Nepal to organize int'l tourism conference targeting disabled, elderly


25th Jan, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew


KATHMANDU, Jan. 25:  Nepal is organizing an international conference on 'Accessible Tourism' for the first time from March 29 to March 31 to promote Nepal as suitable destination for disabled people with physical limitations and elderly people.
 
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the main tourism promotion body of Nepal and one of the organizers, said that the conference would focus on international best practices in inclusive tourism for 'slow-walker' senior people and disabled travelers leading to improved tourism facilities, services, and marketing.
 
This, according to the organizers, will attract a new segment of visitors to Nepal and provide new opportunities for Nepal's disabled for employment and experiencing the country's wonders.
 
More than 150 delegates, including representatives from global communities of the disabled, climbers, writers and travel agencies from various countries and Nepal are expected to participate in the three-day even to be held in Nepal's tourism city--Pokhara in western Nepal.
 
Accessible tourism is an emerging concept to ensure that tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, irrespective of their physical limitations, disabilities or age.
 
"People with disability, elderly and those with physical limitation constitute a huge untapped market," Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of the NTB, told Xinhua on Sunday. "With this event, we can encourage Nepali stakeholders to develop necessary infrastructure targeting this market and spread message around the globe that Nepal is good destinations for such people."
 
On the run up to the event, the organizers are planning to organize meeting with Mayor and Deputy Mayors of country major cities on developing necessary infrastructure targeting disabled and elderly people. During the event, the participants will inaugurate Nepal's first accessible trekking trail in Pokhara.
 
The country received 940,218 tourists in 2017, up 24.86 percent from 2016, according to Nepal's Department of Immigration. But, NTB CEO Joshi said that they don't have exact record of how many people with disability and elderly people visited the country.