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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Smulders

Is the tourism industry inclusive enough?

Is it neglecting a large number of customers?

We hear about diversity everywhere, but are companies thinking inclusive enough?

Earlier in the year, I attended a great tourism event in the region and was taken aback by the little attention countries pay to whom we called in Dubai “People of determination”, those individuals who are physically or sensory challenged.

One might argue that people of determination are not interested in travelling or that they have reservations from leaving their day to day surroundings, but having a mother who has travelled to a number of countries after losing her sight I can tell you otherwise.

There is one billion people in the world population with disabilities, many of them able and willing to travel, but there is not one main travel company dedicated to serve these users.

Luckily companies such as “Wheel the world” are taking the lead offering for the first time, custom-made tours for people with physical disabilities. Thanks to its efforts, Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world, was recently certified wheelchair friendly making access possible to over 1,000 people in wheelchairs to visit the famous city of the Incas.


Dubai fountains show

Making a destination inclusive doesn’t only mean making it more accessible, but also making the experience to the visitor meaningful. Someone who is blind can live the Dubai fountains show with high emotions through the sound, the smell, the music and even the soft touch of water as a result of the splash, while someone else can appreciate the beauty of the Windsor castle listening to a descriptive tour guide during the visit. A person in a wheelchair might be thrilled to go down a hill sandboarding and sliding down in a water park. It should be their choice in a system prepared to welcome them and places thought on providing unique experiences to all.

In a world that is now more connected than ever, we should normalize the commute of everyone willing to explore the world and its wonders in awe.

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