Ramps, signages, wheelchairs, special restrooms made available
Kerala Tourism has made 100 tourist destinations ‘barrier-free’ as part of its mission to convert the State into a 100% accessible tourism destination by 2021.
The 100 destinations are among the 126 identified across the State to be made barrier-free in the first phase as envisaged in the State Tourism Policy.
Specially designed ramps and walkways with non-slippery tiles, wheelchairs, walking stick, crutches, spillout spaces, grab bars, wheel-chair lifts, special restrooms, signages, and other facilities needed for the differently-abled have been set up at these destinations.
“Work is almost over and we will launch these destinations in the capital on Monday. It was an eight-month effort by Kerala Tourism,” Director of Kerala Tourism P. Bal Kiran told on Saturday.
The 126 destinations under the department were hand-picked for the ₹9-crore project.
The department will have to make 200 destinations barrier-free to make the State 100% accessible to all.
The Responsible Tourism Mission under Kerala Tourism was tasked with developing accessible tourism infrastructure, products, and services. The mission had carried out auditing of the destinations, accommodation units, including homestays, to assess the needs and to work out accessible tour packages.
Touch screen kiosk, Braille brochure, and accessible food court have been made available on the Munambom and Munakkal beaches, Vilangankunnu park, Peechi dam garden, Vazhanidam garden, and the Poomala dam garden.
Thenmala Ecotourism launched a Braille visitors’ guide on Saturday.
Tactile maps for the visually challenged and recorded travel information and guidance are needed at destinations. The stakeholders should come up with more accessible food outlets.
Personnel manning information counters and guides trained in sign language and travel assistance centres will be needed to take care of the needs of tourists with visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments.