Some 500 delegates from 60 countries have convened in Bangkok, Thailand, to take part in the official celebrations for the World Tourism Day.
The event is this year dedicated to the theme ‘Tourism for all: Promoting Universal Accessibility.’
Policy frameworks, capacity building, business strategies and awareness raising have been some of the areas tackled during the week of events that commenced with a ‘Tourism and the Media’ Session.
During two days participants from 60 countries exchanged best practices and experiences on accessible tourism and have committed to advance universal accessibility in all components of the tourism value chain to ensure all citizens enjoy the benefits of travel, whatever their abilities may be.
“As one billion people across the globe have some kind of disability, accessibility becomes and will continue to be a major concern for us all,” said Prayut Chan-o-Cha, prime minister, Thailand, who presided over the celebrations.
“We need to create more accessibility, for all including the ageing groups.
“We need to provide better services for all.”
The first event of the week, the ‘Tourism and the Media’ workshop, held in cooperation with the Chulalongkorn University, served as a platform to discuss the role of the media in supporting accessible tourism.
“People with disabilities, aged citizens, families with children and many more find obstacles when they travel. As tourism is a human right, the sector should advance to ensure that all citizens enjoy seamless travel in an equal manner,” said UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai in his message.
Together with the commitment of governments and the need to develop regulatory frameworks linked to accessibility-related measures, the World Tourism Day celebrations have served to emphasize the immense business opportunities that Universal Design can bring to the tourism sector.
The celebrations of World Tourism Day 2016 were held in collaboration with CNN, UNWTO media partner.