Survey finds Goa, Kerala to be wheelchair users preferred destination
New Delhi [India], Feb 9 : According to a survey commissioned by Enable Travel - India's Premier Accessible Holiday Specialist, people with disabilities have a deep desire to travel like everyone else. However, these people have specific requirements and travel related barriers that need a differentiated approach. In an interviewed conducted with 90 people with disabilities across Wheelchair Users (30), Deaf (30) and Blind (30), from Mumbai and Delhi, the key factors highlight that people with disabilities have a deep desire to travel like everyone else. The survey gauges the travel interests, decision-making process and areas of concern faced by people with disabilities, at the same time offers an insight to various tourism stakeholders to consider their interests in travelling and involve them as part of tourism activities. "The need to explore the travel requirements of people with disabilities has been largely ignored. It is time that we as a society stop overlooking the choices and desires of this segment and help them break free from the various physical, social, and attitudinal barriers they face as individuals. The survey to an extent highlights the need to explore the interests and attitudes of this segment of travellers and create awareness about the different barriers they face while travelling, through a focussed approach," said head, Enable Travel, Debolin Sen. The survey interviewed individuals who have taken at least two holiday trips in the past one year and highlighted different needs of people with different disabilities. The Wheelchair Users said: - 90 percent of the respondents said they do not have access to other hotel services like restaurants, garden and swimming pools - 70 percent of the respondents said they want to stay in hotels with spacious bathroom with adequate turning radius. - 92 percent of the respondents agreed there is lack of information in hand when deciding on the mode of transport. - 77 percent of the respondents agreed they face difficulty due to the placement of switch boards and emergency bell inside the hotel rooms. - All the respondents said they want restaurants with steps to make provision of ramps at the entrance. - 77 percent of the respondents said that they gathered information about a destination through social media posts and travel blogs. - 60 percent of the respondents said they prefer visiting beach destinations like Goa and Kerala for its easy accessibility. The Vision Impaired / Blind said: - 70 percent of the respondents said they face difficulty accessing websites for information on destination and bookings. - 90 percent of the respondents said that Word of mouth was their major source of information in choosing a destination. - 70 percent of the respondents said that they are unable to chalk out the food menu without braille formats. - 80 percent of the respondents said that buildings should make provision for grab/ hand rails to help climb stairs - All the respondents said that hotels must have Braille and tactile markings on the elevator control buttons. The Deaf said: - 89 percent of the respondents said that most hotels had no visual signal alert to detect knock on the door, recognise telephone ring or alarm clock. - All the respondents said that their main source of information for choosing a destination is through social media posts. - All the respondents said that quality hotel accommodation and ease of commute are important factors while deciding on a destination - All the respondents said that Hotels, Museums and tourist sites should provide Deaf Friendly Tour Guides - All the respondents said that Hotels need to be equipped with necessary visual alert devices in case of emergencies.