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A holiday company by a differently abled for differently abled

Wednesday - May 16, 2018 5:30 pm , Category : BUSINESS
Kochi May 16 (IANS) Kochi-based Specialcare Holidays billed as the country s first holiday company for differently abled persons will open on Saturday.
Simon George founder and MD of Specialcare Holidays said on Wednesday that the first group of tourists comprising of nearly 150 differently abled people from various parts of south India will take a day-long houseboat cruise in Alappuzha this Saturday.
George 52 paralysed from the waist down for more than three decades moves around in a wheel chair.
Through his consistent efforts Kerala s Department of Tourism has agreed to introduce Accessible Tourism as a special service to promote tourism in the state in its responsible tourism initiative.
"It is a dream come true for me and Specialcare Holidays as I have been crusading for the cause of accessible tourism since 2004 " George told the media here.
"It has been a shame for long that a state with tourism contributing around 12 per cent to its GDP was not able to cater to the differently-abled persons who would wish to visit the state " added George.
According to him accessible tourism starts with providing the visitors with accessible vehicles specially-trained co-ordinators and tour guides doctors and nursing staff and accessible equipment including ramps automated ramps wheel-chairs motorised wheel-chairs lifts-onto-vehicles accessible washrooms and toilets Braille and sign language-scripted materials and equipment for the blind and hearing impaired at all the likely places tourist visit including airports bus stations hotels and at tourist destinations.
He said it was estimated that there are more than five million wheel-chair bound travellers in the world.
"Add these with the vision and hearing impaired mentally-challenged the aged and the sick who also make big chunks of travellers. Kerala which depends heavily on tourism cannot ignore this huge market " said George who also provides consultancy and project management services to other stakeholders in the industry.

--IANS sg/pgh/bg

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