Accessible Tourism summit recommends 20 initiatives for a smooth travel for tourists of determination

The Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit, opened in Dubai on January 12, 2022, called for joint international cooperation to make service facilities such as airports, airlines, hotels, various means of transportation and communication, websites, shopping malls and other facilities and services friendly to People of Determination whose number is expected to double to 2 billion by 2050 from the current one billion, according to the statistics of the World Health Organization.

The summit, attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, President of Dubai Airports, Supreme President and CEO of Emirates Airlines and Group, recommended 20 measures for smooth travel for travellers of determination to face challenges faced by people of determination in terms of movement, residence and travel worldwide.

The summit was also  attended by  His Excellency Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, His Excellency Awad Al Sagheer Al Ketbi, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority,  His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs and CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in Dubai, His Excellency Jamal Al Hai, Vice President of Dubai Airports,  and His Excellency Majid Al-Osaimi, Chairman of the Asian Paralympic Committee, member of the International Paralympic Committee, Executive Director of Dubai Club for People of Determination, His Excellency Mohammed Abdalla Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and a number of senior officials.

The summit was held with the objective to shed light on the challenges faced by about a billion people who have a certain type of need for assistance,  during their movement as residents, visitors or tourists in the cities of the world, and the need to strengthen legislation, laws, infrastructure and services that meet their needs and aspirations and their right to discover the world easily.

The summit was opened by Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, with a welcoming speech in which he said : “ Within the framework of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the best city in the world for living, work and visit, and the attention paid by our wise leadership to people of determination, many initiatives and steps have been taken that will enable everyone to enjoy distinctive experiences and tourism components that take into account all needs”.

The presentations given by international experts indicated that the volume of missed opportunities on the economy and global tourism, amounted to 142 billion euros annually as a result of the reluctance of millions of People of Determination to travel due to the lack of appropriate services and facilities in many cities of the world. The summit also stressed the need to adhere to Universal Design standards to accelerate the process of preparing cities to become more friendly and respond to the needs of people of determination in mobility and decent living.

A discussion session in which a number of people of determination participated shed light on the most important challenges facing millions of tourists of determination during their travel, noting that their recommendations to government and private stakeholders around the world include 20  recommendations for smooth travel without obstacles . The participants called for strengthening international cooperation to provide for the needs of people of determination while on the move, and the need to adopt smart solutions and provide professional staff to provide a smooth travel experience that meets the needs of different categories of physical, audio-visual disabilities and autistic children.

The summit comes in the wake of fast return to recovery of the travel and tourism sectors, after the catastrophic effects of Covid 19 on these two sectors worldwide, to discuss the challenges facing the industry at the present time and the lessons learned from the crisis, especially with regard to tourists of determination.

More than 20 speakers and experts from government and private agencies, in addition to representatives of IATA, Airports Council International, the World Tourism Organization and the World Health Organization, participated in the summit, which was held in both personal and visual formats . In addition to the participation of international experts in the field of transportation, global design and facilitated mobility . The conference also provided two training sessions on best practices in dealing with travelers and hotel guests.

The Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, the Community Development Authority in Dubai, the Zayed Higher Organization, Fly Dubai and the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel were the sponsors.

The first session was presented by an expert from the College of Tourism in Dubai, while the second session was presented by an expert from the Zayed Higher Organization. Dozens of workers in the aviation and hospitality sectors participated in the two sessions, who benefited from the materials and information they were briefed on during the sessions.