LDF Government is working towards promoting universal accessibility to tourist destinations, fostering a message of equality. Human desire to travel to new destinations is as old as our history and travel is always exciting to all.
However, physical disabilities often limit our ability to travel. Tourism for All espouses the message that physical limitations should not become a hurdle in travelling and Kerala Tourism is promoting this message. Differently abled friendly tourism destinations are being planned by Kerala Tourism, with Fort Kochi becoming the first model. Efforts to make Idukki Dam accessible to the differently abled are nearing completion and Shankumugham beach is also receiving a facelift in that direction.
All tourist destinations in the state are planning to become self sufficient in terms of travel facilities. It is being planned to ensure that such facilities are differently abled friendly. Buses, boats, house boats, wheel chairs, mobile ramps, automated ramps, wheelchair lifts etc. are being made available with the requisite drivers. As food is not easily accessible to the differently abled in several tourist destinations, we are working towards making quality food available right at the door steps of such locations. Rest rooms to cater to the needs of the differently abled are being planned in boats, house boats, hotels, resorts and buses in tourist destinations.
Tourist guides and staff at information centres in tourist destinations will be equipped in sign language so as to become useful for those with hearing disabilities. Recorded audio messages with travel guidelines will also be made available. Maps and direction boards will be made available in Braille for the use of those with low vision. Menu cards in restaurants will also be provided in Braille.
Kerala has set a model for the world in terms of responsible tourism and hence Tourism for All is definitely achievable for us.
The Tourism department is all set to lay a green carpet for welcoming visitors this season. Preparing tourist centres for the tourists and a sustained maintenance programme is being planned under this initiative. It is expected to give a major boost to tourism in Ernakulum district as it will be implemented in ten tourism centres in the district. A detailed project plan has been put in place for the development of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Cherai, Munambam, Kuzhypilly Beach, Marine Drive, Thattekkad, Boothathan kettu, Ezhattumukham, Muziris, Malayatoor and Mana pattuchira. Green carpet is being implemented with the active participation of local bodies, local body representatives, Kudumbasree, other government departments and local and non governmental organisations.