The tourism sector grows accessible

With a still incipient development in the country, destinations and operators are increasingly working with an inclusive look that facilitates the integration of people with disabilities.

Accessible tourism is the complex of activities aimed at leisure and recreation that enable full integration of people with mobility or communication reduced. Although it grew exponentially, still remains an unexplored land.

In recent years, this kind of deployment had an enormous developments in cities such as Mar del Plata and Villa Gesell, where there are hostels offering amphibious wheelchairs for people with motor disabilities can get to the water, or Iguazu Falls, San Martin de los Andes and Puerto Madryn, which are the best prepared destinations mobility facilities, accommodation and activities.

“They are processes of social change that have long. The cities and towns of Argentina were not built to contemplate the need for people with disabilities, seniors, children or pregnant, but they thought under the model of productive man, I do not get sick or older. That makes accessible tourism is a niche market that is totally unsatisfied and untapped”, said Alejandro López, industry specialist and founder of the Network for Accessible Tourism.

“Always think about the people who use wheelchairs, but actually the segment covers about 40 percent of the population, that must be added to older adults, households with young children, obese, kids traveling alone and even those who have some temporary difficulty, as rough and pregnant”, said Luis Grunewald, researcher in the area Accessible Tourism at the National University of Quilmes and director of the Tourism for All Foundation.

“Accessible tourism is a very successful business and covers a very large spectrum demand, allowing the growth of both providers and improving competitiveness for destinations”, He said.

It is a chain
Thanks to the Tourism Law Accessible (25.643), in recent years they were implemented regulations requiring, por ejemplo, to eating establishments have adapted toilets or every few e rooms, hotels have rooms. Nevertheless, The biggest drawback is still the transport, it is not prepared to move people with disabilities.

“The complex in tourism is not enough that a provider or an attractive accessible, but there is the development of areachability chain“, Lopez said, and graficó: “Today there is a total ignorance from travel agencies, they have no idea of ​​the offer. In the bathrooms of micros and aircraft not enter a person standing, imagine how it is for someone who has limited mobility. And I still did not reach the destination. When you arrive at the hotel realizes that has steps and rooms they are not adapted. After, It needs to have attractive destination with accessibility and guides, Restaurants, museums and local transportation are prepared. There is a set of links that make the possibility of a tourism development”.

According to Miguel Tacconi, Director Portal Way Accesibles, Relieving information providers and tourist destinations accessible, to work it depends on the offer that will not break the “chain” between states and private operators.

“Today people with disabilities may ride free micro. Even they improved the system and can book tickets online. But the problem remains that the groups are not adapted for people with motor disabilities. So, you can travel free if lográs up”, He said.

“Además, Some destinations are liars, because then they promoted as accessible and non-users can enjoy –contó Grunewald-. There are providers who tell youI have an accessible room on the fourth floor, but the problem is reaching the fourth floor”.
“”In the field of accessible tourism is thought only to solve architectural and urban barriers, but the bottom line, además, It is to offer quality service and attention. Useless a building with ramp, if the human resource that is in contact with the disabled tourist does not know how to treat it. Sometimes the person forgives you have a step, but favors the quality of care””, expresó Grunewald.

The biggest job is to convince employers of the benefits of having rooms and toilets or install a ramp.“If anything characterizes the Argentine tourist services provider will -enfatizó Grunewald- is their lack of solidarity: He understands that the issue of accessibility is a cost rather than an investment”.

“To develop the chain is fundamental public policy of the State”, said Tacconi, and she held: “How vendés accessible tourism in Argentina if the chain links fail. Today you have adapted and hotels in Niagara accessible park, but encontrás no means of public transport to get. Today there are isolated investments, adding up, but do not meet efficient service. Además, failure to make it accessible pocket, because it is very cute whale watching Handicapped driving in Puerto Madryn, but how many people can afford”.

According to experts, the global trend is full accessibility, no urban or architectural barriers that prevent displacement, but should go towards social change integration of public policies need to be developed.

“There is a strong lack in tourism promotion and marketing of accessible tourism. Lack disseminate destinations and supply. Por ejemplo, There are many providers accessible ski tourism from Ushuaia to Cerro Chapelco, in San Martin de los Andes, snow activities that have fully adapted, but not disclosed nor is there any dissemination”, Lopez said.

