GIFT Adjunct Professor Steve Noakes attended the recent official UNWTO World Tourism Day conference in Bangkok. The theme this year was ‘Tourism for all … Promoting Universal Accessibility’ with leading speakers from government (UNWTO, Un agencies, national Governments), industry (WTTC, PATA) and international agencies involved in People with Disabilities (PwD) contributing to the discussions on accessible tourism for all.

Professor Noakes said that the event confirmed that accessible tourism for all is not only about providing access to people with disabilities, but also it addresses the creation of universally designed environments that can support people that may have temporary disabilities, families with young children, the ever increasing ageing population as well as creating a safer environment for employees to work.

Reports published by the UNWTO indicates that the worldwide accessible tourism market estimated at 1.3 billion people and their accompanying friends and family are considered, that market almost doubles in size to some 2.2 billion.

Professor Noakes has been appointed as Chair of an International Advisory Group to guide a private sector approach to Accessible Tourism in Myanmar, as a pilot to possible future adaptation to other Asia Pacific nations.

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