Tuesday, 19 Dec 2017

Tourism market for the disabled in Vietnam: Numerous potentials to exploit

Updated at Tuesday, 05 Dec 2017, 11:25
The Hanoitimes - The demand for travel is popular with many people including the disabled. Nonetheless, tourism service for them still remains undeveloped in Vietnam.

Lack of services
With eight million disabled people in Vietnam, it can be said that tourism services for them is potential. However, infrastructure, tourism products and services for these "special travellers" have not been uniformly and systematicly invested in.
Mrs. Do Ngoc Anh - Director of Mekong Touch Tourism Company said that all tours for disabled visitors have encountered many difficulties. Due to the lack of infrastructure and services for people with disabilities, she always has to "manage to supply the service". Every time there is demand, she must call each facility, hotel, restaurant and destination to ask if they have services for disabled people or not
The team "For the Bright Future" surveys the destination to implement the Tourism Information Website Project for people with disabilities.
The team "For the Bright Future" surveys the destination to implement the Tourism Information Website Project for people with disabilities.
According to Mrs. Anh, most of the developed countries, especially European countries have tourism companies and associations for people with disabilities. Meanwhile, in Vietnam almost no company specializes in touring for them. Only when the customer needs, the travel companies begin to “manage to supply" the services. Therefore, products and services often lack of professionalism. Due to lack of information, the number of international disabled visitors to Vietnam is not much.
At this time, some localities and destinations have started to pay attention to disabled visitors. For example, the Fansipan Sa Pa cable car has a separate access; Da Nang has built a private beach access in My Khe; "The Park of Records" Sun World Danang Wonders has dedicated the way for the disabled ...
Hanoi has a supportive website for the disabled people
According to some travel agencies, the investment in tourism services for the disabled is not enough to meet the demand. Mrs. Trinh Thuy - member of the team "For the bright future" (directly under to Hanoi Disabled People Association) shared: "Currently, the deaf people visit the historical sites and museums is not subjected to guide support. In addition, elevators in the hotel also has no braille for the blind to identify and manage"- said Mrs. Thuy.
In order to support the disabled to travel in Vietnam as well as to make it easier for tour operators to build tours for those, the Hanoi People's Committee has approved Tourism Information Website Project for the disabled. This project was launched in the last November.
Accordingly, through the website https://dulichtiepcan.com/vi-vn and social networking site https://www.facebook.com/dulichtiepcan, the disabled can find information about the destinations, restaurants and hotels supporting them to take initiative for their travel. At this site, 22 attractions, 8 hotels, 7 restaurants in Hanoi along with transportation routes such as Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi Railway Station and some bus station ... are listed in detail.
According to tourism experts, to operate tourism for people with disabilities, it is necessary to have a systematic investment. In the current context, the launch of this website is a very useful solution, contributing valuable information.
Enabling the disabled people to integrate into the community
At the celebration of the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3, held by Ministry of Labour - Invalids and social affairs in Ha Noi, Deputy Minister Dao Hong Lan said that there are nearly 8 million people with disabilities in Vietnam, accounting for 7.8% of the population, of which 1.2 million are children with disabilities. Most people with disabilities has a difficult life, especially those who suffer from Agent Orange / dioxin.
Over the past years, Vietnam has issued many policies, programs and actions to improve the life quality for disabled people. In particular, the project to assist people with disabilities in 2012-2020 period and the plan for implementing International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities approved by the Prime Minister have been concretized into activities and solutions of each period. They are provided with social assistance, housing assistance, education, health care, access to transportation and construction works. In addition, vocational training, employment and preferential loans for doing business are also granted to them. Every year, millions of disabled people are subsidized from the State budget; Hundred thousand of people are supported by orthopedics, rehabilitation and support facilities. 100% of provinces and cities directly under the State have set up functional rehabilitation facility. The educational system is increasingly developed, enabling children with disabilities to go to school.
However, people with disabilities still face many difficulties. Many of them live in poverty with limited health, unemployment, underemployment, and lack of access to social services. Therefore, according to Deputy Minister Dao Hong Lan, to implement international treaties and regulations on disability, more efforts should be made by organizations, societies, communities and the State and the disabled themselves to better integrate into society.
From the UNICEF, Mr. Friday Nwaigwe, head of the program "For the survival and development of children" said that the most important thing for Vietnam is to improve national and local capacity for better preparation for disasters or emergencies. Because it causes children and the disabled to extremely poor condition.
Cam Anh
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