People, Travel

ICHHTO to Standardize Facilities for Disabled Tourists

Catering to disabled tourists  significantly contributes to the expansion of tourism industryCatering to disabled tourists  significantly contributes to the expansion of tourism industry

Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization is placing greater focus on the standardization of lodging facilities to ensure a comfortable stay for the disabled and has initiated correspondence with a number of establishments, including Social Welfare Organization, to meet the goal.  

During a meeting with handicapped employees of ICHHTO to commemorate World Disability Day (Dec. 3), Zahra Ahmadipour, chief of the organization, also proposed the formation of a think tank consisting of the disabled staff to identify their requirements.

"A dedicated team of experts can help address issues [hampering the travel of the disabled]," Ahmadipour was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency. 

Catering to disabled tourists is not recognized as a profitable business in many parts of the world, including Iran, although it could significantly contribute to the expansion of tourism industry.

Lodging facilities are not the only establishments in Iran that lack proper infrastructure for catering to the needs of the handicapped. A large number of cafes and public amenities are not disability-friendly.

About 127.5 million travelers worldwide rely on accessibility while 89.3 million have the financial means to travel abroad for leisure. The size of the tourism market for the disabled is estimated at $180 billion.

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