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Saturday November 24, 2012

Talk on accessible tourism

BEAUTIFUL Gate Foundation For The Disabled with several organisations are organising the first South-East Asia Conference On Accessible Tourism (Seacat 2012).

There are many people experiencing reduced functioning, including the elderly and the disabled, who will constitute a growing consumer group.

As such, tourism-related products, services, information, and destinations should be adequately adapted to their needs.

“We believe this event will raise awareness and bring about an impact to Malaysian and South-East Asia tourism and contribute to Malaysia and the region, and eventually create a barrier-free society for all to live independently in the community,” said Seacat 2012 chairman Sia Siew Chin, who is also the executive director of Beautiful Gate Foundation.

“Building on the success from organising the first National Conference and Exhibition on Accessible Tourism last year, we plan to have the first Seacat with support from the Prime Minister’s Department, European Network for Accessible Tourism, Disabled People International and Kuala Lumpur City Hall,” she said.

Themed “Accessible Tourism Promotes Regional Development”, the event in Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur began yesterday and ends tomorrow.

Among the objectives of the event is to provide information including best practice of accessible tourism to the policy makers, industry players, consumers and the public.

The event include a conference, exhibition and cultural activities that are designed to disseminate practical knowledge and information on accessible tourism.

Conference speakers include Chris Veitch and Isabella Steffan from European Network for Accessible Tourism; Accessible Tourism New Zealand dorector Dr Sandra Rhodda; and Joseph Kwan, consultant to UN-Escap on Non-handicapping Environments and Barrier-free Tourism.

During the course of the event, there will be an ongoing exhibition held at the boulevard area of Berjaya Times Square, featuring the accessible tourist attractions, and facilities on accessible tourism.

“In order to allow more people to benefit from this meaningful event, we are glad to provide a special rate of RM200 for local companies to take part in this regional conference, ” said Sia.

Joint organisers are the Malaysia Hotel Association (MAH), Malaysia Council of Rehabilitation (MCR), National Council For The Blind (NCBM), National Council of Chesire Home, Malaysia Parent With Disabilities Association (MPWD), Community Support Network, Challenges magazine and other disabiled-related organisations.

For details, visit www.seacat.beautifulgate.org.my or email seacat@beautifulgate.org.my

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