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Accessible tourism; Disabled travelers around us.

disabled people

The evolution and development of Mankind was a long process. Travelling has been started since the evolution of mankind. Before developing as a human, we were just like apes. Human mind was not developed since then, we just used to stay on the trees, hang around and depend on them for fruits and food. Until this period, water and food were the only basic need for us. Then slowly, we began to evolve with the environment and surroundings. Due to the overconsumption of food and water around the area, we began to experience a shortage of food and water. Due to the shortage of food and water in the area, we got off from the trees. With the development of time, we started moving from one place to another for our basic needs; food and water. Then, we slowly began to walk with our 2 legs which required less energy than walking with all 4. Slowly, we began to engage in farming, live together as a group, then community, then society and now, starting from the search of food and water, traveling has become one of the basic needs for humans in the present time. People began to travel for various reasons like pleasure, relaxation, recreation, vacation, exploration, business, trade, etc. A large number of destinations are accessible for various purposes and are quoted as an accessible tour.

Travel and Tourism have been a universal activity in this contemporary world. Here I have listed some traveling and wanderlust statements quoted by some individuals and travelers:

  1. Traveling– “is not something you are good at. It is something you do. Like Breathing.”
  2. WANDERLUST– “a strong desire to urge to travel and explore the world.”
  3. “Travel does not become an adventure until you leave yourself behind.”- Marty Rubin
  4. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”- Helen Keller
  5. “Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.”- Paulo Coelho
  6. “The world is a book and those who do not travel, read-only pages.”- Saint Augustine

These are motivational quotes for adventure seekers and individuals who love traveling. A large number of travelers travel around the world. Of course, there are some people who do not travel and have relative reasons why they do not travel. They may have some financial problems, health problems, family problems, country boundary restriction or no interest in traveling at all.

BUT,

HAVE YOUR EVER WONDERED OF A DISABLED PEOPLE AROUND YOU?

IS THERE ANY CHANCE THEY DON’T HAVE THE STRONG DESIRE TO TRAVEL AND EXPLORE THE WORLD LIKE US?

AIN’T LIFE A DARING ADVENTURE FOR THEM?

THEY CAN’T TRAVEL SO ARE WE LETTING THEM ONLY TO READ THE PAGES OF LIFE, NOT THE BOOK?

According to article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is stated that every individual has freedom of movement and right to travel. Being human, we should always respect and encourage the right to travel for all.

According to Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)-“A disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

Accessible Tourism can be defined as a form of tourism that involves disable or differently-able people and enable them to explore the world. Most of them live their life in fear. So, accessible tourism can be a good form of tourism which can switch their fear into freedom.

In Nepal, accessible tourism is a new concept in tourism. There is no official record of the first disabled tourist who visited Nepal and explored around but there are many records of such disabled travelers who urge to travel Nepal and had a wonderful time around Nepal.

  1. Erik weihenmayer was the first-ever blind climber to summit the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest in 2001 and published a book named “Touch the top of the world”.
  2. Tom Whittaker conquered the summit of Mt. Everest in 1998 with an artificial leg in his second attempt.
  3. International rafting and mountain guide, Jeeza Williams visited Nepal and experience paragliding, rafting and jungle safari.

(They have been an inspiration for most of the disabled people throughout the world and an example for Nepal proving that there is a possibility of accessible tourism in Nepal.)

Accessible tour requires collaboration among all the concerned authorities including the travel agents, government, local people as well as the disabled people themselves. Without such collaboration, accessible tourism cannot be performed in a wide sector. The government had already opened an accessible trail in Nepal for the disabled or differently-abled people. Most of the places are accessible to disabled people in Nepal and can explore them with the help of a special and helpful guide.

OUR ACCESSIBLE TOUR FOR DISABLED TRAVELERS

Regarding the accessible tour; We, Global Holidays Adventure Pvt. Ltd, operate various accessible tour packages and special travel services for the disabled and differently-abled people. There are various activities that can be experienced by travelers who are disabled or differently-abled. In Nepal, such travelers can enjoy the natural sceneries, explore centuries-old cultural heritage, involve in various fest and festivals and also have an overlook at the lifestyle of local people.

These travelers can take a sightseeing tour around the world’s heritage site of the Kathmandu valley. They can explore around Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. They can make a complete rotation around the Boudhanath Stupa. Visiting these places, travelers can explore people’s lifestyles, religions, and cultures. They can also witness the arts and architecture which are religiously and historically important. They can also visit Nagarkot to admire the beauty of nature. They can witness panoramic mountain views with a mind-blowing sunrise and sunset view from such a beautiful place.

Boudhanath accessible tour

Night View of Boudhanath Stupa, WHS 1979; Accessible Tour

We also operate tours around Nepal for the disabled or differently-abled people. Travelers can experience and involved in cultural tourism, wildlife activities, and Himalayan adventure during the tour. Firstly, they will drive up to Pokhara, enjoy the ambiance of the lake city, admire the Himalayas from Sarangkot and they can also hike in the Accessible Trail opened for Disabled travelers. The trail is just 1.5 km and it takes only 45 minutes to complete the hike. From the elevation of 1568 m, travelers will admire the great Himalayas including Mt. Fishtail, Himchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I and many more. Boating can also be done according to their preferences. They can also take a chopper up to Australian Base Camp and admire the beauty of nature with the great Himalayas.

Pokhara accessible tour

Pokhara valley and the great Himalayas from Sarangkot; Accessible Tour

A tour around Lumbini can involve them in spiritual activities. Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Budhha and also one of the world’s heritage sites of Nepal. Traveler can witness and explore the birthplace of Lord Buddha. They can also spend time with the monks and abbots of the monasteries and involve in various spiritual and religious activities. They can learn new things and brainwash their mind with the knowledge of the monks and abbots. They can have a wonderful time around Lumbini roaming around the most spiritual place of Nepal witnessing various peace pagoda temples built by different countries of the world in Lumbini.

Elephant safari accessible tourElephant Safari Tour at Chitwan National Park; Accessible Tour

After Lumbini, they can visit Chitwan for various wildlife activities and encounters. This is another world’s heritage site of Nepal and is the first national park of Nepal. Travelers can involve in various activities like Jungle Safari, Jeep Safari, Boating, and many other national park activities and witness one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, alligators, crocodile and many more. They can also involve in local Tharu dance and culture.

Depending on their interest, we also organize over-land tours to Upper Mustang. They can also take part in various religious as well as spiritual tours around Nepal.

Besides this, disabled travelers can experience and involved in various other tourism activities. Helicopter tour is one of the best things to do for the disabled travelers as they will fly over the great Himalayas and land on certain base camps (depend on the destination) surrounded by 360° mountain views. Mountain flight is another way to admire and enjoy the beautiful and close view of the Himalayas including Mt. Everest if flew from Kathmandu. They can also attend classes of workshops related to pottery, metal carving, wood carving, etc. Not every traveler is disabled with the same ability. There are different types of disabled people in the world. Regarding all these, we also organize and include other tourism activities such as rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, zip liner, etc. consulting directly with the traveler and knowing his condition and urge to experience.

By: Santosh Blon

Global Holidays Adventure Pvt. Ltd.