“Tourism for all—to promote universal accessibility” was the annual theme announced by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the World Tourism Day 2016, and Accessible Tourism is receiving increasing attention among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) tourism stakeholders.
The ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC), an intergovernmental organization of Asean and Japan based in Tokyo, organized a seminar on Accessible Tourism on February 7, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The seminar was co-organized with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, and attended by some 120 local tourism stakeholders from both the public and the private sectors.
During the seminar, Naohiro Fukawa, Director of Tourism Shizuoka Japan, and Hisashi Yamaguchi, the President of TIC Travel Center Co., Ltd, both of whom were Japanese tourism experts dispatched by the AJC, gave lectures on the latest Japanese overseas travel market and travel products featuring accessible tourism, respectively. In addition, local tourism experts introduced the current situation of accessible tourism in Malaysia, followed by a panel discussion among related panels from Asean Member States and Japan.
Tourism stakeholders from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos, who attended the Accessible Tourism Workshop in Japan organized by the AJC prior to the seminar, reported their workshop experiences, which also highlighted the Japanese tourism attractions from their point of views.
YBhg. Datuk Hj Ab Ghaffar A Tambi, Secretary-General, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia who made the opening remarks of the seminar, emphasized the importance for Malaysia tourism to be ready and cater for accessible tourism as number of senior travelers and disable tourists is increasing; and extended his appreciation to the AJC for co-hosting the seminar in country.