NSW takes the lead in Accessible Tourism with a major Ministerial Forum
Minister for Disability Services and Ageing John Ajaka today welcomed people with disability and representatives from government, business, academia and the non-government organisations to a forum focused on making tourism more accessible in NSW.
In doing so NSW is recognising the key importance Accessible Tourism will have on the industry in the coming years. It is already a major market segment but with an ageing and retiring population it will become a critical element of any tourism strategy and a major source of competitive advantage.
We were delighted to be one of more than 55 representatives who attended the Ministerial Forum on Accessible Tourism at NSW Parliament House, including representatives from Lonely Planet, Zomato, the NSW Business Chamber and New Earth Tourism.“Everyone, regardless of their age or disability, should be able to enjoy everything NSW has to offer,” Mr Ajaka said.
“However, if we are going to make our community truly inclusive, we need to identify and remove existing barriers to make our world-class holiday destinations and tourist attractions more accessible.”
“Accessible tourism is a large and growing opportunity for the tourism and hospitality sector. By finding new ways to make travel and tourism more accessible we will deliver a boost to the sector and generate more jobs,” Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said.
In 2010, accessible tourism was worth $8 billion and represented 11% of the tourism market in NSW.
The Ministerial Forum is aimed at developing three to five practical ideas to improve access to tourism services, improve information about local facilities like accessible toilets and accommodation, and increase participation of older people, people with disability and their carers in tourist and recreation activities.
To further support accessible tourism, the NSW Government has commissioned the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute of Public Policy and Governance to identify innovative and practical ideas that will enhance accessible tourism in NSW.
The ideas and insights generated from the Ministerial Forum will help inform the development of a future NSW Accessible Tourism Plan for NSW.
Enhancing accessible tourism in NSW aligns with the objects of the Disability Inclusion Act 2014, the Disability Inclusion Plan and the NSW Ageing Strategy.