Tourism

New partnership aims to make BC’s tourism industry more accessible to people with disabilities – Nelson Star

Ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer of travel across the province, Destination BC and Spinal Cord Injury BC have announced a partnership to create and promote affordable tourism.

As part of the partnership, which was announced Wednesday (June 1), Spinal Cord Injury BC will be conducting in-person assessments of various travel businesses in the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky and Sunshine Coast, offering advice on how they can improve access and inclusiveness. for invalids.

Participating businesses will also update their availability listings on the consumer travel planning website HelloBC.com so that visitors can easily find affordable accommodations, attractions, activities and experiences.

“Our work with Spinal Cord Injury BC will help tourism companies in the region evaluate their offerings so more visitors can enjoy them, creating a more inclusive visitor experience and more room for growth in the sector,” said Jody Yang, manager in Vancouver. Coast and mountain tourist region.

According to Nancy Harris, spokesperson for Regional Development at Spinal Cord Injury BC, the accessibility gaps in Vancouver’s tourism region, coast and mountains are the same as in the rest of the province.

These gaps include basic accessibility issues such as the lack of ramps and elevators, but they also extend to the fundamental organization of many tourism businesses.

Harris told Black Press Media that because most travel companies have not designed their services with accessibility in mind, they will likely find it difficult to change their spaces and their programs to include people with disabilities.

That’s why the organization has taken matters into their own hands when it comes to offering summer adventures and sports to their clients and community, such as their newly launched affordable cycling program.

“There seems to be a big lack of understanding of why these things are important and what it means to be available,” Harris said.

Accessibility takes many forms, but the basic principle is to enable people with disabilities to live with dignity and participate actively in their communities, she said, adding that engaging travel companies to recognize and accept their own shortcomings is an important first step to improving awareness and kindness. guests with disabilities to their seats.

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