In a latest move, Nepal has for the first time launched accessible tourism for the differently-abled persons and the elderly tourists.
The accessible trekking trail launched in Pokhara was part of the three-day International Conference on Accessible Tourism in Nepal held during March 29-31, 2018.
The trek trail covers 1.3-km area of the 14-km-long trekking path across the point connecting Sarangkot and Naudanda areas, informed the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
“The trail offers a magnificent view of Mt. Annapurna, Fisthtail and Manaslu,” said NTB in a statement.
Though an emerging concept, accessible tourism has got a special place in Nepal tourism, which is considering it as a sector with very high potential.
NTB is hopeful that the trail would add to Nepal’s efforts to draw more disabled and elderly tourists to the country under accessible tourism.
“The concerned authorities have pledged more support in the coming fiscal year that will begin in mid-July this year to lay down all the standards and facilities to establish the trail as ‘probably the best’ and ‘leading trail’ in Asia,” NTB said in a statement.
Prior to the conference, Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB had said that the conference is aimed at spreading Nepal’s potential in becoming accessible to all people, regardless of physical limitations, disabilities or age.
“It’s difficult to find a place in Nepal for differently-abled people as Nepal tourism industry has not realized the potential. However, things can be changed if the potential of accessible tourism is realized,” double amputee Hari Budha Magar said earlier.
Statistics show 88 percent of the disabled globally embark on holiday every year, while 50 percent travel depending on the supporting facilities available at their destinations.
When it comes to country-wise spending, US spends around USD 17.3 billion annually on accessible tourism and it is USD 8 billion in case of Australia. Whereas, Europe accounts to 12 percent of its market spending on people with disabilities.