“awareness, training, tourism promotion are the main themes to be worked. Por ejemplo, there is no specialized in tourism and gastronomy career to prepare future professionals accessibility. Today there is no academic training and everything is empirical”, He said.

Buenos Aires is ahead
but there are still more controls

In the last decade, Buenos Aires was transformed into a city increasingly accessible, not just for tourists, although there is still a very strong debt training providers and citizens themselves to address and treat someone with disabilities.
“Buenos Aires is a city that is constantly advancing on accessibility. Por ejemplo, this year we aim to have all ramped sidewalks”, Andy counted Freire, president of Ente Minister of Tourism and Modernization.
Nevertheless, from the Tourist Ombudsman, They indicate that much remains to give visitors an inclusive proposal. “Tourism is totally related to power and mobilize as many complaints are transport, especially taxis, who they refuse to take people in wheelchairs not to mention the audience dogs”, said the head of the Tourist Ombudsman, José Palmiotti.
While acknowledging the shortcomings, Tourism from the Ente insist that the City aims to become more inclusive. Among the specific actions that were implemented installation highlighted in Recoleta, Palermo and Casa Rosada “haptic maps”, Tactile 3D drawings in which blind people can get an idea of ​​the places through the relief of certain areas and Braille.
“In addition to these maps, add subtitles and sign language on the tourist bus and we are working in an accessible circuit will present before the end of the year so that everyone can know iconic places like the Recoleta Cemetery and Floralis Generica”, Freire said.
Likewise, Freire said the new edition of the Guide to Accessible Tourism, with information on hotels, bars and attractions accessible organized by circuits with maps and photographs. “We also develop the application for Android BA Accessible, where users can search for places or upload information in Braille, ramps or audio guides”, He told the minister.
Both the Government and the Ombudsman recognized that one of the main problems is the training of tourist operators and private investment in accessibility.
“Buenos Aires, over other destinations, It is well advanced, but it costs a lot to the employer adopt the criteria of mandatory accessibility standards”, Palmiotti said, He is adding: “We did a survey in hotels 3 a 5 stars on whether or not allow the entry of guide dogs, which it is mandatory, and the 75 percent of the actors or know the subject or said they did not accept pets, when in fact they are not. Same with the restaurants, which are required to have Braille letters and virtually non-existent”.
In that sense, from the point of view of accessibility, the trend is good, with relevant legislation, but still not satisfied. “There is progress in this sector is impressive. Hace 30 years accessible tourism virtually non-existent and we now have, since 2003, in South America a model law mandating that all new buildings and premises must be accessible. It is a big step towards integration, but most important is to be met”, Andy Freire concluded.


waterfalls, a model of
integration to imitate

Iguazu falls, one of the new Seven Natural Wonders of the World, It is one of the pioneers of tourism in implementation from design and build an inclusive and accessible perspective, eliminating barriers to the movement of persons with disabilities.

Tourism infrastructure, conceived under the theme “architecture without barriers”, It was designed for more than one 90% their paths will be accessible, more than 8.000 rebatibles meters walkways and trails that allow arriving in a wheelchair to the balcony of the Garganta del Diablo.

“Gangways have a double handrail for children, People with motor disabilities and for those of short stature. The destination has access ramps, especially allocated spaces for wheelchairs in the Rainforest Ecological Train, specially adapted wheelchairs for easy transit through folding walkways and special motor cars to transport people requiring thereby move”, Karina explained Modesty, Accessibility responsible Iguazu area Argentina, Niagara dealership.

Likewise, According to the specialist, the floor has different textures, that allow visually impaired people better location: cement paths, polished granite interior and galvanized steel catwalks.

“Falls have special vehicles that are available, both for people with disabilities and for elderly people who can not move on their own”, Modesty said.

“A person with motor disabilities can enjoy almost all the circuits, except for a small sector that has stairs. For the elderly and obese people there are also ecological transport that lead by different sectors of the park. Entire families as they come, There wheelchairs and strollers in all seasons “ecotren” and places most visitors influx”, express.

For the blind, The park has signage indicating the various circuits and informative models and the restaurant menu is written in Braille.

“All staff working in the company is trained and qualified to provide better assistance to those with any limitations that require it”, Modesty explained.

Fuente: Diario La Prensa