannot make out which is hot or cold. Steps in showers can also be an issue for most people.
For some the restrooms and bath rooms are also not very well planned and it could be an issue as well.
Counters can be too high for people in wheel chairs. Most wine tasting rooms do have ‘Bartop’ counters and it’s too high for the wheelchairs. This is mostly an issue for the smaller farms. Lucky the farms with the bigger tasting rooms have separate tables where all the guests can sit and enjoy the stunning wines at eye level.
On World tourism day Derek Hanekom, Minister of tourism stated the following:
“The Department of Tourism is undertaking many initiatives to promote Universal Accessibility:
- The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa provides tourism establishments with guidelines on UA features
- A new incentive programme which will become effective in 2017 will support tourism businesses to become UA compliant
- The Service Excellence program for staff at attractions includes Sensitivity Training, training for tour guides to serve clients with special needs, and Sign Language training
- A database of UA compliant providers and suppliers is being compiled to help tourists make choices
- The Department is working with South African Tourism to market UA products domestic and internationally, and encouraging the development of UA tourism routes
- We have engaged various organisations that represent people with disabilities to explore how the tourism industry can serve them better, including Blind SA, Deaf SA, the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa, and the South African Disability Alliance.
- The Department has been working with Cape Town and Durban to conduct UA audits on tourism businesses and public attractions, transportation and other places of interest
- This year, the Department will develop a UA Assessment Tool for government-owned provincial parks, and provide raining for staff at tourism attractions
- Next year, we will conduct audits at government-owned parks in four provinces, identify the gaps and recommend solutions.”
World tourism day summary.
Thus in short we as suppliers or providers need to think how we can change our outlook on people of disabilities and how to change how we tour with our guests.
The below link from Responsible tourism Cape Town also provide more info. http://responsiblecapetown.co.za/responsible-tourism-in-cape-town-how-to-guide/