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TThe focus of this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism for all”, which focusses on the importance of understanding and implementing universal accessibility in tourism.

Whether it’s due to a disability, even temporary; families with small children; or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we all benefit from universal accessibility in tourism.

In South Africa, we believe that equality should be apparent in every facet of our nation. When it comes to tourism, this means more than simply catering to the disabled. It’s about social class, ethnicity, and ancestry, too. No matter who they are, everyone deserves to explore their South Africa their way, an ability that most of us take for granted – especially from within the sector itself.

The demand for universally accessible tourism is growing. As an industry, it’s up to us to meet this demand, otherwise we would be discriminating against our own people – the same people who just want to explore their own country and help our tourism industry shine. 

The truth is that all our tourism products should be designed with the sole purpose of being enjoyed by ALL tourists. Our National Department of Tourism believes that universal accessibility would be greatly enhanced by up-scaling service delivery in all the critical touchpoints such as access to information, accommodation and transport.

We need all our trade partners to take a deep look at their offerings and ask the question: How accessible is my business? By improving accessibility, we will not only boost our tourism economy, we will do a world of good for social integration as well – helping all sectors of society to come together for the love of travel.

If you believe that your business is accessible to all, then we encourage you to upload your travel deals to Sho’t Left. We have updated our deals page to include an accessibility filter, helping travellers everywhere find the best, most accessible, South African adventures to explore.

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